LondonPosted: August 28, 2011
London – Bustling, bright, bombastic!!!
It is just 15 months since we last visited London, enroute to our “honeymoon”, a gruelling, but fun, 800 km walk from a corner of France to Santiago de Compostella on the west coast of Spain. (See story in header above)
This is actually my 6th visit to London, and whilst I’m sure all its stars are burning brightly: Hyde Park, Big Ben, Kensington Palace ………… and on it goes, its enough sightseeing for the both of us to just absorb the atmosphere and the feeling of prosperity that lives here; observe the multiculturalism, prominent to our eyes after so many months of more homogenous populations in Scandinavia, even in Scotland and Ireland; be entranced by my favourite iconic big red double decker buses and the rounded classic black cabs.
It’s also time for friends, family and fixups!
We enjoy an arrival English/Aussie BBQ with the multinational Ryan family. Ray, born in UK, Iaskara born in Brazil, Kiandra born in Australia and Daniel, born in London. It was lovely to be together briefly and catch up on the last 15 months.
Heading from there we arrive in the home of family – Antonio’s daughter, Elizabeth. Living in Chiswick, she is brilliantly situated to enjoy London…………a visit with Elizabeth, is usually a gourmet affair!
It starts with gnocchi that she has just taught her flat mate to make. Nona’s recipe, printed in a book Elizabeth and her cousin made one Christmas, of all the family, favourite Italian recipes. Nona would have been proud. It was great! The following few days, Jamie Olivers restaurant at Westfield; a superb French restaurant, The Glasshouse, near Kew gardens; and finally, a delicious Thai beef salad made by Elizabeth.
It was great to relax in her lovely apartment and have access to English speaking services where we got everything we needed fixed from teeth, to bikes, to Qantas flights, to, most importantly, the Fiat spare tyre.
Feeling well fed, productive and content, we leave London in a rain storm and head towards Folkestone to catch the Euro Tunnel. We think its a good omen when the rain ends, like an opening in a curtain that surrounds London. The weather clears, the traffic thins and further down the road, we drive ourselves onto a train that will shunt under the English Channel for 35 minutes and pop up in France.