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michael's trip to england in fall 1998

when my sister, dawna, lived in london, england for 2 years, i went and visited her and toured as much of london and england as humanly possibly for one week straight. at the end of the day, my sister wrote down for me everything we did that day, and for that i am thankful for, since i wouldn't remember much of what happened. we saw so much! below is a summary of my trip day by day.  
Wednesday, October 14, 1998 - mild weather
Got Mike at airport. Got home, no problem. Walked to Baker Street and saw Sherlock Holmes, got his calling card. Then while I got cash, Mike went and looked at 221B Baker Street (bank now) and then took Baker Street tube to Tower Hill Station and looked at London time line, then looked at Roman Wall. Then went into Tower of London. Saw crown jewels first, then got coffee, then went into Bloody Tower and then took tour. Tour guide was good and funny. Then went into White Tower (I feel asleep). Then went into rest of places open to public. Saw diamond exhibit that was way cool. Went to look at the public execution place. Then took the bus all through town and saw The Monument (from fire of 1666), St. Paul's Cathedral, Royal Courts of Justice, Trafalgar Square, National Gallery and St. Martin-in-the-Fields Church, Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Circus, and got off and walked to Tesco, got groceries, walked home and ate Paul Prodhomme's Hot and Sweet Turkey, ate smoky bacon and roasted chicken crisps and planned our adventures for the rest of Mike's vacation. Watched University Challenge and Smith and Jones.  
Thursday, October 15, 1998 - mild
Nice weather! Went out, Mike bought post cards, and tubed from Bond Street to the British Museum. Mike liked most everything - the Egyptian stuff, the Elgin Marbles, etc. Ate at the museum cafe, shared an olive and cream cheese sandwich and a curry chicken one. Then I went to get tickets for a play and Mike walked the museum more (mostly in the basement where there's no school children). I waited in line for 40-45 minutes and talked to three people - two guys from Denver and one woman from Boston. Got tickets for 'An Inspector Calls'. Then tubed and walked back to the museum, joined Mike, bought some roasted chestnuts and ate them (somewhat mushy) and we walked to the umbrella shop and then tubed down to Leicester Square and looked in shops there. Walked over to the British Tourism Office and got tickets for Madam Tussauds for tomorrow. Then we walked to The National Gallery and walked through every room there (I sat in every room there). Mike was certainly taken with the picture of the old woman. Then Mike bought a T-Shirt, and we went to a Post Office, then we bused up Charing Cross Road to the bookstores and Mike picked out a book from Foleys, a rather large bookstore. Then we tubed to Islington and walked to The Upper Street Fish Bar and I ate fish and chips and Mike had calamari and chips. Then we walked by the old place I used to live and showed Mike the height and narrowness of it (42 stairs) and then we walked on Liverpool Street to the Sainsbury and bought some groceries. We tubed from Angel Station to Great Portland Street Station and walked home.  
Friday, October 16, 1998 - cooler & damp
First we got the foam for the window seats. Then we went to Madame Tussauds and it was interesting and gory. Mike posed with Mr. T. The Spirit of London ride was deranged. Then we went to the British Library, and on the way from the tube we popped into St. Pancras. In the British Library, we first saw the upside down airplane stamp. Mike liked the illuminated manuscripts, and the Magna Carta. It was all interesting, especially the world maps. My sister really like the Bedford Hours from 1423. Then we had lunch - sandwiches and Mike tried a sausage roll. From there we tubed to the V & A. We saw the cast courts and Raphael's tapestries. Mike really enjoyed these, and the altar about St. George and his many deaths. After the V & A, we walked up the street and stopped at the Brompton Oratory - a Catholic Church and poked around. Then we walked up to Harrods and looked at the food courts and their opulent ceilings. From there we walked to Hyde Park and walked along Rotten Row and looked at the Royal Albert Hall and the Albert Memorial glittering in the sun. Then we walked along the flower path and looked at Kensington Palace and the sunken garden and then walked out of Kensington Gardens and walked by the old flat on Moscow Road and then circled back to Bayswater Road and caught the bus, viewing Hyde Park and the pet cemetery and Marble Arch (where the Tyburn Gallows used to be) and got off and walked home. We ate dinner and tubed to the play, An Inspector Calls. It was surreal. Then we tubed home and watched Black Adder IV, which was extremely funny.  
Saturday, October 17, 1998 - cold and windy
Off to St. Paul's Cathedral! Looked at marbles and fossils and followed the Rick Steves walking tour. Very pretty glass mosaics. Walked 350 steps up to the Golden Gallery, stopping at the Whispering Gallery to talk to Mike across the dome. Lovely view at the top - windy! On the Stone Gallery level talked with the guide - he must have been bored. On the Golden Gallery level, saw a woman who was panicking at being so high. Not fun for her! Walked down and down again. My sister was somewhat dizzy at the end. Into the crypt and looked at the Duke of Wellington's tomb, Admiral Lord Nelson's tomb, and a memorial to Florence Nightingale. Then onto the gift shop and then out to St. Paul's tube stop. Wanted to get off at Charing Cross but Northern Line was not working (what a surprise) so we took a bus down Charing Cross Road to St. Martin-in-the-Field's Cafe in the Crypt. Ate a good lunch and bought myself earrings. Then looked at the demonstration by minorities united for strength in Trafalgar Square and then sauntered down Whitehall. Using a Rick Steve's guide, we looked at buildings and statues and No. 10 Downing Street. Then we saw Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament. Then over to Westminster Abbey, but it and St. Margaret's Chapel were closed! Then we walked over to Westminster Cathedral and walked all around it. Very pretty. Good gift shop too. Then we tubed to Oxford Street and Baker Street and got the rest of my Christmas gifts. We walked into Europa groceries and then home. Saw on the news that Pinochet was in The Clinic 2 blocks right down our street and arrested today. Wacky. Making Shepherd's Pie and doing laundry and resting tonight. British police said Saturday they arrested former Chilean dictator General. Augusto Pinochet on charges of murdering Spanish citizens during his years in power.
"Pinochet, 82, in London for surgery, was arrested Friday night after British authorities received a Spanish extradition warrant, a Scotland Yard spokeswoman said, speaking anonymously." So he was down the street from us, 1 and 1/2 blocks down our street, at a medical clinic!
Sunday, October 18, 1998 - started cool, then got colder
Charles went out with Mike today. Walked past the Diageo building, looking at the Tucan Guinness Bar and the little castle figures up on the first floor. Then we strode down Oxford Street and went to Grosvenor Square. Saw the American Embassy, the FDR Memorial, and the Eisenhower Statue. Then they went to Speaker's Corner at Hyde Park by Marble Arch. Reminded Mike of Berkeley, colourful map of Europe was the high point. Usual religious fanatics, especially Islamic. They walked to Hyde Park Corner, and looked at the square there, with lots of monuments. Walked up Constitution Hill to Buckingham Palace (seeing Hard Rock Cafe in the distance). Mike thought Buckingham Palace looked like a plain government building. Nice moat around the Queen Victoria Memorial. Then went through St. James Park, saw pelicans, and then caught the St. James Park Tube. Went to Embankment and saw Cleopatra's Needle (like 4000 years old). Mike thought the steps and the handrails leading down into the Thames River were odd. Went to the Imperial War Museum (housed in the former Bethlehem Mental Hospital, or Bedlam). Mike thought it was nice - quite the contrast - art galleries at the top, the bottom was the trench warfare and the blitz presentation. The blitz was interesting, as they gather you in a room and try to recreate the feeling of being bombed in Britain. It was somewhat cheezy. The best part was the tanks, artillery, cannons, etc. and reading about their history and how they were used in the war. They also had a piece of the Berlin Wall. Then came home, bought bread, ate tuna salad sandwiches and leftover Shepherd's Pie. Watched the Bill and Hillary Clinton show, planned the next three days, ironed clothes, and hung out.  
Mike's favorite thing in London: V&A
Three other recommendations: British Library (not crowded, have to like books), British Museum (liked whole place - get a real sense of history), and the parks.  
Monday, October 19, 1998 - cold
Went from Baker Street Station to Paddington Station. Then caught a train to Windsor, switching at Slough. Walked to Windsor Castle - sunny but cold day. First went into St. George's Chapel, then into the Albert Memorial. Then into line looking at the doll's house, talked with guard about weapons on the wall, and then into the State Rooms. Opulent and splendor, especially the Albert Memorial. Mike liked the churches the best, so did Dawna (and the doll's house). Then walked into the town and had lunch and walked around and Dawna got her watch repaired and then caught train and went home and packed and planned for tomorrow's trip. Watched the show on Catholicism and Henry Enfield comedy show.  
Tuesday, October 20, 1998 - cold
Left early in morning and got to Warwick and walked all around. Full of wax figures and smells and sounds recreating the Medieval days and the Victorian days. Lots of stairs and lots of climbing. The Mound was cool looking. The topiary peacocks were cool. The Victorian garden had a pond with the netting on it and had the big ice shaft (to store ice for two years). Then we drove to Grassington and stayed the night in a B&B (large and nice rooms with nice view of sheep fields and weird shower) and ate dinner in a pub.  
Wednesday, October 21, 1998 - cold, wet, windy, wild
Stood at B&B window and watched rain gust in horizontally. Ate breakfast and went to Fountains Abbey. Very cool place (also cold and wet). Liked water garden alot, and saw lots of deer. Got wet. Went to York. Saw York Minster. Just made it into Crypt and Foundations before they closed. Walked along the medieval Shambles to the car park. Drove back to London. Driving in the UK is organized chaos - road signage is variable.  
Thursday, October 22, 1998 - cold
packed up, went to airport, flew home.  
home sweet home ||  Hallsted family picture ||  index of games to download and enjoy
the hallsted travel index page ||  Mineral & Sand Links & Blog Link ||  TBHCCS index page
mikey's geographic location only guestbook! ||  view fractal photo albums! ||  a site index!
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Saturday, March 19, 2005
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