Saturday, January 24, 2009

Man vs. The Elements London Style

I slept right through my alarm due to a combination of jet lag and walking more in one day than I have in the last three months combined but if I hustled I could still make the Changing of the Guard Ceremony at Buckinham Palace at 11:00 a.m.  A quick Tube ride and a brisk walk through Green Park is all I had to do to be on time.

Buckingham Palace

First let's talk about the weather the last two days in London, for some reason the word "RAW" keeps creeping into my noggin.  It was bad enough that they cancelled the Ceremony!  In my opinion, you have to be a little tougher than this if you want to hold on to an empire.

Here you see me by one of the ornate, heavily guarded entry gates.  Please note the green umbrella in my hand that I brought with me from Camarillo.  It would explode about an hour later on Cannon Street due to atmospheric turbulence.

Christopher Wren's St. Paul's Cathedral

My umbrella disintegrated as I took this picture.

City of London Court Buildings

Entry Way to Lloyds of London

The George

Time to refuel, this is a grand old pub across from the Royal Courts of Justice on Fleet Street.

The inside of The George was very cool with these old school glass dividers.

Fish and Chips, of course, with a Pint of an adult beverage.

If I have any more of this room temperature beer, I may become a white wine drinker.  Pino Grigio anyone?  Cheers!

Outdoor Ice Skating in the middle of London

And some of you thought that Rockefeller Center in New York City was the ideal venue for a winter skate!
The Phone Booth, the Road Sign... I just liked it.

This picture was taken in Southwark on the South bank of the River Thames on myway to my next stop which was...

The Imperial War Museum

First, it got me out of the wind and cold weather and second, there was no admission fee.  Finally, they have HUGE cannons out front.

Note the new and improved black umbrella I bought that is in my right hand.

A Piece of the Berlin Wall

Always interesting to see a piece of milestone history from my lifetime.


The Imperial War Museum even had an exhibit about my Father-in-Law, Bill Gardner.

Nice Outfits!

There was a group of about 30 boys on a field trip to the Imperial War Museum today, all in their very proper school uniforms.  Rio Mesa H.S. colors, do you think Ray Gonzalez, our Principal, would go for it?

British World War II Propaganda Poster

It was GREAT to see this poster today!  I did an official weigh-in before I left and tied my all-time record at 136.36 kilos!!!  Now I know in what direction to take my diet.

Hey, wasn't Monty stuck in the mud in Catania?

The National Gallery

Weather and free admission once again entered the equation.  Yet another great European art museum with breathtaking paintings.

It is amazing what people did with their creative juices before Play Station and X Box were invented.

Steve Newman
The leader of our Haunted London Ghost Walk

1665: the Plague hits London

1666: the Great Fire of London razes the city

All the time: sadistic murderers, grave robbers (a.k.a. "Resurrection Men"), suicides, unfaithful hooker-wives, public hangings, tortured prisoners...

What more can a city do to inspire a walking night time tour like this one?

The Nancy Pub

Recommended by Catania Elephant WR Gregorio Barbagallo, this was a fine place to sit next to a heater for a while after the 90 minute walk in even RAWER weather.

Good call Gregorio!

London Elizabeth Hotel

This cute hotel has become my London home base.  I love their lift (elevator) that measures 2 1/2 feet deep by 2 feet wide LITERALLY!

Its fun riding down four stories with my two bags.

Catania tomorrow night, I'm very excited!!!


DPLassen said...

As a public service for your metrically challenged readers, I would point out that one kilo equals 2.2 pounds.

You're welcome.

Oh, and apparently the Brits may not be tough (cancelling the changing of the guard!) but I'm not surprised their umbrellas would be.

George said...

People should be allowed to learn mathematical equations on their own!