- Samuel Johnson (poet and writer 1709 - 1784)
We left Istanbul with one eye on our final destination, Vancouver, and the other on our next short stop - London. We were hoping to meet our good friends Matt, Cora and little Frank but sadly they were out of town but kindly let us use their house.
Upon arrival we made our way out to their area of town and bumbled our way out of the tube at 11pm that evening. Emerging out onto the streets of London we were first hit by the cool northern air and then by the sudden re-entry into "western culture". Within steps of the station, with backpacks on, we bumped into a group of three exiting the local pub. Being fairly inebriated one of them quickly watered down the wall of a nearby building while the other two started to get to know each other a little better. Classy.
Following Matt's directions we made to their friends place, received a map and keys and marched on to their new home. Their home is located in a very attractive, leafy area of the city and the home itself is complete with garden and large yard. We were tempted to extend our stay as squatters in the backyard but wisely decided against it.
(London from the eye - did Joel sniff glue?)
We spent the first day checking out the most popular sites of London town. We started at the photogenic Westminster combination of the Parliament, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. A walk across the Thames and we were on the South Bank where we strolled the next few hours. Clouds and intermittent rain welcomed us this day and we were glad to have it. We wore jackets and pants for the first time in many months and actually enjoyed it. That'll wear off quick.
A stop at the Tate Modern where Joel again faked interest for a few hours. A remarkable collection of work , it was a nice place to shelter from the summer rains, people watch and appear cultured while exiting.