Monday, December 30, 2019

final winter 2019 travel journal.....

When I got back to London, the bag I'd left was in my room waiting for me, and I had the 2 bags I brought back with me from Copenhagen.  I got things unpacked a bit and arranged into my new room. For the last two nights at The Penn Club, I decided to pay the extra $20 a night for a room on a lower floor ( the actual 3rd floor).  I relaxed a bit and let me phone charge and then at some point after 11am made my way east towards the Postal Museum.  I paid for admission and shopped and looked around. In the basement there is an opportunity of taking a ride on the old cargo trains under the city.  These are fitted with little benches for seating and now take passengers back and forth with a guide explaining how it all worked and the history of it etc...  really enjoyed that!  there were many other exhibits to see after the ride, and then across the street the other part of the museum which had history of the postal service in England displayed and with a museum cafe connected.  I stopped there for lunch and wrote a few postcards. I also bought stamps at a machine in the gift shop.
Next I made my way to the nearest tube station and went over to Barbican stop.  This was a destination for architectural interest, and so I made my way to the Barbican Centre apartments and buildings and took many photos The complex is pretty much right there when you come out of the subway. Afterwards I made my way back towards Russell Square to relax in the room and recharge and make plans for Wednesday night.  I'd already bought a ticket months earlier for a Christmas concert at the Saint Martins in the Field church.   I forget what I did for dinner, but I must have popped into somewhere for chips and a sandwich now that I think about it.... I decided to walk all the way down to St. Martins by way of the seven dials. what a wonderful walk, I took my time seeing this and that, popping in and out of stores at will and eventually making it to the cathedral in time to collect my ticket and find my seat.  It was a really nice concert with sing a long carols, of course, too.
Afterwards I checked out Trafalgar Square, shopped the Christmas market there, bought some cards and some ornaments and souvenirs for family.  It was quite wonderful with the on and off light rain, all the lights on the square, the fountain lit and running, and a group of carolers under umbrellas singing away at the bottom of the stairs to the national gallery. I made my way up to Leicester square and then over to Fortnum and Mason store to take more photos and go in and see all the goodies there. although I didn't buy anything. By this point in the trip I wasn't feeling confident about room in my luggage for coming back. ha! eventually I made my way back to the hotel and crashed. ah! after a lovely hot shower.
The weather was so nice and refreshingly cold in London. I know that sounds strange but all the walking around keeps you warm enough and it's not a biting cold. There is some wind that chills but overall it's just a calm or wet sort of cold. I loved it at night because the radiator kept the room quite warm and I'd crack the window each night. So I'd feel a little hot going to bed but so cozy and warm under the cover in the mornings.  I also took a nice bath a few nights in one of the bathrooms that had one. so good on the legs and feet :).  I also enjoyed all the layers! shirt jackets, coats, scarves! ah what a place to dress in London and get out!
okay so anyway, my last day I had left completely free. It was strange having nothing planned, but I enjoyed the freedom to make the day as empty or busy as I'd pleased on my last day. I also had left it open for any last minute destinations or shops to return to for this or that. I took a long morning and breakfast and considered a few options, training out to Oxford? Cambridge? Bath? etc... I'd researched a bit and at breakfast was looking into a train that evening to St. Albans for a Christmas karaoke thing at a pub in town (it's a 20 minute train ride from London, so I'm making it a stop on the next time I'm in UK out of curiosity). I dunno.... However,  a lady at breakfast suggested Hampton Court, and well that was it!  I was up in my room after breakfast, mapping and planning it out. a walk north of Russell Square to the Warren Street metro stop, then down to Vauxhall, and from there a train to Hampton Court. really enjoyed it. You arrive at the end of the train line, walk outside of the station, over a bridge and there are the gates to the palace.  What history! What a place! so much to see and such stories of the past! I followed a tour for a bit, which was a man and woman in character play acting and describing what happened in this room and that as if the queen was going to visit etc...  then I wandered around on my own, took my time. got over the cafe eventually just before 2pm which they'd just shut down the foodline but they let me go ahead and get a lunch and all. it was SO GOOD. ( I was also so hungry! ha).  I walked around a bit more and took photos etc.. then got on the train back to London.  THis time I got out at Victoria and walked around over to Covent Garden and did my best to find a diagonal alley that inspired J K Rowling, but it wasn't meant to be, it was late, people everywhere, my phone dead, and I wanted to get back to the hotel and regroup.  
I walked back after stopping at a Subway sandwich place for dinner to bring back to my room. ;) and sat around for about an hour, then over to St George Church on Bloomsbury for a Candlelight service at 6pm.  It was wonderful, pretty much jsut like my friend's church in AR that is Episcopalian. everything read from the handout, and I actually even loved the choir more. we also sang carols with them here and there but the choir was so nice.  The St Martins event was just 9 people??? which was fine but I wanted a choir. ha  
okay let's end this already. Friday my flight out wasn't until 3:30pm so I checked out by 10 am and left my bags in a closet, then went a street or so over to the British Museum to mill around for a couple hours. and by 12:15 I had my bags and was over to Russell Square station and back on the Piccadilly line all the way out to Heathrow airport... alas end of trip.  I did my best to stay up on the planes watching a few movies and reading a bit.. napped a very little bit.. ..and when I arrived at 8pm in Atlanta I fellt like a ZOMBIE! ha!  finally I boarded a plane for OKC by 10:30 and fell asleep in my seat before the plane even took off.. Zzzzzz.. woke just before we approached the airport in OKC.  got an uber back home and was in bed by 12:30 am - 6:30 am back in London ;) - whoosh!  I was a bit jetlagged the first few days but back on schedule by Christmas Wednesday :). Merry Christmas and I hope everyone is enjoying the holidays.

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Saturday, December 28, 2019

few more pics of Copenhagen....


above shows my view from where I had pasta one night, sitting outside.  and then the sign is from the hostel I stayed out to the shared bathrooms in the hallway.

Did y'all know I love cereal? this is from a grocery store in Copenhagen.


I really like this, I dunno, ? land cruiser?.  the winter kale was nice here, and then a photo of the palace garden.


marching band at the palace, the harbour, and the department store I shopped at

above shows fish in front of city hall, and the oldest residential street in Copenhagen, and then a former palace which is now a govt building

more views near the harbour and bay...

Copenhagen pics 1.............



at every turn, there are wonderful buildings to notice in the city, also many bikes, and I enjoyed the lights up at Christmas season...

Christmas market with many bikes and the lights outside of the hotel near the hostel I stayed at....


I enjoyed all the holiday windows in the stores, also here is a photo of a walrus stonework...

more shop windows, and too many broken hearts in the world...


the last photo is a really cool barber shop I happened upon, check out the tiled sinks. so cool!

Thursday, December 26, 2019

trip journal continues....

Monday morning, December 16th, I left the carry on I packed on the way to London with a bunch of clothes and things I didn't need and left it in my room for the hotel to store it for me until I got back. It's a service they'll do for travelers in and out.  Early Monday morning I was up at 5:30 and on the Piccadilly line by 6 and on my way to Heathrow for a flight to Copenhagen! whoah.... a first :).  I slept on the flight there mostly and then arrived by 11:30 and made my way onto the metro line to Kongen Nytorv stop which was very near the Generator Hostel I had booked a room in.  for just around $100 a night I was able to get my own room with 2 twin beds and private bathroom, how bout that!  they had elevators too so my legs got a rest going up and down from my room on the 4th floor.  well I was all settled in by 12:20 and once again out into the city and shopping and seeing all the stores and Christmas markets and buildings and squares etc.. bought some chocolate and ornaments at the Christmas markets, went into A Day's March store there and then also my favorite brand (and something I quite intended to seek out while there) Norse Projects flagship store and their neighbor store Norse Store. where... also went to a department store and considered a 66 North coat and bought some chocolates. Dinner at an Italian place, pasta, then more walking up and down the walking street with all the shops, down to Tivoli square, and then back up to my hotel to get inside and settle in by 9pm..  slept well.
Was up in the morning and relaxed, had breakfast at the hostel which wasn't great but free charging stations and internet for my phone. ;). the scrambled eggs were from a box , but serves me right for not being more adventurous and better planned and getting out to a breakfast place.  Sometimes you just want to stay in.  I got my cameras and things ready for the day and left towards the east bay so as to take different streets and go a round about way back to City Hall which is near Tivoli park where I was the night before.  I had booked a free walking tour online and the group meets in front of city hall. The tour is 11 am - 2pm so it's a lot of walking but a lot of fun. The guide pointed out so many things and shared so much history, I love it. the bonus was when the tour ended back up north near the palace and the marching guards were doing an unscheduled drill. So we all had our cameras out etc..  what a blast.  next I went back to the hostel to recharge my phone (of course) and relax a bit, then went back out and down to the National History Museum.  What a blast seeing all the viking history and artifacts on display!!  next I did some final shopping, bought the coat at the dept store, other gifts, and then lots more shopping at the Danish stores for gifts for family and whatever fun things I'd found. for example a funny Christmas sweater and a scarf for a friend. I had a late dinner at a TGIF on the walking street. I know that's pretty lame, but sometimes you just want the comfort of easy food.  I'm all about eating new places when travelling but somehow I think it's more fun when you are at least with another person not just alone, saying to yourself, yup, that's different or unique or good or bad or expected or unexpected etc...  not as much fun alone so TGIF it was. ha
I'd planned to have an afternoon tea at the Grand Royal Hotel in Copenhagen but never made the time to book one or get down that way in the afternoon for it. perhaps another day?....
I stayed up pretty late and got all my things packed and ready. The metro from my stop was about a 20 minute ride so I was up at 4:45, down to metro by 5am and to the airport and onto my 7am flight pretty easily.  The only that went unplanned was the young Danish guy sitting next to me. I had planned to get on the plane and fall back asleep until London, but this guy was a talker. he was a red haired very viking looking brawny dude, clean shaven and short maybe balding haircut. He is in med school and was going to San Francisco to see his gf there and smoke marijuana.  He takes vacations to Amsterdam a lot to smoke weed too apparently.  he asked about US healthcare and taxes and explained his schooling and med school and I don't know what all else. I was politely and listened and had found it all interesting, of course, it's just I had planned to be asleep. alas. ha
  It was too quick of a visit to properly see Copenhagen but I got just enough taste of it to want to go back definitely.. landed back in London and got back on the Piccadilly line back to Russell square and my hotel, which actually luckily had my room ready then right at 10:30 am.  this time a room one floor down the 2nd floor ( which is really the 3rd floor).  I relaxed a bit and got adjusted and unpacked and recharged before getting out for my last few days in London...

London photos part 2.............




Sunday morning pics from the Columbia Road Flower Market...


below shows photos of my trip out to Wembley Park for the Hillsong show Sunday night