Hitting Great Britain
Trip Start Jan 18, 2007
10Trip End Mar 28, 2007
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Arrived - bright 'n early in the Queendom and met up with Dale who guided us to her place of residence... about 10 minutes away from Waterloo Station.
Checked the usual tourist sites - Trafalgar Square, Big Ben, Parliament, Westminister Abbey, St Paul's Cathedral, the London eye, etc.
Weather was strangely good =) and all in all a good first day in London.
Bath is a charming English city with a more charming Roman heritage. Completely forgotten and buried under layers of street and buildings, rediscovered in the Victorian 1800's is a Roman Bath network of temples and hot spring fed baths dedicated to Minerva, and a host of other minor deities, both imported Roman and local Gods set up shop here. It is fascinating to be able to look at history as a three dimensional process. Standing 20 feet below ground level and looking up past the layers of street and stone that were literally built up and over this amazing feat of architecture. The Roman Baths were rediscovered in the late 1700's because water was leaking into someone's basement. When they went in to discover the cause, they found this extensive network of baths, many with still working plumbing from 300 A.D.
Another highlight of the trip were Dale's excellent bacon and egg sandwiches.
The following morning we went on a pilgrimage specifically for Bruce: the Winston Churchill Museum and the Cabinet War Rooms. Jessilyn did a very good job pretending to be interested while Bruce wandered around the museum, dedicated to one of his favorite human beings. I think she may even have liked it, though she'll never admit it. It is a fascinating place, including the underground War Rooms from which Churchill and his military advisors ran the entirety of the British involvement in WWII.
We also found an interesting fact. Winston Churchill became famous during the Anglo-Boer war, fought in South Africa, when he was a war correspondent for a British newspaper. He was with a troop transport train that was ambushed. He was captured and put in a POW camp where he escaped into the desert and found safety on an English farm. He returned home a war hero.
This segues us nicely into the next portion of their trip!
Except for that damn chronological order. A perfectly good segue ruined by a trip to the London Eye, which we visited next. Then off to Heathrow, for a 11 hour plane trip to Johannesburg, and then a 1 hour flight to East London, South Africa.
Please, continue reading. Coming up next is Bruce's fascinating four page account of what the Indian Ocean looks like from 10,000 metres.
All the best.
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