Liza & Ben's Travels

London: Museums

We did hit many of the museums, as one ought. London is glutted with museums, and fortunately Caroline pointed us to a couple of very cool ones… Museum of London I picked this one because bits of the ancient London Wall go near it, and because it’s all about London, unlike say the British Museum, which Caroline described as <where to go see all the things Brits stole>. The Tate Modern The Novelty Automation place Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre Sir John Soane’s Museum Architect Sir John Soane rebuilt these to house his work, home and massive collection of art, many of…

Day 4: Old Houses

Yesterday we went to Castle Combe (pronounced “COOM”) and Lacock (pronounced “LAY-cuck”), which are uber picturesque Cotswold villages that have had all the movies filmed at them. Driving between them, we saw old thatch-roofed houses. They’re stuck in a time warp, with rules severely limiting what can be done to them. It’s funny, because going to visit we feel like we’re going back in time to see how it was, but there are paved roads, cars (including a Lotus!), public toilets, electricity, and modern tourists. All we’re really seeing is how people built, as long ago as 1197. And it’s…

Day 4: Old Houses

Yesterday we went to Castle Combe (pronounced “COOM”) and Lacock (pronounced “LAY-cuck”), which are uber picturesque Cotswold villages that have had all the movies filmed at them. Driving between them, we saw old thatch-roofed houses. They’re stuck in a time warp, with rules severely limiting what can be done to them. It’s funny, because going to visit we feel like we’re going back in time to see how it was, but there are paved roads, cars (including a Lotus!), public toilets, electricity, and modern tourists. All we’re really seeing is how people built, as long ago as 1197. And it’s…

Day 3: Cheddar Gorge & Cooperative Driving

The last bit of our tour through Somerset was through Cheddar Gorge. Our tour guide suggested we might not enjoy it if we’ve seen the Grand Canyon or Yosemite, but we thought it was beautiful. The town of Cheddar is where the cheese comes from. We opted not to stop for cheese and cider, because we’d all eaten at both Wells and Glastonbury. What surprised me about this part of the tour was how much cooperation is required between drivers going in opposite directions. It was worse when one of them is a wide tour bus, but there were a…

Day 2: Grosvenor Square

With the part of our morning not spent eating, packing, or getting to the train station, we took a walk to Grosvenor Square in Mayfair. All the Regency books set in London (ok, maybe not all of them) have their heroes living in Mayfair, often on Grosvenor Square. If all of those characters actually lived there, there would be many times as many houses as fit around the square. 😆 So we had to visit, while we were in walking distance. It seems like Americans have basically taken over the square. The biggest monument in the park is a statue…

Day 3: Glastonbury (but not the Tor)

Funny story. Apparently today is May Day. We inadvertently picked May Day (or Beltane, to all you Druid/New-Age types) as the day for our tour of Wells and Glastonbury. Even our tour guide forgot that it was May Day, and that Glastonbury, the ur-New-Age town, would be overrun. And I mean overrun. They were all in New Age / Goddess / Green Man / faery / hippy wear, because it’s Beltane. Many had matted hair, swishy skirts, there was a guy in a leafy mask, and a woman with elf ears. There were literally hundreds of people marching from the…

Day 3: Wells & Wells Cathedral

Today we took a tour—turned out to be just three of us, which was a little rough on the tour guide, who has a bus big enough for 16—to Wells and Glastonbury and Cheddar Gorge. More about Glastonbury & Cheddar Gorge later. Wells is a city I’d never heard of. Wikipedia tells me it’s only a city because it’s been called a city since medieval times, largely because it has a cathedral. (I didn’t learn why the cathedral was built there in the first place.) It’s only about 3 km2, and has a population of less than 10k. It’s named…

Day 2: Paddington Station Redux

I found a whole Paddington Bear store at Paddington Station, while we waited for our train to Bath. I was charmed. We did make it to Bath. Our airbnb flat is lovely, with tall ceilings and huge windows, overlooking a park. Other than going to the Sainsbury’s for groceries and to an Indian restaurant for dinner, we haven’t seen much of the town. What we have seen seems to be charming, if touristy.