Friday, January 10, 2014

Rendezvous in Surprisingly Sunny London

I am now in London ready to begin the Cape to Cape adventure. Tonight we will have our Welcome Dinner and meet our fellow travelers.

The flight over from Arizona was painless. I have done so many Atlantic crossings now that my body is used to sitting in coach seat for nine hours. I think it all about being relaxed and not fighting it. British Airways makes it very easy to fly from Phoenix to Heathrow International, even with the person behind you jamming their knees into your back. Once on the ground, I took the Heathrow Express to Paddington Station in Central London and was checked into my room only one hour after going through Customs.

Today I met friends from Flagstaff who have relocated to London temporarily. Drew Barringer and Claire Schneider are here because of her job and we met for lunch at the Lord Nelson Pub in Southwick (pronounced suth-ick - I wish they would learn proper pronunciation over here) The pub claims to have the "Best Burgers in London" and it was hard to argue that after getting the BLUESY LUCY – Stuffed w/ Smoked Bacon and Blue Cheese! After saying goodbye to Drew and Claire, I walked around Green Park near Buckingham Palace. I missed seeing the Queen but here are some pictures of this beautiful section of London.

Tomorrow we fly to the volcanic island of Madeira (Portugal but off the coast of West Africa) and I hope to post some pictures of the wonderful outcrops there of the dikes and pyroclastic rocks that have been  sculpted.

Green Park scene looking south about 2:30 PM local time.

Many of the views are reminiscent of Central Park in New York (well at least to a neophyte of both places like me). It is said that there area was once a swampy burial ground for the  lepers in London.

Looking out the gate to Buckingham Palace

Very impressive! I kept waiting for the Queen to to spontaneously appear at one of the windows to wave the Royal Wave to the surprisingly large number of visitors who stand out side the gate to gawk at the western world's most famous monarchy.

The Royal Gate

The Queen Victoria Memorial was dedicated by her son, George V, in 1911. The queen reigned from 1837 to 1901 - 63 years and longer than any other British monarch and the longest of any female monarch in history).

The statue is topped with gold.

Looking back towards Green Park

It's a lovely park

My digs for the night at the Four Season's of London, Park Place

And the view from my room

A "selfie". The word selfie was designated as one of the more important new words in 2013 and according to the definition, taking a different one each day and posting it is a no-no. Those who often read this blog will know that I rarely jump into my own pictures but this time I got a room with a view!

The Four Seasons of London was recently remodeled  with state-of-the-art amenities. I noticed this little box on the bathroom mirror. It was part of the mirror - look at my robe imaged on the mirror. Then I noticed a little thin pad on the shelf - you can see it (barely) on the very bottom of this photograph near the drinking glass. It said, "Electronic remote" on it. I wondered what it could be? So I pressed the power button and the dark box then became a TV!

Yep - you can watch TV and shave at the same time. My apologies to those who were aware of this technology months ago!

3 comments:

Gaelyn said...

Look what happens when we live in the boonies. :) This should be an amazing adventure. Look forward to more posts. Which I'll be reading from South Africa. Bon Voyage.

Susun said...

Hi Wayne, I can hardly wait for the photos and stories of this adventure. Thanks.

Susun

Dr. Jack Share said...

Great photos and commentary too, Wayne! Vicariously looking forward to your geo-travels. Thanks!