2013 0117 London: Day started out sunny, but ended with clouds and rain. Had breakfast downstairs about 9:30 and then walked to Harrods … over Mount to Park Lane, under Park Lane into Hyde Park, diagonal across the park, onto Knightsbridge and then Brompton to Harrods. We cruised the food court rooms for quite a while, looked at kitchen stuff, etc. As the morning progressed, it got really crowded everywhere.

Left Harrods, walked up Knightsbridge to the Wellington Arch. Then down Constitution Hill to Buckingham Palace and the Queen Victoria Monument. Next down Birdcage Walk to Westminster Abbey (where the line stretched around the block, so we didn’t bother to try), to the Houses of Parliament. Then across Westminster Bridge. Stopped for lunch. Then back across the bridge. It was cheek to jowl all through this area. Hard to even walk with people stopping to take pictures and the sheer number of people. Also, windy and cold.

We looked at the Eye, but again the line was way too long. So on the Parliament side of the river we walked north up Victoria Embankment. We had hoped to walk all the way to the hotel, but somewhere as we started to cut to the west, it started to really rain. Hailed a taxi and went back to The Connaught. Did some packing. Got boarding passes for tomorrow. Marian took a nap.

Oh, yesterday we ran into an Australian couple we had seen on the ship (and in the Riga tour), Debbie and Michael Bloomberg both at the Tate Modern and at “Matilda.” Fun to have that happen.

So, tonight it’s “Curious …. Dog” and dinner at The Ivy (10:30 PM reservation) and back here to sleep. Will have a 9:30 pick up tomorrow AM for Heathrow and then back across to the US.

Excellent trip. Glad we had the extra days both in Stockholm and in London. Wouldn’t change a thing (other than wanting to have an extra day in Amsterdam instead of the day in Klaipeda).

ADDENDUM: First, “Curious … Dog…” is outstanding. Well written, well acted and presented. We had second-row seats, center. Man who sat next to Marian, John, is a professor who lectures to people who are teachers of autistic students. So we had a lively conversation. He was very friendly and says that it’s unusual for folks sitting next to him in theatre to engage in conversation, and was glad we did.

Second, dinner at The Ivy was really good. They were concerned when my starter was delayed in the kitchen and took it off the bill. 10:30 through midnight and the place was full with lots of beautiful people. Doorman called a limo for us saying it was easier to get one that time of night on a Saturday and the price would be the same to get to The Connaught. It was.

Third, in Harrods, when I charged things or paid in cash, I was asked if I wanted the charge (or the money I used to pay cash) to be pounds, euros, or dollars. Saw this in a couple of other places in London as well.

Fourth, there are many Arabs here throughout the city. And at the hotels owned by Arabs, the embassies, or zooming along in traffic are cars worth $100-300K. Many have been flown to London so that the owner can have his car for a weekend and then it’s flown back. Some of these cars I’ve never seen before. And in the neighborhood where we’re staying are dealers for many of these brands.

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