Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Travel Tales of London, Part 4

On our third day in London, we went to Greenwich, partly because we wanted to go to the antiques market, which is much like Portobello Road but on a dramatically smaller scale. The market turned out to be a bit of a dud, I suppose because March isn't peak tourist season and, thus, there were only a handful of vendors. But we love Greenwich, so that was no big deal.

You know I'm going to tell you I went into that store. Of course I did. But, I only bought one book: A Fighting Spirit by Paul Burns!!! Just one!!! I will not tarnish my halo by telling you how I managed to limit myself to one book.
The first thing we did in Greenwich was trudge off to search for a pub Huzzybuns had read about, The Greenwich Union, and we found it easily but discovered it was too early for lunch, in spite of the fact that we got a late start (thanks to our first late evening at the theatre). So, we took a nice, long walk up through the park above the observatory, stopping to take the occasional picture of the clouds, a weather vane shaped like a ship, a church spire, the city.

It was also a good time and place to practice with the fisheye lens because there weren't many people around. I've never seen so few people at the observatory.

Although the observatory museum is interesting, we've been there and have photos of our feet in two different time zones (one of those obligatory tourist photos, haha) so we just walked around in the open areas.

I was looking at some daffodils through the viewfinder of my camera (while moving -- a very blonde thing to do) outside the observatory when I stepped a little off the path and pitched forward, toward the daffodils I was getting ready to photograph. Huzzybuns grabbed my coat and I put out a hand, so between the two of us we managed to keep Bookfool from flattening the flowers. Peripherally, I noticed that the security guard jumped just a bit and I wondered if he was going to rescue me or chew me out if I fell into the garden.

Sometimes it's very entertaining being a klutz.

We heard this little fellow singing in Greenwich (author Bob Tarte, who is an avid birder, kindly informed me that it's a robin) and I must admit that his portrait turned out to be one of my absolute favorite Greenwich photos.

After we'd walked around for an hour or so, we headed back to the pub. I had aubergine (eggplant) and mozzarella lasagna with a half pint of cider. I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. It was the most cheesy, melty, wonderful thing. I drool just looking at the photo.

I even drank all my hard cider. Boy, was I stuffed. Definitely try The Greenwich Union if you're ever in the London area.

We roamed around town a good bit and then returned to the Sloane Square area to wander and pick up our supper. In the evening we saw Lang Lang, a Chinese pianist, play at the Royal Albert Hall. You're not supposed to take photos in the Royal Albert, but after the concert ended, everyone started snapping away.

This is just a point-and-shoot shot because we didn't take the nice D-SLR along, so it's heavily cropped and kind of sucky, but whatever. Lang Lang is standing by the piano, with flowers in his arms. I would have been perfectly happy if the orchestra had kept right on playing without him, but he's pretty impressive. The critics kind of hated him. He's a bit showy. I didn't mind that. I just closed my eyes and listened. We were too far away to see much, anyway.

Greenwich is always relaxing, so it was a low-key day. I took a lot more pictures of daffodils and one of those is the shot I used to make my little Easter egg photo at dumpr.

©2012 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery and Babble or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email bookfoolery@gmail.com for written permission to reproduce text or photos.

32 comments:

  1. That makes me want to go to London for a while. Our trip was whirlwind so we were running from place to place the whole time we were there.

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    1. We actually once showed someone what we considered the high points in London in four hours, so I know how that feels. It's a lot more fun to kick back a little and take your time seeing the sights, for sure!

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  2. Wow, books, gardens, yummy food and an orchestra - looks heavenly! And that bird photo is gorgeous!

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    1. LOL Yep, pretty much so! It was another wonderful day. Thank you! Isn't he a pretty bird?

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  3. So, so wonderful! I do love the robin and the daffodils.

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    1. Thank you! Me, too. I'm a big fan of nature, in general, and I adore a nice host of golden daffodils (beside the Thames, beneath the trees, fluttering and dancing in the breeze).

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    2. I wandered lonely as a cloud...

      My all-time favorite poem. :)

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    3. Mine, too! Funny! I need to read more Wordsworth, actually.

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  4. "aubergine (eggplant) and mozzarella lasagna with a half pint of cider. I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. It was the most cheesy, melty, wonderful thing. I drool just looking at the photo." Um yes. Me too.

    Sounds nice being able to go to London and doing your own thing without having to rush around to all of the "must see sites." We always tried to cram so much into our trips that it was never relaxed. One day...

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    1. Heh. I love it that I made you drool, Trish. :)

      It helps that we've been to London a half-dozen times. We've done the hustle-bustle thing, rushing to cram in all the sights. There's still a bit of hustling involved if you don't want to get knocked over, merely because people are in a hurry in London and you have to go with the flow. But, now we buy tickets for the theatre in advance and plan our days so that there's some built-in down time. There are lots of wonderful places to just take a nice, long walk and I think I love that more than anything.

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    2. I drooled, too!! I need to Google mozzarella lasagna and try the recipe (although, I did just recently make Trisha Yearwood's "Cowboy Lasagne" which was to die for!).

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    3. Don't forget it has eggplant in it! But, really, it was the mozzarella that was dominant. And, we decided the lasagna noodles must have been fresh because it was hard to tell where the mozzarella ended and the noodles began. It was the most melty, wondrous stuff.

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    4. Oh, my. I wouldn't care if it had cow's tongue. You had me at mozzarella and noodles. OK. Maybe not cow's tongue. ;)

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    5. Um, yeah, I think I'll skip the cow's tongue. But, seriously, if you find a good eggplant lasagna recipe, LET ME KNOW!!!!

      It's funny; I always come up dying to find recipes similar to the vegetarian dishes I eat in English pubs. LOL Last year's was a squash casserole. Wish I'd gotten a photo of the inside of that one. We've found some recipes and one was close but it was missing something. I wish I knew what.

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    6. Come BACK, not UP, dying to find recipes blah, blah. Not sure where that mistake came from.

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  5. Oooh, pretty birdie! If it makes you feel any better, I tripped on the cobblestones at the Tower of London and had a bruised knee for a month. I'm a very klutzy traveler.

    And why don't we say aubergine? It's a much better word.

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    1. Isn't he pretty?

      Ha! That's great! It doesn't bother me at all that I'm a klutz. I'm quite adept at laughing at myself and maybe just a bit too old to be embarrassed. Plus, let's face it, once you've given birth and flashed your nethers to at least half a dozen people at once, everything else pales, by comparison.

      We don't say aubergine because we're not close enough to France. Pity. Eggplant is just awkward. Aubergine sounds graceful and lovely.

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  6. These photos are awesome, particularly the photos of the bird and the daffodils. This is my dream destination, and one day I hope to visit and see all the sights. It seems like it would be a great place to wind yourself through slowly. Great post today!

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    1. Thanks, Zibilee! I hope you do get to go, someday. London is absolutely wonderful for long walks. There's so much to see. A Londoner once told me that you can live in London all your life and still manage to turn a corner and find something wonderful you've never seen, before.

      Naturally, that just makes me want to live in London, but I'm afraid that's not likely to ever happen!

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  7. This looks like such a wonderful day and such a great trip overall!!!!

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    1. Yeppers to both, Andiloo! We had a grand old time. :)

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  8. You take such wonderful photos, Nancy!

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  9. Really? A robin? I never would have guessed. He is quite beautiful and well-photographed.

    Sigh. I really need to return to London. A two week visit over 15 years ago is all but a distant memory. Time to refresh that, wouldn't you say?

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    1. Yep! I wouldn't have guessed, either, since our robins look so very different. His song was quite different, also (that's what caught my attention). Wish I'd thought to videotape him, too. Thanks!

      I definitely think you need to go back. Really, I need to go some new places but I am so crazy about England that I will always go when an opportunity arises -- and they just keep coming up. When D. said his buddy offered to loan us his flat, I'm sure my pulse quickened and my eyes popped out of my head. He'd already told the fellow how much the wife loves London. LOL

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    2. Found this on Wiki.

      We should go someday. With Bellezza. First London for a week, then Paris, then somewhere in Germany, then Venice or Florence. A month-long tour. Yes we can! ;)

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    3. Yep, I've already read up! Bob gave me the . . . is it taxonomic name?

      Ooooh, absolutely. I'm totally on board. I'd say, "Let's do it in 2013!" but Kiddo will be heading off to Ole Miss in the fall and I have a feeling the cost is going to put a kink in my delightful travel plans, for at least a couple years.

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  10. 2016? For my 55th? ;)

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    1. Sounds reasonable to me. And maybe Chicago, sometime sooner?

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    2. Definitely!

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  11. Awesome pics Nancy! So glad you didn't fall into the flowers.

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