S: LONDON 2012
BC: DEPARTED | UNITED KINDOM | 23 SEP 2012
1: LONDON | UNITED KINGDOM | ARRIVED 8 SEP 2011 | Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its founding by the Romans, who named it Londinium
2: Our relaxing day of jet lag recovery, turned into a day of sunshine by the Thames. We took advantage of the unseasonable weather to wander down the south bank, go on the London Eye and take a river cruise. Wonderful to spend the day with family catching up!
5: Thames River Cruise We enjoyed an early evening cruise down the Thames to St Catherine's Docks and Back to the London Eye. Getting to see sunset over the Tower Bridge and the almost completed Shard.
6: SOUTHBANK BY NIGHT We enjoyed a meal at Wahaca a Mexican street food restaurant with a view over the river. This was a day of wondrous cue skipping our one and a half hour wait for a table magically turned into five minutes. Dan wasn't a fan of his tequila shot that was spiked with chocolate, and Alan has yet to be won over by Mexican food.
8: THE BRITISH MUSEUM Its permanent collection, numbering some eight million works, is amongst the largest and most comprehensive in existence and originates from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present.
10: THE NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM Spending a day trekking through this wonderful museums corridors, with everything from gold, dinosaurs and giant clam shells. Given the age of the institution, many of the collections have great historical as well as scientific value, such as specimens collected by Darwin.
12: Dan and Alan did the traditional London double decker bus tour. Great way to see the sights without killing your feet, and our feet were dead!
14: COVENT GARDEN | We spent some lazy time sitting and enjoying the performances of: a man on a high unicycle juggling machetes, a wonderful soprano opera singer doing crowd pleaser's, and a vigorous string quintet. All Whilst enjoying coffee, cookies and Pimms.
16: Harry Potter | STUDIO
17: JUST OFF THE M25 the location of the Harry Potter Movies Film Studios. Which offer tours through the sets and props used in the filming of the eight movies.
18: HARRY POTTER STUDIOS We all enjoyed our time wandering the sets. It was very difficult to resist the items in the gift shop on the way out. I admit a chocolate frog came home with me.
21: Oxford | Oxford was first settled in Saxon times, and was initially known as "Oxenaforda", meaning "Ford of the Oxen"; fords were more common than bridges at that time. It began with the foundation of an oxen crossing in the early 900 AD period. In the 10th century Oxford became an important military frontier town between the kingdoms of Mercia and Wessex and was on several occasions raided by Danes. It was raided by kiwis and canucks on Thursday the 13th September 2012. We wandered the streets, and invaded the castle for dinner. Would have spent more time here but for the unfortunate traffic on the way into town. Also what was up with that shark on the roof?
22: Oxford is known as the "city of dreaming spires", a term coined by poet Matthew Arnold in reference to the harmonious architecture of Oxford's university buildings. The University of Oxford is the oldest university in the English-speaking world. Strolling through the grounds of Christ College and down by the river is very tranquil. | OXFORD
25: Is a three-day festival held each September since 1995 for the types of road racing cars and motorcycle that would have competed during the circuit's original period 1948–1966. It is one of the world's most popular motor race meetings and the only UK event which recreates the golden era of motor sport from the 1950s and 1960s. We were joined by Psi on our first day at the festival, which was awesome as he had been before and knew the layout. | Goodwood Revival
26: GOODWOOD REVIVAL The costumes were spectacular as were the cars and planes. It isn't everyday you see this many historic and rare cars. Not to mention flybys by Lancaster Bombers.
28: THE "CARPARK" Dan and Alan spent hours wandering this field, checking out the cars of other visitors to the festival. Technically you have to have tax tags pre- 1973 to park here, but a Delorian managed to sneak in!
30: There is so much to see and do at the festival that 3 days isn't enough time. We watched the races, visited the car showrooms, checked out the shops, admired the costumes, and even went on a tractor ride round the track. We even got to see the Tardis and a Dalek! I think that Dan is definitely planning on returning in another 5 years.
32: ARUNDEL | Was an amazing place to stay and only 20mins drive from Goodwood. The little three story terrace house was immaculate, though the washing machine was quite the puzzle. We explored the local shops, market stalls, tidal canal, cathedral, castle and ruined priory. The morning cream tea was wonderful too!
34: CHICHESTER | Goodwood Revival | 14-16 SEPT 2012
36: GOODWOOD REVIVAL The festival includes Grand Prix cars from the Fifties and Sixties, sports and GT cars, as well as historic saloon cars and little-seen Formula Juniors. Many of these important historic racing cars are driven by famous names from motor sport past and present.
38: The earliest reference to Southwark Cathedral was in the Domesday Book survey of 1086, wherein the "minster" of Southwark is mentioned. We visited the church to attend the weekly organ concert for Alan. However he wasn't impressed by the contemporary pieces chosen by the organist.
40: Stands at the junction of Monument Street and Fish Street Hill, 62m tall and 62m from the place where the Great Fire started on 2nd September 1666. The Monument was designed by Christopher Wren and Robert Hooke | MONUMENT
42: Our first day back in London after Goodwood included attending The Mousetrap. The longest running play in the world, which was amusing and throughly enjoyed by us all.
45: We enjoyed the newly built Emirates Cable car over the Thames. We were able to point out to Alan three of the locations we lived whilst in London. Oddly enough the one thats afraid of heights did better on this ride than Dan and Alan! An enjoyable diversion, but hardly a useful addition to London's commuters.
46: THE CUTTY SARK is a Scottish clipper ship. Built on the Clyde in 1869 for the Jock Willis shipping line, she was one of the last tea clippers to be built and one of the fastest, coming at the end of a long period of design development which halted as sailing ships gave way to steam propulsion.
50: GREENWICH is notable for its maritime history and for giving its name to the Greenwich Meridian (0 longitude) and Greenwich Mean Time. It is home to the National Maritime Museum and the Royal Observatory. We spent the afternoon at the observatory enjoying sunshine and history.
52: In our second week in London we got a travelpass and as a result spent lots more time on the Underground. Londons Underground includes the oldest section of underground railway in the world, which opened in 1863.
54: PARLIAMENT & WESTMINSTER ABBEY | We spent a sunny day exploring the various graves inside Westminster Abbey, from Darwin to Elizabeth I they have quite the collection. Mark then took us on a private tour of Parliament, which was amazing. We then snuck back into the Abbey via the back door, this trip was amazingly good at escaping lines. We found the museum of funereal effigies in the oldest part of the church.
56: Globe Theatre | LONDON
57: THE TAMING OF THE SHREW
59: London by night | It wasn't just our days that we crammed with sightseeing. By night we: - attended the wonderful musical Singing in the Rain, - went out for dinner at various restaurants and pubs, - attended Liz's regular pub quiz, - caught up with old friends, - watched The Mousetrap, - stood through a performance at Shakespeare's Globe, - ate a curry at Brick Lane, - and watched the ENO's performance of The Magic Flute, It was a jam packed trip!
61: Our night of curry in Brick Lane went well. We stopped at the first place to invite us in, with a free round of drinks and 25% off our bill!
62: THE TOWER OF LONDON We got there early to beat the crowds, and had a good look at the crown jewels before it got busy. Our Beefeater guide was entertaining and informative.
64: Dan and Alan spent time drooling over chess sets on display and Kirsty bought a tower raven. The sheer amount of objects on display do get overwhelming after a while, however there were some unique methods to display the armour.
66: Was in the Open London Weekend, so Liz, Dan and Alan spent the day visiting various institutions and I joined them for the British Library in the afternoon. We said goodbye to our little apartment by Borough Markets and the Underground and started our very early morning trip back to Timmins, Ontario. | Our Last Day
68: Farewell London... until next time....