Saturday, July 25, 2015

A Soft Landing in London

After spending time lost in the warren of tunnels that underlie Reno, Nevada, eating cave crickets and subsisting on what ever water we could collect dripping from the ceiling, we finally found an exit and emerged back into daylight. C's family, delighted to once again breathe deep of fresh air and satisfied that we would, in fact, all survive, insisted on joining hands. Afraid that we would once again take a wrong turn and return to the underground maze, C and I headed immediately to the airport to seek safer ground in London. We brought C's sister with us for good measure, and wished C's parents good luck.

London was for us just a way point, not a destination. It was a place with mileage ticket availability. But you could do worse for arrival cities, and we took advantage by staying three nights. Last time we were in London, I was on a work trip with lodging provided. We stayed in Mayfair, in the heart of some of the most expensive real estate in the world. This time, on our own dime, we found lodging in the suburbs. It was less convenient to the city, but much gentler on the budget. We stayed in West Ealing, former home to a thriving film industry and current home to a clutch of quality Indian and Middle Eastern restaurants.

Our hotel is owned and operated by the Fuller brewery, and accordingly came with ready access to a pub, meaning we had available the finest view in all of London: a row of tap handles.

Somehow, though, C managed to pull me away from the bar and we immersed ourselves in the tides of history. No better place to do so than the British Museum, where the plunders of colonial rule are on display. It turns out, we were not the only people to visit the British Museum that day. The Egyptian galleries were particularly popular.

I lost track of many of the details, but I'm pretty sure we also saw statues of British royalty, including these nude depictions of King Henry VIII and Hamlet.

What's that you say? Henry VIII was not renowned for his athletic physique or prowess with the discuss ? And Hamlet was Danish? And fictional? Well, as noted, the details escape me. Suffice to say, we saw many a fine butt cheek preserved in marble.

I won't say that we had had our fill of bare butts. In fact, I'm not sure that such a limit exists. But our time in London had nevertheless come to an end.  Much like Reno hides danger in its many and varied subterranean tunnels, London threatens all with unpredictable giant marbles that tend to flatten anyone unlucky enough to be in their path.  Having seen one too many small child lost, we decided it was time to leave, lest we fall victim too.  Next stop: Cochem, Germany, by way of four trains.

A few additional photos:

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