Europe – Day 7 – January 31st, 2018: London, England and Brussels, Belgium

Adventure, food, Just things, pictures, Travel, Uncategorized

Admiralty Arch near Trafalgar Square – London, England

That’s right…back to the Continent today.

We got up and went back to the bakery I went to yesterday and grabbed a fresh croissant with ham and cheese, coffee, and another piece of raspberry torte.

Our train was not until this afternoon so we took in a bus ride and did some more sightseeing before checking out of our hotel. It was a rainy day in London, just a few sprinkles but overcast, grey, and a bit breezy. Much like home for me.

Our morning destination was Trafalgar Square, another famous place we have always heard about.

We got off the bus in front of the National Gallery. It’s an area not too far from the big attractions but we weren’t going to get to see some of them being on a limited time schedule today but that’s okay. I am quite certain that I will be back again. I have to…I have British Pounds left over.

Trafalgar Square – London, England

Trafalgar Square – London, England

Trafalgar Square – London, England

Trafalgar Square – London, England

Admiralty Arch near Trafalgar Square – London, England

One odd and interesting thing we saw was a Harris hawk and it’s handler.

Trafalgar Square pigeon control

They use the hawks as “pigeon control”. It is a huge open square and apparently they had a huge pigeon problem due to tourists feeding them. Perhaps they should use the hawks to take out the tourists instead.

It is a natural way to control pests at least…kinda like getting a cat to keep the mice away in your house.

It has been interesting to see in London there are crews sweeping and keeping the sidewalks clean. Most of what we have seen so far in the places we have been is that things are generally pretty clean. We never saw crews in any of the other cities.

We went back to our hotel and checked out of our room. Time to head back to St. Pancras Station to hop on the Eurostar – the bullet train – to leave London for Brussels. The train goes nearly 200 miles an hour and goes through The Chunnel. Pretty weird hauling ass through a tunnel under the English Channel. It was a fast and smooth ride.

Eurostar high-speed train

Inside the Eurostar high-speed train

We got to Brussels about 6 PM and checked in to our hotel room. We were hungry so I found another Italian restaurant nearby. Off we went into the night through the dark backstreets of Brussels.

We ended up at le Chambord after an interesting journey to get there. We started down the road and turned the corner where we went past some, shall we say, strange people that we kept an eye on…until we walked past windows full of red lights and prostitutes. Just another day in Europe I guess.

Dinner was great. Penne carbonara with bread, a glass of wine and an appetizer of tomatoes with buffalo mozzarella, greens, and balsamic. We left there quite full.

We wrapped up the night looking at options for our next destination. We have an idea but we’ll see what happens and where we end up!

Europe – Day 6 – January 30th, 2018: London, England

Adventure, food, Just things, pictures, Travel, Uncategorized

Artwork I saw on the way back from the laundrette – London, England

Today we got up early to go to the launderette. We were both out of clean clothes and this was a good day to do it since we had the opportunity. It was just a few blocks away but we had to get breakfast first so we went to a coffee shop we saw last night.

We went there after the sign we saw on the sidewalk said that they had a bacon breakfast sandwich. That was delicious and we both could have eaten another but we needed to get things done.

After laundry we took another walk around a different area close by. There are little shops and restaurants everywhere on every block.

We took a few minutes at our room and then we met up with another guy Jim knows named Nigel. He took time out of his day and took a three hour train ride (one way!) to meet us and give us a tour of historic music sites around London.

Jim and I walked over ten miles today and most of it was with Nigel. We saw several sites that you may have heard of…

How about Apple Corps. headquarters…the place that The Beatles filmed their infamous rooftop concert?

How about the famous fashion area called Carnaby Street?

And there is the famous EMI Records office building where The Beatles took the pictures looking down from a balcony for the red and blue albums (this is not the original building but is similar).

There was Piccadilly Circus…

…and a place Hendrix used to hang out at…

It was quite interesting to see these places that musicians frequented that I heard of when I was a kid.

While we were out we stopped for a pint and some fish and chips at an English pub. I really like these pubs and if I lived near one it would be a frequent hangout for the atmosphere. An occasional Guinness would be consumed as well I am certain.

Both ways we ride the London Underground. Some call it The Tube. Very convenient, but on the way back we got into rush hour and it was packed. I thought we would have to lube up to fit into the car. It was so packed I thought my asscheeks were going to get picked off when the doors shut.

Tomorrow we have the morning and part of the afternoon to go sightsee some more before we leave.

It’s going to be another great adventure!

Europe – Day 5 – January 29th, 2018: London, England

Adventure, food, Just things, pictures, Travel, Uncategorized

London Underground station – London, England

Cheers from our next stop…London!

We flew into London and arrived around noon or so. Not as early as we wanted and the plane boarding and leaving late was unacceptable. We flew easyJet and they were pretty disorganized. Flight attendants were nice but the gate people just were not

Fortunately, this was our last flight until we go back to the States. From here out it will be mass transit and no firm plans other than when we are leaving London and when we leave Europe.

We got to our destination via train from the airport and ended up on the King’s Cross/Pancras train station. This is the same train station in the Harry Potter movies.

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St. Pancras Station – London, England

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St. Pancras Station – London, England

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St. Pancras Station – London, England

We went for a hike around our hotel in the King’s Cross area and checked out a few local sites. We then went to an Italian restaurant called Casa Mamma’s and ate what is easily the best lasagna I have ever eaten. It was fantastic.

We walked around some more to get dinner worked off and stopped by the local grocery store for a snack. There are lots of interesting snacks and I’d like to try most every one of them!

Eager to get an early start we went to sleep at a decent time. We have a big day planned for tomorrow!

Light as Art

Just things

At the Hayward Gallery in London, England is an art show all about light. Here is a link for it: http://www.king5.com/news/slideshows/Photos-Light-as-art-show-in-London-188846211.html?gallery=y&c=y&ref=%2F#/news/slideshows/Photos-Light-as-art-show-in-London-188846211.html?gallery=y&c=y&ref=%2F&img=0&c=y.

There is some really cool pictures on here. The one that really catches me is the first one with the rooms. Many other ones are pretty interesting as well, but that one is so simple, yet intense and interesting.

I would love to see this show – maybe it will travel over here.