Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mind the Gap 3 (London Trip)

Set my watch by Big Ben on this tourism day. Saw a lot: Buckingham Palace, Parliament, St. Paul's Cathedral, walked on Tower Bridge, went for a cruise on the Thames while eating take-out fish and chips. In and around Piccadilly Circus, visited shops, restaurants, and dealerships with the Bentley name, which is my wyfe's surname, for photo ops. Various shop assistants, waiters, etc., found this quite amusing and were accommodating. Accordingly, sat in a Bentley automobile for the first time.

Sat on the front steps, briefly, of 3 Savile Row, former home of the Beatles and Apple Corps, where the 1969 Let It Be rooftop concert occurred. Not sure what's going on in the building now -- saw Beatles-related graffiti ("Strawberry Fields Forever!") around the doorway.

We went on the Jack the Ripper walking tour, an hour-and-a-half of ambulatory education about a series of stomach-churning murders from a very knowledgeable guide with an interesting theory about whodunit. I stood on the exact cobblestones where one of the victims was found, as the guide pointed out. "What an honor," I said. Parts of Victorian London, as we also learned yesterday, was not a nice place for many people, although I suspect Victorian New York wasn't better. Still, architecturally, central London was and is a Victorian wonderland.

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