2011 UK and Ireland travel blog

Pat gazing skyward

"The Plank"

Inside Stonehenge


Pretty Garden in Lacock

Medieval Church in Lacock


The Baths

Pat at the Baths

Today we parted company with Joan and Pat heading off on a tour and Steve free to explore London on his own. The Tour Up early to take a cab to our pickup spot and then off to Stonehenge. Weather has changed and while it was supposed to rain the Gods smiled on us and the sun came out for our hour at Stonehenge. Cool and windy but that just added to the atmosphere. By special arrangement we were able to walk up to and among the stones - awe inspiring. Pat "planked" - great fun! Then it off to the medieval town of Lacock, setting for the Harry Potter films. There we had breakfast in a 14th century pub, where we discovered they know how to cook scrambled eggs outside of London. Well feed and a little sleepy it's off through the countryside to Bath. Time to visit the Abby and the Roman Baths. The exhibit at the Baths is hugely expanded since my last visit and while it is very interesting and educational the freedom to wander about has been lost - ah well I guess that is progress. Back on the bus again for the long 2.5 hour trip to London. For the return trip we took the Motorway - not recommended. All you see are trees. Needless to say most of the bus slept the whole way back!

Now over to Steve so he can tell you about his day.

Starting off with several Starbucks and a few Danishes I took my time getting started.

I did a lot of walking today through London, Up through Covent Garden over to Picadilly and HMV megastore again then Regent Street, Soho, Oxford Circus, Regent Park. Up Baker Street famous for all its Sherlock Holmes "history" passed Madame Tussauds Wax Museum and up into St. Johns Wood. I had a destination. Taking almost 2 hours of walking I finally arrived at the magical mythical Abbey Road. And Abbey Road Studios. Now I'm sure everyone recalls the Beatles superb album of the same name and their famous walk across the road. Well exactly as in the album cover, there is the Abbey Road crosswalk. An endless stream of visitors re-enacting the scene many in the precise movement and step as the Beatles. People of all ages, languages and ethnicities it is incredible. I simply sat on a bench nearby and watched in fascination. I have always been a huge Beatles fan and the older I get the more so. Abbey Road is like a Mecca. A really non-descript studio is an upscake residential area artists from Glenn Miller and Dinah Shore in WWII to the Beatles and Robert Plant & Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin have recorded here. The three of us are returning here tomorrow to get some photos. Got to have one of me in the crosswalk. The St. John Wood underground station is nearby and I took it back to our hotel's nearby stop in Covent Garden where I stopped for lunch. We will be taking the double-decker up to Abbey Road tomorrow. Wonderfully we catch it right outside our hotel and it runs directly to the Studios. I had a great steak & ale pie in a terrific pub and then napped before Joan & Mom returned from their journey to Stonehenge. Starting to rain we found a closeby restaurant-pub for dinner and met a couple our age from Chicago.

Long chat, wonderful people we came to quick agreement about several things. Too many people in London, everyone is in a hurry, agressive drivers and pedestrians, and a very noticable lack of customer service everywhere, a lack of courtesy and cordiality. People just not interested in your story. Very noticable to a North American. Joan & I glad it wasn't just us two crabby old people who picked up on it. But London is still a wonder!

The 4 of us went for ice cream and then back to hotel, as they were staying at the same as us. Again as I have always maintained Americans are the most friendly easy going people I have ever met. And once again I have been proven (proved?) right.

Until tomorrow Cheers from London.

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