Sunday, May 27, 2012

See Ya Next Time London

Swan St James


Well my last day in London was a good one.  I made it back to St James Park my 4th visit this trip (yea I know but I love it.) I came out at Green Park the BUPA marathon was just ending so it was really packed. I walked by the Palace and the stage for the concert for the Jubliee was closer to being done. I felt bad for anyone who was on their first visit to London as the statues around the Palace, were becoming buried. I sat in the park for awhile. I finally saw the Pelicans up close, phew was beginning to think I had missed them.

I then decided to walk  to Charring Cross Station which turned out to be quite a hike a bit more than I was thinking. I did stop by Whitehall and saw a guard changing and took some photos.  Then I hopped the tube to get back to National Theater to pickup my ticket for Misterman. I panicked as I came out a different exit at Waterloo and wound up in a different area was afraid I would get to the theater on time to get my ticket. It was hot and humid and I was so glad I bought a top to change into. Then cooled a bit by the Thames and had an ice cream.






 
I really enjoyed the play again and I was really close to Cillian Murphy this time 6th row so I really could see his eyes nice and clear, so beautiful it was still enjoyable the 2nd time and I could catch some of the things I did not see the first time. He was just brilliant!

After that I headed back over to my new fave restaurant to have my final lamb meal and it was even better than the first visit. It was then time to head back to my hotel to catch the tube out to Heathrow and my hotel. I had done my research and was able to take the free local bus to the hotel but almost missed my stop. I checked in and relaxed for the evening and repack for my trip home.


I knew I would miss London but I knew I'd be back I was already thinking Sept as my air-miles would be enough by then if the right combination flight came up.



Eastbourne and Beachy Head



It was a great day there yesterday got too much sun though, and I did get a bit of a burn on my shoulders despite having sun block on. I did a lot of walking and I mean a lot and hill climbing it was great will be posting the photos next week.

I caught an early train and then I hit the tourist board I got a map and also asked about the special bus pass that takes you to villages/stops on the coast. Glad I asked as I was able to buy it there for 4 pounds instead of 6 you know me and deals. I headed off in search of the pier and it was really pretty there and by the English Channel the skies everything perfect.

Then it was off walk of the Southdowns way. I hopped the first bus and went upstairs for a good view a woman showing her family around let me share the front row seat. Actually the view up there was not that exciting and I missed stuff as a result, I mean the stops where to get off. There were no announcements of stops so you kind of had to guess the first stop I totally overlooked found that later Beachy Head hotel. The next of this light house the woman said nothing there. Boy was she WRONG I got off at the Birling Gap.



The view I saw
I headed up the hill and happened to stop and looked left to the right by chance and said shit and holy crap because of the wonderful unexpected view. I stood in awe and snapped away. I climbed higher and realized I was heading to this lighthouse that she said want worth it well it wasn't but the views were. Despite the warmth of the day the winds were unreal and I was walking right into them, believe me no easy task I continued climbing up and my eyes watered. I hit a really beautiful spot a group people were taking photos of each other out on this spot that was kind of out there. I asked if they would take my photo and the one guy said sure. Well stepped out to the spot and realized how high and scary it was and what a drop he really got into my camera as it was a professional camera as he called it where he had a basic point and shoot. He took a few photos and I was freaking out standing there so long, not to mention worried the winds would blow me over.


I could see the Beachy head lighthouse in the distance so I continued on I was walking backwards on the route and got further up and took my shots used my zoom really glad I had it snapped away. I finally decided that was far enough to go at that point because I had other places I wanted to visit so I headed back the route and up and down hills again but the wind was now at my back not at my face.

I stopped at the Birling gap cafe and had a pot of tea and a scone and relaxed as it was way too hot for me to sit outside. Then I went down the stairs to the beach got in the water just my feet though the waves crashed so I did get a tad bit wet. I sat on the stones this was not the kind of beach I was used to with sand but all stones and little rocks. It was nice but hard to climb back up barefoot as my feet kept sinking into the rocks ouch had to put on my sneakers and even that was hard. 
yummy tea
I saw the bus coming and ran to it but he never stopped despite it being a stop just carried on, I could not believe that so walked a bit more and after awhile I that saw another bus coming this time he saw me and I waved and he shook his head and did not stop. So what is with that, I wanted to know. I was going to try to walk but gave up as had no clue how far the next place Seven Sisters Sheep Station was the next bus stopped about 20 minutes later. I hopped on stayed downstairs to be sure I could get off no views there but across from the sheep station were a lot of sheep so I took photos and walked to the next stop East Dean. I was going to go along to the next village but there was nothing was marked so I did not know if it was right or left for the next area the bus would stop if they bothered to stop. So I missed one and just sat and waited for another I was quite tired at this point from up and down the hills.

I had the best fish and chips of my trip and I was looking at just fish as the chip order was way too big and the woman said a real sweetie by the way, said I will throw in a few chips for ya and we won't tell the boss.


I sat on a bench and ate had this visitor a sea gull who kept staring at me for my fish people would walk by and laugh as how close and attentive he was. I did give him a few tiny pieces. I walked the pier and more water coming in and snapped away, I just love crashing waves. Then I walked back to the train station looking at the town as I went and back to London.
I am getting exhausted the heat is starting to wear me down and in some ways I want to stay longer but getting worn out I have walked so much and I have no heat tolerance so imagine so in some ways ready to head home tomorrow but will hit the parks today St James and Regents Park see Cillian Murphy again 6th row center need to see those eyes again and then whatever.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Misterman and Borough market day



I decided to go by St John’s Wood again never know who or what I might see walked through the park and then continued to Primrose Hill I had been there before but thought it be fun to do the walk from St John’s. I made the climb to the top and sat and enjoyed the view for awhile you can see so much of London from there so it was quite a view.

Then I caught a bus to Baker Street station again just for the ride I got to the station but man was it ever packed. It took awhile to catch a tube. While on the tube realize I had yet to visit Tower Bridge so I headed in that direction next. The little park near it was jammed pack with people enjoying the continuing gorgeous weather. I just took a few token snaps of the bridge with my zoom and moved on it was way, way too crowded to be there.

lamb pie

After that it was off to London Bridge Station so I could go to Borough Market fun place to check out. Also gave me a chance to have a lamb Pie from the Piemister on my friend Laurie recommendation and she was right it was delish and then I picked up the huge ole brownie she told me about to have for a snack later on it was so huge I only ate part and finished the rest the next day.

Tomb in Southwark
Tomb of John Gower d 1408
I found a bench and ate my pie by Southwark Cathedral I went in and looked around for awhile there was a school group going through so I listened in to a bit of the tour the teacher was giving she was very good the children seemed enthralled especially at the Roman tile in the floor.

St Paul's Cathedral
I decided to head off to St Paul's Cathedral so hopped the tube but wound up getting off a distance away so I decided to walk the rest of the way. I just looked around outside as I had been inside before and then I studied the bus schedule to see what bus would take me back to Kings Cross. I was at a lost but some woman there asked me if I needed help and she found me the best bus to catch. It turned out to be a bit of a ride which was perfect since I was sitting front row yet again.
Memorial to parishioner William Shakespeare

Southwark Cathedral





I had tickets to see Cillian Murphy one of my very fave actors in Misterman that night so went in early to relax a bit before the show and clean up and change. I headed off to Waterloo station and the walk to the National Theater. I had an excellent sent 11th row dead center. It was perfect because so many time he stood in the exact spot eight in front of me on stage. The play was good and Cillian was beyond belief he played all the roles and it was amazing to watch him change from on character to the other in his back and for conversations not only did his voice change but so did his manners his whole expression I was only of the ones to give him a standing ovation. I already vowed to see if I could secure another good seat.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Parks, poets and sand

Cricket on the Beach

Time to change rooms again still at Montana Excel but had to change to a shared bathroom the room that had been booked for me was 2nd floor but the woman at the desk was kind enough to change me to the first floor so I would not have to haul my luggage up the stairs was kind of leary of the ground floor room so close to reception but it turned out to be ok

Kennington Park

The it was off to Kentish Town just because of the name sounded interesting, it would not be the first time I went to a stop just because of the name, I clearly remember visiting Tooting Broadway years ago just because the name fascinated me. The time to visit Kennington Park because it sounded like a cute park and it was the refreshment house dates back to 1897 I walked around that area for awhile and then hopped a bus again continuing my double decker view of London, front row of course.

Then to Lambert I was going to look for the Palace there but saw Archbishop's Park and stopped a bit and had an ice-cream saw a sign palace was still 1.5 miles away so decided not to bother. There was a railway tunnel that I walked through and found 24 mosaics of William Blake ((28 November 1757 – 12 August 1827) a London Poet and some of his poems were done in mosaics it was fascinating I took photos of some of them.


I was off to Waterloo to pick up my ticket for Misterman with one of my fave raves Cillian Murphy. I then walked along the Thames and got a very big surprise when I made it to Gabriel’s Wharf. I have been in that area a number of times but never saw the beach there. There was a man building things out of sand and I threw some change into his little container and then walked down and talked to him he laughed when I asked if the beach was new but in the end decided that I probably went by when the tide was in covering it.

Singing to me
Blue
I walked further on the steps to it and walked a bit on it met a couple with a cute dog Blue and I took his photo. When I went back up and threw some more change in her sang O solo Mia to me and tipped his hat.  I got some great shots of St Paul's Cathedral across the Thames.

I headed off in search of Southwark Cathedral but could not find it I started. I started to get hungry and was walking by Blackfriar so started to look for a place to eat. I finally found a place with lamb kebobs and went in and ordered it came with fries and salad. I so glad I got lost and did because the lamb was so tender what a yummy meal I hated to see it end. Already planning on going back for that meal again

I then headed off to Trafalgar Square as I wanted to visit the National Portrait Gallery I have tried the last few trips to London and never made it. They had a huge sign the count down to the Olympics.
St Paul across the Thames
Then off to the M and M Store to see the M and M's on M M Road and other things in the store I would have loved to have gotten a T shirt of the M's crossing Abbey Road but they only came in small.
Lions Trafalger Square
M and M Road

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

SAW THE MAN the MACCA MAN

I found myself back in St Johns Wood saw the Macca man near the park walking I spotted him quite a distance away I would know that walk anywhere just a bopping anyway I turned away for a second and he disappeared. I was like what the...I figured out later where he went, inside the gate of the Lord Cricket grounds. It was a thrill seeing him in the distance, think my heart nearly stopped.

The off to Royal Albert hall tickets to see if I could get a decent seat to see Elvis Costello that night and I was successful the guy selling the tickets was a fan too and I had him suggest what he thought was the best seat of what was available so I got 10 row on the side pretty close to the stage. I don’t need to be real close cos it’s not PAUL I just like being close enough to see and enjoy.

Then I crossed over to Prince Albert Memorial and they had it pretty spruced up the last time I had seen it was covered as they were working on it. I walked around taking photos of the statues around it and just enjoying looking at it.


Albert Memorial


Kensington Gardens was there so walked through that a bit taking photos of the flowers and enjoying the sun. I stopped to take photos of the swans Long Water. Then I walked on and older gent on a bench called me over and said sit down awhile and visit. So I did just that I could see he liked the chance to talk to someone. Another woman came over and sat on the bench near me and started talking and the old gent looked quite annoyed I think he wanted me to himself.




Cottage Fulham Palace
I then hoped a tube to Putney Bridge so I could visit Fulham Palace and Bishop park. I had a bit of trouble finding the way when I arrived it was marked somewhat but not clearly. A young boy on a bike asked do you need help Miss so he told me away to go first he suggested a bus and then he said no wait of course not the bus will just go past it so he thought a moment and gave me directions. I walked under a tunnel to the park, I walked a bit and finally saw some building and I went in, people were inside using some of the rooms where tea was being served for some kind of meeting. I went in search of the gardens which sadly were not in bloom what a disappointment. I knew they were having a garden event that Sunday and how disappointed others would be. Seems England had a long cold winter and being end of May things were slowly blooming I have been there in mid April and have seen more flowers than this trip. They were doing work on the grounds and getting ready for the Jubliee festivities.
Prince Albert
Had a great seat for Costello and it was an awesome show to me it was my greatest hits as he did all the songs I really love. His brothers have a band Riverway and he had them come on stage and they performed American Without Tears which was the first song I like by him, so so awesome to hear live. He had Russel Crowe as a special guest he did a pretty decent version of Folsom Prison. Tennessee Thomas a female drummer also performed it was an excellent show and glad I finally got to see one of his Spinning Wheel concerts.It was loads fun. Then it was back home it is quite a hike from the tube closest to Albert Hall and it is underground you sure get a work out.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Bopping around London

Headed out early for Portobello Market I had not been there in years I looked at the stalls but hardly anything interested me I did do some shopping in the 99 pence store candy cookies all goodies CADBURY. It got so warm out went back to my room and changed to my into my Capri’s, before I headed back out.

Then I hoped the tube to Tottenham Court Rd and headed over to MPL had to check it out plus like the little park, It was pretty crowded and I noticed 2 new statues one was some cowboy on a horse he looked quite wild.







The I headed down Oxford St to Oxford circus and hopped the tube to St John’s Wood and Abbey Rd to make my visit to EMI there were quite a lot of fans there doing the walk across the street some of the Japanese fans did a crossing and photo/video quite a # of times.

After that I went over to Tesco and got a Teriyaki chicken sandwich and some Pepsi and headed over to St John’s Wood Church Ground park and sat and people watched and enjoyed the sun.

What are you doing? Posting a letter.
I then headed off to Kilburn just because wanted to see that area  and then hopped on a bus just for the views from the top I went to the end of that bus line just to make it easier to get off. I then decided to head for Green Park and through there over to St James Palace I had not been there in a long time. When I came back to St James Park, I seem to be always drawn to that park I saw a lot of women coming out of Buckingham Palace they all wore hats and some were quite ridiculous. I guess they were at a Garden Party. I stopped in St James park again to rest up, and enjoy the ducks and pelicans.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Pisa rain and Pisa pie

Into the heavens

I caught the train to Pisa on Sunday it was hard to leave Florence and partly because I knew it was raining in Pisa. I got to the train and a well dressed woman and her daughter (gypsies) grabbed my suitcase and put it on the train and then demanded money. I gave them one euro but they wanted more they kept putting their hands out showing 5 euros and even shoved a printed piece of paper in my face. I kept saying no and they finally jumped off the train.

Kewal View
I arrived in Pisa to rain and guys asking me to buy an umbrella I said no thank you and got mocked no thank you no thank you. I asked at a hotel where the street my B and B was and then went walking in the rain. It wasn't heavy but it was enough to get me wet. I was wondering because it was only supposed to be 100 meters from the train and I was way past that. I walked into another B and B and asked and found out it was the other way the hotel guy said right right but should have said right then left.

Well got to the B and B and no one there I stood in the rain partly under shelter I kept ringing a couple came out of the building let me the B and B is in a building with lots of other tenants. I got in went up and kept knocking to no avail I started panicking I found the # and phoned the B and B and I thought there was an answer but nothing I went out in the rain and luckily found the tourist board and lucky they were open he told me up to today we close at 4 on Sunday. He was kind enough to call the place for me and got an answer and he said he'd be there in 5 minutes I waited a bit and headed over.

The man arrived a bit after and kept apologizing he is not there all the time and though the web site said noon to 8 it is better to email a time, you would arrive I should have did it just did not realize a small place, was thinking more like the places I had been. The place was small you walked into a small kitchen/living room a cosy couch and 3 rooms for people to sleep in. Mine actually had 2 rooms and the 2nd one was behind another door so it was another room.
Leaning Tower in the Rain
I was so wet I changed and headed out. I walked in search of the LEAN (leaning tower of Pisa as I named it) I was determined to find it in case if fell down, during the night. I found it there were people despite the rain and lateness then I walked back to the hotel saying no no no to umbrellas. Just before I got to my B and B the last block or two it came down heavy. I found a store open and bought an umbrella with the thought maybe it would make it not rain in the morning.

I went back to my room and just read and drank sherry repacked for the morning, and the flight back to London.

This morn got up showered very nice shower it was one bathroom for 3 rooms but I never had to wait. I then got dressed and went to eat there was mostly some sweet package and cookies a couple from Holland were staying there and came out so we chatted while we ate good thing they were there as they were able to figure out the coffee maker. I never would have got that part never saw anything quite like that.

I then put my cases near the couch as told and headed out. It was raining so I started singing raining in the Pisa I am raining in the Pisa but by the time I got to the LEAN it stopped. The sun even started to come out, and it was like a whole new place blue skies and sunshine. I went to get a ticket to climb the tower but I stood in line and the tickets for the next time sold out just as it was my turn of course. Anything after was too late so I just said figures and pouted a bit and then said oh well probably have had a heart attack climbing up. As it was it started sprinkling again soon after.

I took more pics and then cricket posed too then stopped and had a slice of pizza and as I figured it was crap I had to find out for myself what I was told... anyway back to the room and then off for the train the fare was cheap so decide better than dealing with the bus. I got to the airport and said farewell.


surreal