London (5 May - 14 May, 2002)

New Zealand



London (and our brief stopover in Frankfurt) was a 35 degree temperature drop from Delhi - from low 40's to 7 degrees Celsius. We wore all the warm clothing we had, and we were still cold! 
changing of the guard

reading in the local library

Hampton Court Palace

Unknown to us, we arrived in London on the Sunday of a long weekend. We had hoped to find a self contained flat, but the management companies that look after them were all closed for the holidays. We spent our first night with Sarah's cousin Joss (& Bill) in North London. Our kids got to meet their English cousins, Lando and Oli. Mark was two and Heather a newborn when we saw them last.  

We found a nice bed and breakfast ("Charlie's" on Ansen Rd) around the corner from Joss and Bill and stayed there for the next week.

Surprisingly, one of my first feelings of London was how quiet it was. Yes, it had all the typical city noises of cars and motorbikes, but indoors it was so quiet that it almost hurt. After a while, I realized that this was the first time since Australia where we have not had a fan or air conditioner running in our room. This lack of background white noise was eerie.

We were quite the tourists in London: we saw a matinĂ©e performance of the Phantom of the Opera, the Tower of London, changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace, Harrods, Hampton Court Palace, the new London Eye, the Tate Modern Gallery, Big Ben, the parliament buildings, and all the usual spots that tourists go. We also had some downtime while playing soccer and reading in the local library. Many things have changed since Sarah and I were last here: cream, smarties and pastilles all do not seem to be as good as we remembered them (but maybe that is just our memories!). They have also changed ambulance and police sirens to match North American sirens, and we have yet to see a policeman wearing a London Bobbie hat. 

After our week, we were off to France to see Sarah's parents. Off to Bergerac in France.