Sunday, January 10, 2010
More travels with my sister
Not that we're doing that much travelling - mostly back and forth in between Bromley South and London and all over London. So we're becoming familiar with the trains and the tubes and today we progressed to buses so we could stay aboveground a bit more. The London transportation system is fantastic! And everything is communicated so clearly - we have been very impressed.
So yesterday we went on a boat cruise on the Thames in the morning and then in the afternoon we met up with Naomi and Ben at Trafalgar Square. They drove in from another part of England to spend time with us and given the snowy conditions, unfamiliar to the Brits, we were very honoured that they made the effort. We had a great time together, poking around the National Gallery a bit before we went looking for a place to have supper.
Eventually we ended up at the Anchor Pub, near the replica of the Golden Hind and not far from the Globe Theatre, and had a great meal of fish and chips. But even better than the meal was the wonderful time that we had together and good conversation with this young couple, who we really appreciated. They were good sports, in spite of the bitter cold weather.
Today (Saturday) we met up with my good friends, Kathleen and Said, who I haven't seen in 4 years. They are now living and working in London and we had a very happy reunion. It was wonderful to be together with them and they showed us a fantastic time! First we had coffee, then wandered a bit around Covent Garden, then headed to another part of town to find a Lebanese restaurant. It was super having Said take us there, order for us and explain all the different dishes to us. The meal was really delicious - baba ghanouj, falafel, pita, chicken, vegies, mint tea, baklava and great company. I don't know how long we were there but we talked for hours and hours before we finally headed back out into the cold.
We took a walk through an Arab neighbourhood and were very interested in the different shops that Said led us to. I ate rose petals. My sister tried on perfume that cost 10,000 pounds a bottle. We sampled Lebanese ice cream, smelled frankincense, and we learned about how a hookah works. Then it was off for a quick peak at Fortnum and Mason before seeking warmth once more in a British tea place.
There is still lots of fuss about snow and cold here in Britain and much uncertainty about whether trains are running on schedule or at all. In fact, we're beginning to wonder how our flights will be on Monday and whether, in fact, we will be able to fly out!