Country Mouse in the City


London is a magnificent city, but I have to admit it was my least favorite part of the trip. We only spent one full day there, and it was an adventure taking the tube (London Underground)! (Strange people!!) But with the traffic and the crowds, I missed hedgerowed lanes and sheep….. It was the first day of ice skating at the Tower. Nine hundred years of violent executions and now they hold ice skating there! Makes a pretty picture, though, huh?

We did the Thames River walk, which took about an hour and an half, starting at the Tower of London.
The Thames River path is a great walk and brought us by Tower Bridge, the replica of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, Fishmongers’ Hall, Southwark Cathedral, the Tate Modern Museum, the famous OXO Tower, the London Eye, Cleopatra’s Needle, Charing Cross, and ending at Parliament and Big Ben.
It started raining and it got too dark to take decent photos. We’d arrived in London the night before, late, turned in our rental car and taken the tube to an ill-chosen hostel where we’d arranged to spend two nights. It was the most awful hostel in the history of hostels. I sat down on the street in front of it at midnight and cried because I didn’t want to go inside, but it was too late to do anything else. It was just as awful inside as I expected from the outside. I was exhausted by the following afternoon from a night of loud noises, voices inside the hostel, banging outside the hostel. We did not stay the second night.
Across from the Parliament, we dashed into a pub till the rain let up then back on the tube–to a nice, clean, lovely Holiday Inn near the airport.
Ninety-nine percent of the trip was incredible, so I can’t complain too much. You gotta have a little rain to have the rainbow. (Sometimes, you gotta have a little rain on your camera lens, too.)
(Photo of a double rainbow taken from the side of one of England’s scary roads.)

The next time I go to England, I doubt I will plan any time in London. It’s a beautiful city, but it’s expensive and crowded and it’s just not my thing. I absolutely loved the English countryside. I want to spend more time clambering over hedges and climbing on rocks and hiking up hillsides and dreaming in ruins.

And, you know, of course…..
….I need to spend more time with my friends. Goodbye till next time.
Honey, I’m home!

I’m on vacation. This week, I’m republishing a series of posts from my 2006 trip to England. Enjoy! Keep up with my current trip on the Daily Farm Photo page.

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Posted by Suzanne McMinn on August 15, 2009  

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10 Responses | RSS feed for comments on this post

  1. 8-15

    Welcome home! Hope you had a good time on this trip. Thanks for sharing the English adventure here while you were away this time, but we can’t wait for an update on the farm. I’m sure you were missed. hugs from PA – connie

  2. 8-15

    Your photos of your past England trip are beautiful. I’ve always wanted to go to Ireland, which in my imagination at least looks a lot like your photos — green, lots of sheep, castles, cliffs overlooking the ocean, pubs, friendly people. Someday…

  3. 8-15

    It’s too bad that the trip had to end that way. But then I am sure it made you appreciate the rest of the trip that much more.
    Welcome home. Can’t wait for tomorrow to see how everything has gone at the farm while you in Florida!

  4. 8-15

    You got some really good photos despite your problems. A day in London is enough for most people.

    I’m sure that the undergounds attract the nutters. The Tube in London certainly does and we’ve met a few in Barcelona on their Metro. That’s apart from the thieves!

    Suzanne maybe you should try south west Wales next time, the coast and countryside is lovely. Alternatively come north, Yorkshire countryside is lovely and the Northumberland coastline is fantastic and usually deserted. Take a trip to Lindisfarne, Holy Island as we call it, just beautiful. Then there’s Scotland! Sheep aplenty in all these places!

    Hope you had a lovely holiday.

  5. 8-15

    I spent 2 nights in London in a tent, camping with what seemed like hundreds of other people, then finally the very last night in a small hotel so I could pack for the trip home. Your photos are amazing, and bring back wonderful memories for me. I know you’ve had a great time in Florida, and we all look forward to your reunion with the farm, the critters, 52 and your sons!

  6. 8-15

    I spent 5 days in London in late 2007 and while I found it expensive and noisy and crowded I still loved it. I want to go back to England and go north, or go to Wales or Scotland ….. that will be a nice trip.

    What I loved about London was the architecture … and the fact that she survived the bombings during the war. I loved Trafalgar Square, WestminsterAbby, Buckingham Palace and St. James Park ….. just loved it all.

    You would love Ireland …. they have sheep there too.

  7. 8-15

    I took a trip to England last October. LOVED it, though I spent most of my time in Oxfordshire, Derbyshire, and Yorkshire. Since I went to Dorset the last time I went (back in college), I wanted to explore some other places.

    And the rain in my trip was food poisoning in London! It was HORRIBLE. And since I went by myself, I had no one to look after me. It was just me in my hotel room. Nothing much worse than being so violently ill in a foreign country, all alone. But I made it through.

    Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to see a bit of London – just the tube. I got in on a Friday night, checked into my hotel, and ate supper – 20 minutes later I was sicker than a dog. So, no traipsing around London. Unfortunately, I had wanted to do most of my souvenir shopping for my family/friends in London, so they got the short end of the deal!

  8. 8-15

    My sister and family was walking Hadrian’s Wall the year they had the terrorist bombing in the tube in London – of course, I called wanting her home NOW! But being so far from London she wanted to finish the trip. She said if you like sheep, then you have to walk the Wall – it is all through sheep fields and the accompaning sheep s**t! Her hubby sprained his ankle the first day out so he pub crawled in cabs, while she, a girlfriend and her 18 yo son crawled through sheep do! She absolutely loved it – said how lovely the people were and how nice every B&B was. Said that when they arrived in a pub they were a novelity as most people who walk the Wall are men – that it was rare for women to do it! She hated London also – noisy, crowded and expensive. When my mom was there she tried creating a minor international flap buy suggesting they have a “National Squab Day” and everyone have pigeon for dinner to rid Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace of some of the pigeon dung! I guess she figured being only a second gen Welsh-American gave her rights to voice her opinion! :sheep:

  9. 8-16

    Hostel? WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD EVEN CONSIDER STAYING IN A HOSTEL?? (Especially anyone over 20) :lol:

  10. 8-30

    I’m glad that you enjoyed your trip and I quite agree that London is horrid! I lived there for 27 years and when I had my daughter I moved out to the coast and hate it when I have to go back there to see family and friends.

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