Settling In

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We flew the new Norwegian Air service from Boston. For $420 you get a seat, but no checked luggage, food or selected seating. It was fine, with a new Dreamliner plane with huge storage bins. Larry got some sleep, Evan and I did not. I did fall asleep for the 1/2 hour train ride into London.

Our apartment in Islington is spacious, quiet, and comfortable. Only big downside is the very high tub/shower, where I have to gingerly transition myself in and out in order to not land in a heap on the floor. At least there’s nice hot water.

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Happily, the cleaners had finished when we arrived, so we collapsed for two hours and then took the Tube over to Borough market, where we introduced Evan to the world’s best grilled cheese sandwich, the cheese toastie from Kappacasein. We also had the first conversation about The Donald; the charming young South African-born counterman essentially asked “WTF, America?” We all shook our heads.

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We wandered around the market, picking up some cheeses, bread, tea (Evan our tea connoisseur was having a field day) and salami. Lots of free samples of cheeses, teas, pates, oils and vinegars, this and that. On a Friday afternoon it was lively, but not too crowded to enjoy.

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We strolled along the Thames for a while, and then backtracked to the Angel tube station near the apartment. We picked up a few groceries at Waitrose (ah, I love Waitrose) and then popped into a neighborhood Turkish restaurant for dinner. Very good, inexpensive, and enough leftover to take home for the following day. We all slept well, until the neighborhood cats woke us at 5:30 with a very loud discussion.

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On Saturday we joined up with a London Walks walking tour concentrating on Shakespeare and Bankside. Our guide crisscrossed through history as we walked through Shoredich and Bankside, and even though we know this area we learned a lot.I really like these tours, especially as you don’t need to book and they’re only 10 pounds. I’d never noticed the ferryman’s seat on Bear Street (named for the bearbaiting dens popular during the Elizabethan era and beyond) from the 16th century, found during the excavation around the Rose Theater..

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Afterward we walked over the Millennial Bridge and caught a bus to Whitechapel to go to an Indian restaurant we’ve liked before, Namaste. Luckily I looked at the webpage, and saw they’re closed for lunch Saturday. So instead we headed up near to the British Museum to another favorite Indian, Sagar. Excellent vegetarian food, lots of good flavors.

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We popped into the British Museum, another old friend. We  first enjoyed the Clocks and Watches galleries, and caught one of the gallery talks, in the Middle Ages rooms. The docent showed us some highlights from the collection, giving wonderful details of the Anglo-Saxon, Viking, Byzantine, and later Medieval objects. The last piece we explored was a collection of 13th century tiles illustrating created stories of Jesus’s youth that don’t exist in the New Testament, what Evan hilariously called “Jesus Fan Fiction.”

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Tired. The British Museum is best done in small bites so as not to overwhelm and so you can truly focus on what you’re seeing, so we’ll return. Took a bus home, rested, reheated Turkish leftovers for dinner. A rainy night.

 

 

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