On the sad occasion that we embarked upon our journey to dear old England, it was decided that the opportunity should not pass us by and we should do something touristy to cheer ourselves up.
What could be more touristy than the greatest of Capital Cities: LONDON.
Actually, if you’ve lived and worked in the city for most of your life, going there for a day out might seem a little mundane. But, if you are entertaining younger ones, then it’ll be everything that you make it. Why, we had a couple of young ones in tow so the expectation was fun, fun, fun. First stop, The Tower of London and the Crown Jewels.
You cannot get more touristy than The Tower but the herding of tourists around a circuit to view the history of the place takes something away from the experience. Remember, here in Oman there is no herding, or ropes, or barriers of beefy men to keep you out or any safety ropes keeping you in. In fact, it’s do as you darn well like here. So, to be restricted in our tourist type viewing pleasures, it all felt a little stifled and uncomfortable. Ah well! The kids knew no better and enjoyed all that was placed before and presented to them. The Crown Jewels were a wonder to behold and even more of a wonder when you consider how much wealth was in that one room, held by one household, but how much poverty lay beyond it. Something didn’t seem quite right, especially as we are not the ones holding all that lovely, shiny, sparkly stuff. If nothing else, we added it to our list of things done and enjoyed that day. We took Christopher Robin and Alice (not their real names, of course) to Buckingham Palace to stand outside and, well, look at it. We spotted guards guarding and crowds crowding. We took a photo having moved swiftly across Green Park and then up to Trafalgar Square We took another obligatory photo of a small child in front of one of the lions that guard Nelson’s Column. As my father did to me, and his father before him and possibly his father before him, so on and so forth; we shoved our small child onto the plinth and snapped the shot that shows another generation doing the thing tourists do in London’s Trafalgar Square. A pleasant dinner in Leicester Square then it was back home with the train taking all the strain. As days go, it was none too shabby and in case you have yet to enjoy such a day in London, well you can now enjoy ours.
No one we know either!
We had, in quite a different place, the most appalling lunch at the most expensive price. Personally, my drink was rather nice and the objects D’art dangling about the flower vase was quite attractive but apart from that, we don’t expect to be giving our patronage to this particular establishment any time soon.
We visited a cafe in a village and had a wonderful lunch. We had a large ‘family’ gathering lunch and even fish and chips. We took the opportunity to visit a Roald Dahl museum which was, it must be said but only a personal opinion, a complete waste of money and jolly expensive too. If you want to know why then have a look on Trip Advisor which explains so much more of the displeasure we encountered there. Suffice to say, lots of pictures which are stuck to a wall and a mock up of a shed with a few models dotted about, do not an interesting place make. Have a look at this museum model and you tell me if you just had a good time?
Granted, a nice model but having looked at it for a moment or two, you simply move along. It’s a scene from a story, apparently. For the little ‘uns, there’s not too much to enthral, entertain, amuse or astound. For adults, even less. Ah! But what about the grave? Yes, you can have a pleasant hike up a hill to the local church and see the last resting place of the author himself. Sure as we can be that he was probably a nice enough bloke, we took to taking arty pictures of the church instead.
We went to a park, had a picnic (in a different place), threw stale bread at ducks and other water fowl, ambled about, window shopped and did all things touristy before returning to the luxury of desert living and heat that has managed to top 51 degrees C so far this year.
All in all, we did what we could to enjoy ourselves on what was, sadly, a somewhat sombre occasion.
And some things, as mentioned, never seem to change…