Pastan-Cohens in England

Thursday, April 1

In the Philadelphia airport


Friday, April 2

We explored around our neighborhood, including the nice little park directly across the street from our flat. We had some pizza at a local restaurant, and then slept fitfully.

Saturday, April 3

Our first full day, we took the tube to Trafalgar square, walked down to the Thames, and took a boat tour. We also had some great Indian food at Rasa W1.

Sunday, April 4

We walked all over, starting with a long walk along the Chelsea embankment, toward the Royal Hospital and on to Sloane Square. After a quick lunch we visited the Victoria and Albert Museum, where David wanted to see a special exhibit on lighting, as well as lots of older decorative arts. We then took the tube down to the London Eye. We miraculously still had some energy, so we went over to Kensington Palace, walked around the garden, and had tea at the Orangery.

Monday, April 5

With Bess's encouragement, we took a double-decker bus out to Kew Gardens. We visited the palm house, the water lilies, and a special exhibit of baby animals. We finished up with the almost-daily tea at the orangery.

Tuesday, April 6

A pretty rainy day. We took the tube to the St. Paul's station, walked through the cathedral (it's under significant repair), then across the Millennium Bridge, an on into the Tate Modern. The Tate Modern groups artwork according to theme, which works pretty well. We saw Chicago that night. It was fun, with good dancing, but not a memorable song in the lot. Lots of Russian tourists in the audience.

Wednesday, April 7

They give a great tour at the Tower of London, but the crown jewels were a little disappointing (maybe our expectations were too high). I wanted to ask our guide what the connection is between the historical bloodlust of the English and modern day football hooliganism. But I didn't. In the afternoon, we had an excellent and fancier-than-expected high tea at a swanky department store. Welsh rarebit, clotted cream, oh my!

Thursday, April 8

We took a slow boat ride up the Thames from Westminster to Greenwich. After our first pub meal of fish and chips, we trekked up to the Royal Observatory. We also checked out the Cutty Sark before heading home.

Friday, April 9

We packed up and then Bess and David went to pick up the rental car. It only took them an hour to drive the five miles back to the flat from Marble Arch. After grabbing a quick lunch, we drove past lots of sheep, to Stratford-upon-Avon.


Saturday, April 10

Stratford-upon-Avon is seething with tourists. We still managed to enjoy a trip to the Anne Hathaway cottage just outside of town. It has a nice thatched roof and pretty cool garden, including a maze composed of hedges, which the girls had fun solving. Afterwards, we took a nice walk through some picturesque farmland on some of the ubiquitous public rights-of-way. In the evening, we attended the Royal Shakespeare Company's production of Romeo and Juliet. We all enjoyed it. Then, after the play, we drove down the M5 to Bath.


Sunday, April 11

The bed and breakfast just outside of Bath, Weston Lawn, was very nice. We used it as our base to explore Avebury, which is a four or five thousand year old stone monument, similar to Stonehenge, but bigger and more spread out. It actually has a small village within it. We had a nice pub lunch at the Red Lion pub in Avebury.

Monday, April 12

Our last day in England. We tour around Bath, having a look at the old Roman baths as well as the Bath Abbey - the "Lantern of the West." The abbey has lots of memorial stones on its interior walls. Perhaps some of these people knew Jane Austen. Best name on a memorial - Marmaduke Peacocke. After having high tea in the Bath Pumphouse, we drove back to London and Gatwick. On the way, we drove right past Stonehenge.