Saturday, May 20, 2006

Arriving in London and our first moderate crisis

So, off to the ghost walk we went. It was nice. Each storyteller is unique. We didn't have a chance to eat beforehand so we went in search of a late dinner and found a wonderful, if noisy Italian place. Speaking of noisy, the entire town was noisy as it was the last day of the races and everyone was out on the town, dressed to the nines, and well on their way to inebriated. It was entertaining to watch but we were even more careful about watching the traffic! Oh, so Italian - so much food we couldn't finish it. Then before we even made it back to the hotel William was hungry again and wanted pizza for the room. Sheesh - bottomless pit for a stomach.

This morning we woke up to.... wait, it's a surprise, not....... rain. So we took a taxi to the train station to avoid soaking our luggage. The train ride was uneventful, we arrived at King's Cross Station around 1 pm. Isn't that where Platform 9-3/4 is? I'm almost certain. We got off on Platform 8, just across the walkway from Platform 9. We got more lost then we should have trying to find our connection to the underground as we kept walking right by the elevators down. Eventually we had a porter walk us over to them and they suddenly became visible - sort of like Platform 9-3/4, eh? And a fast tube ride took us up to Victoria Station and decided not to repeat walking around the entire town trying to find the B&B/hotel like we did in York, as London is quite a bit bigger then York, and took a quick four blocks or so taxi ride to the Hotel.

We booked probably the only cheap hotel room in the entire city. We discovered why it was so cheap climbing EIGHT FLIGHTS OF STAIRS to our room!!! It's old and a bit shabby around the edges but clean and has a bit of character. We were pretty sure Rick Steve's wouldn't steer us wrong and he didn't.

After we deposited our luggage somewhere just below the stratosphere, we took off to get our bearings and some lunch. Well, lunch first, we were starving. We found a nice pub on a corner and went to the top floor to eat in the smoke free family dining area (smoking is a lot more visible and public here) and had the room to ourselves except one other family from Connecticut. We had a fantastic lunch (William a burger, me the biggest piece of fish and chips) and then attempted to leave. I say attempted.....

We've climbed castles, winding towers and rocky mountains. We've managed cobblestones and slipperly green slopes. We've clambered down into dungeons and around old ruins. But a simple pub staircase? William fell down it. Okay, he's sitting here correcting me. "Okay, I didn't fall down them. I tripped down them. Falling would be like rolling." After a few seconds he added "I didn't fall down all the stairs, I fell down like, about five."

After a half hour or so he still couldn't put any weight on his foot so we hailed a taxi and told him to take us to the nearest emergency room. We hobbled in and were seen quickly and cheerfully. The bad news is he.... can't remember the exact term.... basically ripped a ligament in the top of his foot, hyperextended it. The one in the top of his ankle. The good news is the best treatment is mild walking interchanged with putting it up to rest.

So, we're not gonna do a lot of walking in London. But we're not completely hotel ridden either. We haven't been back to the hotel yet. I have no idea how we'll manage eight flight of steps. Sheesh. Maybe we'll have to see if they can put us in a more expensive but lower room after tonight.

I bought a bus pass and we're now at Leicester Square. We've seen a few sights out of the bus windows and had a couple of very friendly older women help us figure out (William, still reading over my shoulder says "Older women? They were ancient!") what stop to get off on. William wanted to go see The Da Vinci Code.

The movie was sold out, all but the midnight showing. So we bought tickets for that. Then we hobbled off a half block to a lovely meal on a sidewalk cafe while we watched the masses wander up and down in the square in front of us. William had a sandwich that looked great and I had a dip platter that had the best taboulleh, hummus, and baba ganouj I have ever eaten! This internet cafe was just another half block hobble around the corner. At ten pm we have tickets for a comedy club back a half block closer to the theater.

Speaking of theater - in London theater means theatre. Movies are cinema. And there is more theatre here then one could possibly see in a year! I'd love to see several but William seems a bit resistant. Okay, a lot resistant. I know he'd love it though. We'll try for one tomorrow night or the next.

We lost the afternoon to the hospital, but we've manage to fill our evening full to overflowing tonight with sit down experiences. Of course we won't get back to the hotel until about 3 am. Hopefully we'll get up in time to see some sights tomorrow. Providing William's ankle doesn't protest too much.

Gotta run.


Anonymous jeff said...

Hope you get a chance to visit the tower. More Tower of London trivia: Yes, queen Anne was beheaded, after being imprisoned there... but the most interesting inmate was Sir Walter Raleigh... besides being an explorer, he wrote poetry, loved his family, and wrote "A History of the World"... he was an amazingly diverse, "Renaissance Man", if ever there was such a man, he would have epitomized the stereotype.

2:19 PM  
Blogger Diana Troldahl said...

Youch!!!! I'm glad it wasn't worse. And this way William has a war story to tell, how he limped bravely from castle to museum to pub and back again. And hey! I bet he soon discovers the sympathy factor of being wounded. All that female attention (hopefully from non-ancient females.

(going back to writing the best selling novel that plays around in her head all the time)

11:14 AM  

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