Tuesday, 5 June 2007

England Swings like a Pendulum Do

The first words of a song about England and things quintessentially English......nothing to do with the wilder side of life!!

We have been to London. Twice. The first day we did an open double-decker bus tour to get a feel for the city. Despite asking for it, we had no Japanese commentary, so grandmother S just enjoyed the sights. We got off at the Tower of London. There is a brilliant tour there, led by ruffled Beafeaters, which we did not do this time. We ate our obento on the steps near the pier and then went down the Thames to Greenwich to the Royal Observatory. http://www.rog.nmm.ac.uk/ The weather was great and the river trip lovely. We saw the burnt out ruins of the Cutty Sark, a historic tea clipper that was recently severely damaged by fire while undergoing repairs. http://www.cuttysark.org.uk/ You can see the news in the link. Greenwich is a lovely town with great views of the river and city from the hill, but the highlight is undoubtedly the Meridian Line. Here are the girls straddling it with their grandmother.

The second trip was en route to take granny to Heathrow. The girls had a day off school.....something we do not make a habit of. We went to the Japan Centre in Piccadilly Circus, where resident Japanese and Japanophiles can get their fix of food, books, manga etc. Prices are exhorbitant. Hannah paid FOUR POUNDS for a Bleach manga...which retails at about 400 yen in Japan. She actually paid 970 yen...and the clever thing had a good idea to put up a sign on the notice board there asking if people want to trade or sell old copies. She will do better that way.

After the shopping we had lunch in Green Park and walked to Buckingham Palace. Too late to see the Changing of the Guard, but it was a first for all of us to see the palace. Then a quick trip to Harrods. What a place. The food halls have the loveliest pillars, tiles and cornices. I just love the interior there. Emily and Hannah both splurged and bought one Godiva chocolate each. We then took granny to Heathrow and said our goodbyes.

We hope she comes back soon, but we are gearing up for another visitor next week. Hope they keep on coming.

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