Early Sunday morning we took the train from nearby Euston Station up to Liverpool. When Larry’s father and his four siblings escaped Germany on the Kindertransport, they all lived in England for a time. Four eventually made their way to the US, the fifth stayed in England (eventually also living in Israel and the US). Aunt Kaye’s story can be read here, on a website that tells of the Jews of Bad Neustadt. Kaye’s Story
We had a lovely lunch at Larry’s cousin’s home, punctuated with the charm of the youngest Klein descendant and the good-natured jests of various football fans. Real football, not this ponsy American game.
Oh, and cousin Tamar made fantastic scones. Yes, she shared the recipe!
Monday we fulfilled one of Larry’s requests, a London Walks that focused on the Brunel Tunnel under the Thames. The tunnel was completed in 1843, and at the time was considered “The Eighth Wonder of the World.” Our guide led us along the river on the south bank, telling interesting stories about the shipping history of the Thames,its former neighborhoods, the poverty in the area, and the Blitz. The powerful East India Company had its stronghold in Rotherhithe, now a quiet, upscale community of restored warehouses and new flats.
At the end of the tour we went down into the viewing platform that led to the tunnel, where there’s not much to see and the “Museum” is a room with a video playing (now the tube goes through the tunnel). Still, engineer Larry was pleased, and I thought the guiding quite interesting.
We dithered a bit about lunch before again attempting to get into Guildhall, eventually landing at an OK Vietnamese cafe in the City. And yes, Guildhall was open. It’s a gorgeous 15th century building surrounded by modern construction, you’d need to be looking for it to find the entrance through the bureaucratic hallways. It was constructed as a civic building, many trials and public meetings have been held in the Great Hall over the centuries, it is still used for events.. Several memorial statues were added in the 18th and 19th centuries,and it’s an interesting room to wander in.
Across the plaza is the Guildhall Art Gallery, which at this time had an exhibit of Victorian art, all rosy cheeked maidens and allegories. But downstairs is something fun, the remains of the Roman amphitheater, the largest in Brittania, with the wooden gutters still underneath. Rather cheese overly dramatic lighting and human forms to give context, but still cool.
Made our way back home, had some Indian takeaway for dinner.