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July 25, 2012

HOW TO FIND YOUR WAY AROUND LONDON

I have no idea.

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Doesn't matter, traffic does not actually MOVE there.

Oh, and if someone gives you directions and then, as they walk away, call you a "punter" under their breath -- do NOT follow those directions. I learned that in Belfast.

It's called GPS or map.

All the important street signs have trees that have grown up in front of them.

This is exactly why I always grab a native to show me around when I'm in a foreign country. Be sure to tip them well before you leave so they don't press charges.

When I've gone to foreign cities such as Austin and Dallas I've found the best way to get around is to swear at the natives as you drive by and imply through hand gestures that they are #1. Oh, and make sure to evacuate your bladder on their most important landmark. It's considered a sign of your being in awe of their superiority.

I used to build 747's and Dave you are right, there are waterfalls and unexplored areas in the fuselage.
Make a kind of half right next to the stairs.

Keep walking, and eventually you will hit either the Thames or a Tube station. From either place, it is easy to find your bearings.

I'd have trouble understanding the British. They don't speak English very well. Oh and Dave? If the Olympics ever come to Miami...we're gonna need a lot more cazuelas. How's the beer there?

It's best to just follow the corgies. They will always lead you to the White House. Wait...

Rent a car and try to drive around. Plenty of people will tell you where to go...especially after turning into the wrong lane. BTDT.

In London, according to the natives, everything is "A five minute walk" from wherever you are. British measures of time and distance are different from ours. A five minute walk is only a five minute walk if you're running. Fast. Full tilt boogie. While wearing rocket powered roller skates (in London running and skating at the same time is normal, not an Olympic event).

Dave, as a long-time visitor to London I can testify that virtually every word is true. You walk down the street and suddenly realize the street you were walking on (Front Street, say) has changed identities (to Hangmans Lane) while you weren't paying attention.

We were looking for a "famous" fish & chips shop (one of the few dishes everyone can agree are worth eating) that was somewhere near Oxford Street. Suddenly the street just ended. Turns out we had to walk several short blocks north to where it - voila! - suddenly resumed. ISIANMTU. Amazingly we did eventually find the restaurant and got our fish.

So if you don't make it back to the hotel in time for dinner, ask a cabby to take you to the Golden Moon. Or was it the Golden Hind? We ate in both.

London's streets were first laid out by the Romans, who are known for building roads that go absolutely straight and level for hundreds of miles.

Then the Romans left (but didn't take the wine), and the celts (who invented whisky) took over. Followed by Germans (who brought beer) and French (who vbrought more wine). All of whom eventually merged to become the English. Along the way the whole "straight and level road" thing got set aside, possibly due to beer, whisky, and wine.

This also explains the English Language, which is itself the result of a Norman man at arms trying to get the skirts off of a saxon barmaid.

I have several friends living in London, all of whom are on holiday in more stable places like Greece right now, who report that Indian restaurants are the best places to eat. The Vindaloo Curry in many of these places is very good, and will clear any traditional English cookery out of your digestive tract in a hurry as it runs screaming for the exit.

Ya know that park that's kinda next to the back end of Westminster Abbey and across the street from the clock tower that holds Big Ben? Well, on the opposite side of the intersection from the park (it's bounded by the road that runs in front of Parliament and the other road that leads to a bridge crossing the Thames), there is a pub. It has really good macaroni and cheese with peas. You should go there.

Just checked my notes. Both restaurants were fish & chips places but the one I meant was the Golden Hind. It's on Marylebone Lane (not Street, Road, High Street or Alley).

Any cab driver will know it.

At the end of the 70s I was a newly minted,wet-behind- the-ears paediatric nurse from the sticks, and snagged a job in a London childrens hospital. Didn't know a soul or any spare cash, but on my days off I'd grab my trusty A-Z and head out from the nurses home to explore the city. Just loved it. Must've pounded a million miles of pavement.Entrance to museums and art galleries was (and again is) for the most part free of charge and for a working class kid who'd only seen this stuff in books, it was a thrill. All these years later, I visit regularly with my family and still get excited about hopping on a regular London bus at one end of the city, sitting on the front seat up top, and staying on 'til it turns round and brings me back to where I started.

London was, and I guess still is, a great place. We stayed in a sort of guest house/hotel in Bloomsbury near the U of London and the British Museum. Except when going to the south coast, used the Tube trains and walked. The time was too short.

I still dream about going back to London. The whole class warfare riots/Londonistan thing makes me hesitate.

Just another reason why all the Olympics should be held in the US.

Last update: it is 73 Marylebone Lane, near Bond Street. Trust me.

Golden Hind.

As in so many things, the Irish out-do the Brits in this category. Take London's streets-that-change-names-on-you to the tenth power and you have Dublin. But British beer is pretty good, I have to admit. (At this point, Oh the Umanity should jump in with a plug for Guinness -- where's he been lately, anyway?)

It's simple. Carry an "A to Z" (pronounced "Ay to Zed" walk and take the tube, just like a Londoner.

Speak softly and carry a big A to Z? Wasn't that Teddy Roosevelt's tag line?

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