Saturday, November 22, 2008

Giant sundials and royal silliness

Monday my friend Carla flew in from NZ for a quick trip through this land and into Europe. So I took Tuesday and Wednesday off work and here's what we got up to! Tuesday we rented a car and drove south west to Stonehenge on the Salisbury plains. This was my first time to visit the famous landmark and although impressive when you read the history of it its not that impressive just to look at! It's not helped by a £6.50 entry to walk around it from a rather far away distance. It was also bitterly cold with a strong wind whipping across the plains. Then we drove off towards Bath stopping at a nice country pub for a baguette lunch. Then on to Bath where we wandered around the city centre which is very quaint and old--more like a European city than an English one. And with the Avon river running right through the middle it is a beautiful sight. We were going to drive over the Severn Bridge so Carla could say she had been to Wales but it was getting dark so she would have seen nothing so we drove back to London. After a late dinner we met Carla's friend Jen at Euston station and I drove them on a tour of London by night, past all the main locations. London is a whole lot more beautiful at night than during the day! Wednesday we were up early to get the rental car back on time. We then walked up to Buckingham Palace and down Pall Mall to Trafalgar Square and New Zealand house. Then back to Buckingham Palace to watch the changing of the guard. What a waste of money!! In my opinion it brings more shame on the royal family and England as a country. I don't know how much a year they waste in paying those people to march around and ride horses looking all historical etc all for a few tourists to be shouted at by English policemen in high vis yellow jackets looking all modern and silly. The people are half climbing the fence to take pics of a ceremony that none of us understand or can hear or really know what is going on. England and the royal family would do much better to feed some hungry orphans or tackle some much bigger issues. Another example of British reluctance to let go of the past and move on. We then took a black cab to Harrods which has everything at crazy prices but also has a Krispey Kreme store! Next up we went to Camden Markets for lunch and browsing. Then home so the girls could have naps while I cooked them dinner and then we went back into London to see the Lion King. A brilliant show!! We had great seats--up quite high but central and all clear views. The music and costumes were amazing and was a great night out.

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