What a series of adventures we have had in the last three days. Let’s start with our trip to England.
We were fortunate enough to be travelling here on Monday, when the port workers of Calais weren’t having a sudden strike, as they did yesterday. That would have really been depressing, as they incapacitated the tunnel for hours.
Instead, the EuroStar was right on time leaving Calais and arriving in London, and it was a lovely trip.
We went right to our hotel, the Intercontinental in Park Lane. Once again, miles and points have been good to us, just as our American Airlines miles were 31 years again, when we honeymooned here. Wonderful location, wonderful room. We tossed our bags and then went out strolling. We are across the street from Apsley House, also known as Number One, London, the London townhouse of the Dukes of Wellington. The recent celebrations of the Battle of Waterloo are in evidence with lots of murals on the subways and tube station of Hyde Park Corner. Somehow we missed all of that in France!
So wonderful to be back here. We picked up some sandwiches at Harrod’s and walked to Hyde Park for an al fresco lunch. A gorgeous summer day.
We even strolled through the V&A and over to Ovington Place, where we once had a wonderful flat for a week. Some of you must recall the cocktail parties we had every night, with the bar cart appropriately stocked and lots of tasty bits from Harrods around. That was a fun time.
It was just wonderful to get reacquainted with London. We have missed it!
Monday afternoon we went to Highgate to see dear friends Bernard and Liz. Lots of great conversation and outstanding Indian takeaway. A truly wonderful evening.
But the fun never stopped! Yesterday we took the boat to Greenwich to meet up with Alan and June for a whirlwind tour of their part of the world. The boat trip was spectacular, on what was a true summer day. We got to see the old and the new, including the Gherkin, the Shard and the Walkie-Talkie. Ah, modern architecture…
Greenwich is notable for its maritime history and its royal connections. It was the birthplace of many Tudors, including Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. The palace fell into disrepair during the English Civil War and was rebuilt as the Royal Naval Hospital for Sailors by Sir Christopher Wren. These buildings became the Royal Naval College in 1873, and they remained an establishment for military education until 1998.
The stunning Painted Hall was originally intended as an dining hall for the naval pensioners who lived here, and what a setting they had.
There is more to tell about our trip, but as a final note for the day, let me just mention that our new French computer crashed on contact with an English hotel, so we had to buy yet another computer yesterday. (And that’s why no posts all week.) Thanks, June and Alan, for taking us shopping. And thank goodness we now have a computer with an (almost) familiar keyboard and directions that come at us in English.
Signing out from a very hot day in London. Can’t wait to hear if we set big temperature records!