Friday, June 3, 2016

Sabbatical Take Two

So, here we are in London!

It's not that we haven't traveled since 2013, but we haven't been away from home more than a week or two until now.  Firelord has another sabbatical - right now!   This trip has us 1 night in Iceland, 9 in London, 3 in Paris, 6 in Edinburgh, 7 on a narrow boat, and 1 night back in London before our long flight home.

I'm writing from an AirBnB in London's zone 1, near the south bank.  I can see the London Eye from our living room window.  We can just make out the Elizabeth Tower where Big Ben is.

View from our apt. London Eye right of center, the wee castle looking tower to the left is Parliament.

Did you know that Big Ben is the bell in the tower, and not the tower itself?  You don't see Big Ben, you hear it.  I did not know that until two  days ago.

There's lots of things I didn't know.  Like, did you know that on the tube (subway to a Yank) another one will be coming in a couple of minutes and you don't have to crowd in, block the door and nearly leave your 11 year old behind?    These are good things to know.

There's a lot of things you can know, but not KNOW, until you experience them.  That's part of why we travel.  I'm trying to remember that, as I sit in the central London apartment with a jet-lagged family, listening to the ever-present sirens that are part of city life anywhere, waiting for Bit-Boy to get out of the shower where he's trying to steam out a sinus infection, waiting for a surly Lego Kid to wake up, and generally feeling like a hobbit.

"We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner!” 

1 comment:

  1. London is one of my favorite places! If you can, stand right beside Big Ben as it chimes the hour, an incredible experience, especially when you consider how far the sound carries naturally and how it is heard on radios all over the world. If you go to see Shakespeare's Globe--really close by you can see the Golden Hinde II, a full-sized reconstruction of the ship Sir Francis Drake used to circumnavigate the globe between 1577-80. And it's summer--so, look for 99 ice cream! (Anything Cadbury's actually since the true British versions are not allowed to be imported to the US anymore!)
    A 99 Flake ice cream, or more commonly a 99 or ninety-nine, is an ice cream cone, usually made with soft serve ice cream, into which a Flake bar has been inserted. The ice cream is usually vanilla flavoured. Variations include a 99 with two flakes - often referred to as a double 99 or "bunny's ears" - and a 99 with strawberry or raspberry syrup on top, sometimes known as monkey's blood.
    The Flake chocolate bar itself was first developed in the UK in 1920. An employee of Cadbury's noted that when the excess from the moulds used to create other chocolate bars was drained off, it fell off in a stream and created folded chocolate with flaking properties. In 1930, Cadbury started producing a smaller version of the standard Flake bar especially for ice cream cones.
    Have fun and don't forget to "mind the gap!"