Desiree-Rose's Journals

Desiree-Rose's HomeLondon 2003/200417 & 18 December 2003


London 2003/2004

17 & 18 December 2003 |

Tues. 16 Dec: Left Johannesburg International at 9.00pm – Flight was half-an-hour late in leaving, but made up time during the night.

Wed. 17 Dec: Arrived Heathrow at 5.15a.m. Vaughn and Calan met us at 6.30am. It was really good to see them again. A beautiful day once the sun rose (at 8am). Tammy made us very welcome. Walked along the Camden canals with Vaughn, Des didn’t really like the walk so close to the water and under the bridge, it felt a bit scary, he took us for cappucino at Starbucks, then showed us Camden arcade and market. We had a rest (i.e. lay down) from 2 till 4. Then – already dark – to town by bus with Vaughn and Tammy to Trafalgar Square. Many strings of “Christmas lights”, mainly in trees and mainly all yellow, even in the big tree from Sweden in the Square. And it is big approx. 30ft tall!! Walked around all that area past theatres, shops, cafes, etc Stopped at Somerset House ice rink and had gluwein. Cold outside but not freezing; inside much too hot. Met Calan at Savoir Faire and had a noisy, smoky supper – French food was good. It seems as though about 80% of the population smoke – one can even smell it in the streets. Home by bus at 9.30p.m.

Thurs. 18 Dec. A beautiful day and full of the Joys of Spring. Left at 10a.m. and caught a bus to St. Martin’s-in-the-Field, next to Trafalgar Square. Went in and looked around – impression of dark wood. Gallery and high pulpit. Thence to Somerset House to find info for Lorna re her family. Walked along the Victoria Embankment past Cleopatra’s needle and saw the 450 foot high London Eye opposite us. Like a gigantic “big wheel”, but with enormous “bubbles” in which one can stand, sit and walk around. Each one holds 35 people. Quite a structure! The sun is so low here that it’s always in one’s eyes! Vaughn phoned to find out if we were O.K. So kind! And he was hoping we would get lost and need his help. Bought cappucino and sandwiches at Starbucks (they have the best cappuccino ever tasted, with solid foam about 2” thick), then found a bench in Victoria Gardens and watched the passing parade of black-coated Londoners.
Needed the loo again(!) Must be something to do with the cold. So went in the back entrance of the Savoy Hotel and found a marble one – just to swank - then out the front entrance. Very posh. Took No. 11 bus past Sloane Square, then another No. 11 to St. Paul’s Cathedral. Massive Grecian temple façade hiding refurbishing. Found a Tube train to Camden. The tube stations are very deep within the earth. Thank God for escalators! Then took a bus home. The travel pass that Vaughn bought us is fantastic! So is the transport service, with the “correct” bus or train every couple of minutes. Home by 4 p.m. In the dark.

Locations Visited: London

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