Day 5 - Greenwich
- took first Thames ferry to Greenwich, avoided the crowds, straddled the Prime Meridian, took photos
- did not see the historic ship, the Cutty Sark, because it was under restoration - a week later, vandals had burned most it down -this is in keeping with the disastrous effect I have on the cities I visit (ditto for New York and New Orleans)
- met up with Aunt Irene who drove us in her Renault to Bluewater Shopping Centre
- Bluewater was relatively empty due to the football finals being played out that afternoon; everyone was in the pubs or at home
- returned to Aunt Irene's house in East London - very exciting to see a real London house and suburb
- watched the overtime period then the shootout of the football final
- got a whirlwind tour of East London and the new financial district at night
- took the Tube back to hotel exhausted
Day 6 - Leftovers
- went bright and early to Spitalfield's Market - at 10am, walked cautiously around drunken Londoners coming out of clubs and punching each other in the face
- bought lots of great stuff at Spitalfield's - much better than Bluewater!
- went to the Victoria & Albert Museum - unfortunately, British Galleries were closed - no repression and hooped skirts for us
- walked over to Hyde Park (busy and large) and spent some time watching rollerbladers play a game of street hockey (at least 2 Russians and one Maple Leaf fan) - felt like eating Timbits and drinking maple syrup
- walked past Kensington Palace too late to visit plus it cost money
- ate final dinner in London at East Indian Restaurant again - curry lamb one more time
Day 7 - Flight home
- took an Air Canada plane that was just put into service in 2007
- had many choices of movies and chose to watch: Music & Lyrics (lame), Prête-moi ta main (Charlotte Gainsbourg's wardrobe was amazing), another movie I can't remember, and the first half hour of The Painted Veil (looked promising)
- my parents surprised us at the airport and drove us home - so nice!
- ate some takeout then loaded our photos onto the internet
I did not love London like I always believed I would. All those years of dreaming of the BBC, Sherlock Holmes and Depeche Mode did not match up to the reality: an impersonal and fast city with vestiges of a colonial attitude and an affinity for Big Brother cameras everywhere. Joe and I don't bar a return to London but it won't be at the top of our vacation list.
The End (finally).