London, The First Leg of This Dog

The long silence has been because Sam took a bus tour of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. We flew into London at 6:30 a.m. while it was still dark and I could see the city lights below. But where were they? There were little patches of light like small isolated planets in darkness we were flying over that were linked by graceful filaments I think were freeways. Where was the city? Flying into Los Angeles or its sprawled southern kin, Mexico City, one flies over lights forever. Not London. It must have been hidden on the other side of the plane, because when we came down, I was sure it was a cornfield.

We had a full open day to see as much as possible before meeting our next group of best friends and bus mates for twelve days. I’m showing this picture of me walking a bridge on the Thames because it is the best hair day I had on the whole trip. Yes, it took a few days for me to shed all vanity. But onward.

Can you see London Bridge in the distance down the river? That was taken just before we stopped for lunch at our first pub. Fish and chips it was, made better with a hearty ale. We had bought a day pass for the “Tube” and used it to get lost, amuse the security guard who saw us going in circles, see the Tate Modern Museum, Piccadilly, Hyde Park, Westminster, St. James Park, Harrod’s Department Store (where I managed to lose myself for a short time in the designer section), and this little notice posted to save the world. I hope he gets a response.

The next day we experienced our first English breakfast in the hotel dining room: scrambled eggs, fried eggs, potatoes, bacon, sausage (bangers), pork and beans, canned grapefruit, toast, croissants, cereal. On to Buckingham Palace. Oh, yes, by invitation. By the tour company and a little cooperation from American Express. The Queen conveniently was on vacation and to support the monarchy and help with “expenses” we paid our $46 each pound (I think it returned on our statement as $150). It was worth the money, though to see such history and where it is still being made. Pictures weren’t allowed inside, but so you can see the tranquil setting where the Queen walks her corgis in the middle of the city, here is a picture of her secret garden. Yes, there was more all day long. Monuments, people, people, people, parks, cabs. a cruise on the Thames. Already I’m afraid I’ve forgotten details! Already I wish I had taken more notes!

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