We were staying for a few days in Cambridge, and on a whim, decided to do a day trip to London. So on a nippy and dreary ‘at-least-it-is-not-raining-now’ Friday morning, we made our way to the main station in Cambridge. After driving in circles, literally, looking for the car park, we then had to stand in a very long line, to buy two very expensive off-peak day travel train tickets. Oh, okay, they included public transport in London city as well. Then with just seconds to spare, we had to run, dash, sprint, you name it, to catch the train to London. Phew! Made it. This was the last time in a very long time, ladies and gentlemen, that we would be able to run, dash or sprint anywhere! Especially the long-legged one….Why? See the end of this post….
If you’ve read or watched Harry Potter, then you’ll know what this cart means…Here we are at this well visited tourist attraction at the Kings Cross station in London. We were lucky that the queue was not too long, and also that we could do some nifty ‘hello-here-we-come-Hogwarts’ posing too 😉
“Let me take you by the hand and lead you through the streets of London” are some of the words in a song by a very famous sixties band. So c’mon all, let’s take a little walk…. Now, here we have a big red bus, and behind it, a traditional taxi, which is commonly known as the black cab. Black? Oh, okay….Then, cor, very big COR, reflected on the facade of this modern glass building, you are able to see St. Paul’s Cathedral. Yes, typical stuff you would expect to see in London, not so? Oh, and there’s also lots of traffic! You do not find many of these anymore. Pity. This one was real, and actually in good working order. It also looked liked it gets used quite regularly. There must be some-one out there who does not own a mobile device… 😊
St. Paul’s Cathedral. This is an impressive building, and also a tourist magnet. We were also fascinated by it, and wanted to have a look see inside. The first shock was that there was an entrance fee. The second one was the price: 15 GBP per person!!! We were not chuffed about this. Of course it was not worth it, so we kindly said ‘No thank you madam’, and left. In Germany one can go in and out of many churches and cathedrals for free, and if there is a charge of some sort or other, it is not so pricey. Sigh….. Oh well, looking at this beautiful picture makes up for all that. Just look at the sky!! An absolutely sensational light formation. Wow!
Priory Church of Saint Bartholomew the Great, or Great St. Barts, as it is usually called. This beautiful half-timbered Tudor building, seemingly sitting on top of the archway, is actually the entrance to one of the oldest existing churches in London, founded circa 1123. Apparently, it is also the first church in Britain to have charged an entrance fee for tourists. Aaa-ha!
See these amazing vaulted arched ceilings, showing both ends of the long south aisle. This church actually survived the great fire of London in 1666, and also both world wars. It is and was also a very prominent location for television and film. Hmmm, so Gwynie and Hughie also walked here…
Adjacent to one of the aisles, is this amazing fifteenth century Cloister Café. It has a wonderful ambiance, with a beautiful and peaceful garden to the right.
Modern architecture does not always have to be all bad, Charlie dearest, especially if it is seen through the brilliant eyes of the camera(man). These buildings, the right one is a court, are situated in the Shoe Lane, yes, Shoe… The famous Fleet Street is at the end of the lane, which was where we had a very spicy lunch at a busy Japanese ‘grab-a-seat-quickly-or-stand’ eatery. It also started raining.
After resting a bit, we walked along noisy Fleet Street and entered the quiet grounds of the Temple Church. Then Whoops! it happened…Crash! Bang! Tumble! He fell. One wet and slippery step was all it took. ONE. When he tried to get up, agonising pain shot through his ankle. He could not step on it, let alone walk, but he bravely hobbled to the entrance of the church. We explained our dilemma, asking if he could please sit in one of the pews, while I tried to find a pharmacy for bandages, soothers and painkillers. They were kind enough not to ask for an entrance fee. Finding a pharmacy was harder than finding a needle in a haystack, but thankfully a big and well-known drugstore had something we could use. After bandaging the ankle, we hobbled to a doctor’s practice which was conveniently around the corner. We had to wait more than an hour until he was able to see us. An hour! Okay, so we did not have an appointment, but it was an emergency. Arghhh! Then the Doctor finally saw us. When he opened his mouth to ask a few nonsensical questions, it was obvious that we waited in vain. Incompetent! We should have gone straight away to the hospital, instead of paying eighty pounds for this horse doctor. Hrpmh!
So we took a black cab, yes, the real one, and arrived at the emergency room. Tick-tock-tick-tock. Here we waited, and waited, and…waited. A nurse saw us first, prodded a bit, then sent him for an x-ray. Then again…tick-tock-tick-tock…After about three hours, and many promises of ‘we-will-see-you-now’, a doctor finally called us in. Back to square one. Same questions, same prodding. ‘Did you not see the x-ray?’ we asked. ‘X-ray???’ By now one of us was fuming and smoke was coming out of her ears…Stay calm…Grrrr….So he goes back to find the x-rays, and takes another hour before he comes back. More grrrrr….Then finally, in fast forward, he explained that there was no broken bones, everything was hunky dory, no problem, blah-blah-blah. Well, that was more than two months ago, and still he has problems with his ankle. Spiffing diagnosis, dear Doctor! The German doctors immediately diagnosed ligament rupture and bone fracture. Too late. Why did none of the two quack doctors in London have this idea???
Cambridge: We stayed at a small, simple and clean hotel a few kilometres out of the town centre. We had hired a car from the airport, so were not dependent on public transport anyway. It also rained a lot, of course. Before the accident, we shopped at a large supermarket, and were astounded at the vast range of goodies on offer, like all those easy fresh ready-made meals, and FOUR sorts of ginger biscuits, yummy! We also had a delicious meal at a lovely and snuggly restaurant with a huge open fireplace in the middle, and another meal a day later at a quaint little Thai restaurant. Our mini-break turned out to be a little adventure, albeit a painful one for him. Although we did not see much of Cambridge, and despite everything else, we did have a good time, especially with the family. So, jolly good now, Bob’s your Uncle! Time for a cuppa… ☕️