Here we are in Venice in our cozy home-away-from-home. It’s been a while since we posted so bear with me while I catch up.
We were bound and determined to go to Greenwich so Friday we set out to do just that. Alan checked the weather and said he didn’t see rain in the forecast so off we went, sans umbrellas. You guessed it, it poured the entire time. Not just a light misty rain, but pouring down New Orleans style, need a golf size umbrella, rain.
We took the tube to Westminster and then got on the boat to Greenwich. The wharf is right at the tube station so it was no problem. It was still clear for the trip up the Thames (or is it down the Thames) to Greenwich and it is such a great view of London.
After we landed I realized I had no idea where we were going in Greenwich because we had not landed in the same place as I remembered. We did finally find the Royal Observatory (which is the Longitudinal Museum to me), and as before it is fascinating. Alan had just finished reading Longitude by Dava Sobel which is about the competition to solve the problem of finding longitude. Alan got to stand on the Prime Meridian so now we have stood on both the Equator and the Prime Meridian.
We then were very wet and very hungry so we found the pub The Plume of Feathers which our friends David and Katie had recommended. What a great authentic neighborhood pub, complete with several very wet dogs and their owners coming in for a pint!
After a great pub lunch and warming up some, we went back into the rain and over to the Royal Maritime Museum. I really wanted Alan to see Lord Nelson’s coat, etc. but the one with the bullet hole had been removed and there was another there. There were pictures of the one with the bullet hole though. The museum was great though and much bigger than I remembered.
We caught the boat back and could see nothing because of the rain. We went into the Westminster tube station, onto the Jubilee tube line with next stop, Wembley Park Station for the World Cup Qualifying game between England and Montenegro. Although it was a rather one-sided game with England winning 4-1, we and almost 84000 of our new best friends had a grand time. The noise level is amazing, the soccer was fun to watch and the stadium was beautiful. Great time!
It was very late when we got home, so we just had cheese, sausage and crackers before we went to bed. We did Skype the kids first about the game! Always soccer! The next morning our friend Noelle who lives in Cambridge came in to spend the day with us. First we went to the Churchill War Rooms. Neither Alan nor I had ever been there and having just finished listening to a couple of books about Britain during World War Two, (Blackout and All Clear, both by Connie Willis and The Secret Keeper, whose author I forget, and Life After Life by Kate Atkinson) we both really enjoyed seeing this. Noelle, on the other hand, doesn’t like being underground, so we thank her so much for coming with us. We then went to the Courtauld Museum. Again having just listened to a book about the Impressionists, this museum was fabulous. (Sacred Bleu by Christopher Moore). It would have been fabulous even if we hadn’t listened to the book.
We then went over to Wigmore Hall to hear the Nash Consort Chamber orchestra. We ate dinner downstairs at the Wigmore and had a very good, unhurried dinner before going upstairs for a very enjoyable concert. We left Noelle afterwards as she was going back to Cambridge. We got to the tube station to find our line was not running that night, but we have gotten pretty good at this tube stuff, so found an alternative with no problem. We got back to the apartment and could not get in. No response from the owner who lives downstairs, so we called the emergency number for Ivy Lettings, the company we rented through. She spent about 45 minutes with us trying to figure out why we couldn’t get in, and just before she called a locksmith, she asked if we had tried the bottom lock. DUH! When we checked in, we were told not to use that one, so we really hadn’t tried it. Once in the apartment, we collapsed and slept until after 11 the next morning.
So there we were, once more, having planned on going this time to Hampton Court but also having slept half the day away. AND it was raining again. We decided to go to Kensington Palace which was very close to our apartment instead. On the walk there, through Hyde Park, one of the London police stopped to chat about the weather not being good for walking in the Park and, of course what else, about soccer. We got to Kensington Palace and explored the whole thing. Again it was great to experience all this history. Even Alan is becoming more and more interested in history as we travel more and more.
Afterwards we walked over to our favorite arcade on Brompton Road and Exhibition Road and went the Polish restaurant Daquise. The food was just perfect for a rainy night.
This whole area where we have been staying is so international and has had such good restaurants and places to go that we could have spent a month never leaving the neighborhood and still not seen everything.
We went home after dinner and put off and put off packing but finally had to break down and do it. The next morning Parker Car Service was right on time to take us to Gatwick. It is quite a bit farther away than Heathrow so we had plenty of time to talk to our driver about guess what? Of course, soccer!
Our short BA flight to Venice was totally uneventful, luggage arrived safely and we walked right onto an Alilaguna boat which dropped us close to the apartment. Sabrina the owner was there and greeted us as old friends. After settling in, we went out looking for dinner, found A La Strega closed and so went to La Cantina. There we had great wine, a very good cheese platter and an outstanding raw fish platter. Back to the apartment, Skyped the kids, and unpacked and into bed around 1. Today we woke up at noon (well, Alan woke up at noon, and I woke up at 12:30!!). So much for planning the day. After breakfast (can we call it that at 1 PM), we went to the Vodafone store to get the Sim card. While waiting our turn, we realized we didn’t have our Passports. Alan ran back to the apartment while I window shopped and got back in about 25 minutes. We got the Sim and Then wandered around and are finally back here. Tonight we are meeting with “Kattibella” from Slow Travel and are having dinner at one of our favorite places, da Alberto. So now we are finally caught up. Hopefully we will stay that way. More later. Maybe some food porn tomorrow.


Day 6-10, Can’t believe it is so long since we posted — 10 Comments

  1. Glad to know you didn’t let a few downpours deter you . The dear old Daquise in South Ken ! It got overhauled and fancied up about 10 years ago but when I knew it first, it was a wonderful cheap and cosy cafe, much frequented by impoverished local students and elegant emigre countess types. I lived for a while on Bute Street (v near) and had many a dish of sustaining dumpling soup. Looking forward to hearing about your rather more refined dining to come in Venezia.

  2. Glad to hear from you again! But I know from experience how hard it is when traveling to find the time to write about it – so thanks.
    Sounds like you had some wonderful adventures in London — and getting caught in the rain is par for the course!
    Envy you the stay in Venice – one of these years we will return! Say hi to Kattibella for me.

  3. Thanks for the travel update. David will be green about the soccer game. Glad you are nicely ensconced in your Venice home.

  4. Great recap! How fun that you’re meeting up with kattibella.
    Looking forward to food-porn!!
    Enjoy every moment and every morsel.

  5. Even in the pouring rain I was loving your days. I want to stand on the Prime Meridian, too! Glad you’re now in Venice. I really like alla Strega. Too bad it was closed. Yes, to food porn!!