Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Everything is written in Dutch so it has been an adventure trying to decipher the signs and restaurant menus. You can never really be sure what you are ordering. :-) We have been doing our best at using symbolism to figure it out. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. But Amsterdamels all speak English. Several have even stopped to help us without even being asked to. Tomorrow we will take a bicycle tour through the Holland countryside to tour a cheese farm and clog maker. Here are some pictures of Amsterdam.
Friday, May 8, 2009
We walked the 257 steps to the Whispering Gallery. The whispering gallery is about 1/2 way up the large dome in this picture. In the whispering gallery someone can whisper on one side of the dome and you can hear them on the other side. It sounds as if they are sitting next to you. After the whispering gallery you go up another 119 steps to walk around the outside of the dome. It is a wonderful 360 degree view of London. After making our way back down the 376 steps it was nearly time for the Evensong services. We attended Evensong at St. Paul's Cathedral. While we were waiting we were invited to sit with the choir. The service was like nothing else. The choir was remarkable. And to have the privilege of sitting next to the St. Paul's Cathedral choir was an experience I will remember for the rest of my life.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
We had a great day. Even without seeing the Changing of the Guards. We arrived at Buckingham Palace an hour early. I had a spot right next to the fence. I was actually touching the fence. Within 30 minutes we were surrounded by a mob of people. This French B**** started invading my space, stepping on my feet, pushing on my like she was just trying to get a picture. Whatever! She really ticked me off. The crowd was just too much. We moved to the outer circle with a very disappointing view. You can see how many people there were in one the pictures. But that's okay because everything else we saw and did today made up for it.
We had lunch at Sherlock Holmes Bar & Pub. Bruce had the salmon and I had the Bubble and Squeak. I will let you use your imagination but it was delicious. I look forward to experimenting with this at home. Another British favorite is mushy peas. Heather, I am going to try these just for you. :-) I will be sure to get a recipe for you to try.
The rest of the day was just exploring around the Big Ben, Houses of Parliament, and the London Eye. We also toured the Cabinet War Rooms. My new favorite quote by Winston Churchill, "We are all worms, but I think of myself as a glow-worm."
P.S. Yes Deann, This is the same shirt I wore in the pic from yesterday. I promise I won't wear it again until I have a chance to wash it. :-)
Monday, May 4, 2009
Day 1 is over. We spend the first day just getting our bearings. It is hard to determine your direction because the streets are so curvy so we spend most of the day just trying to not get lost. I think we only got lost once or twice (okay maybe a few more times than that.) Why did I not pack a compass????? We had to ask for help several times and I have to say Londoner's are extremely courtious and willing to help. Sometime a bit hard to understand but not bad.
Some interesting facts about London.
1) In London you don't need a car. The public transportation can get you any where you need to go and quickly. However, if you plan to use your walking shoes watch out and look twice before crossing. Crazy drivers that don't slow down, skinny streets. Cars & bikes pop up out of no where just waiting for you to be their next roadkill, I'm sure of it.
2) If you thought the US was the melting pot, you were wrong. At any given time you will see at least a dozen different ethnic groups in just one block.
3) On the tube I heard, there are more Japanese banks in London than there are in Japan.
4) The people are so extremely friendly and helpful.
Well, that was Day 1. Tomorrow we are going to do the Double Decker bus tour.
Here is a slide show of the trip so far. There are tons more pictures but I have had 3 hours of sleep since Saturday night and starting to be a little delirious. Good Night All.