Sorry for the delay. We’ll try to catch up in the next few days. Thanks for your patience. We have been busy.
Wednesday, May 4, 2016 6 a.m.
Took Jane to the airport where she had to repack her bike bag because it was 3 pounds too heavy.
Thursday, May 5 & Friday, May 6, 2016
Our good friend Bill Stevens took us to the airport. Check in was a breeze. The flight was smooth and on time. Our three hour layover in Denver was spent in the United Club whose membership came with our credit Card. Ate our lunch of PB&J at the Club and did odds and ends. Our flight to Washington-Dulles left early and arrived early. Ditto for the flight from Dulles to Heathrow which was assisted by a 109 Kms. tail wind. Neither of us slept very much, despite the Ambien.
Passport control and customs at Heathrow was quick and easy. Took a taxi to our hotel which was very close to the airport. We put our bikes together outside the lobby of the hotel.
No major problems except that Ed’s chain ring shifter would not work, and Maggie’s front brake pads rubbed against the rim so that the wheel would not turn easily. Lunch at the hotel in the midst of bike building. Beautiful, warm day.We took a shakedown ride toward London and almost immediately stopped a fellow cyclist and asked directions to a bike shop.She took us first to a motorcycle garage/bicycle shop. The proprietor had never seen shifters like ours so we thought it would be better to go to a more current bike shop. Our new friend led the way to a big bike shop where the mechanic fixed Ed’s shifter by removing the shifter cable which had not been properly installed and properly installed another cable.. No such luck with Maggie’s brake The mechanic told us to return in the morning when another mechanic would fix it.
Saturday, May 7, 2016 London/Heathrow
Had the remaining ills of our bikes fixed quickly by a competent mechanic for a total cost of 4 beers then took a serendipitous ride along a canal , one of many canals that criss-cross GB.
We watched as a boatman navigated through a couple of locks then gave him a hand by opening and closing a lock for him while his basset hound stood around and did nothing.
Walked to the Pheasant Pub for dinner a true English Pub complete with beer and Americans. .
Sunday, May 8, 2016
Another beautiful day with temperature close to 80. Saddled up and rode east the 12 miles to our hotel in central London.
Arrived at the hotel about 2, unloaded and then walked to the Victoria and Albert Museum which is gargantuan with more than 100 rooms of exhibits from all over the world.
In the 2+ hours we were there we did not dent the surface. Everything from China old and new to Raphael’s paintings which were copied on tapestries which were on loan from the Queen.
Monday, May 9, 2016 London
Great weather continues. We took the tube to Paddington Station and then the train to Windsor Castle. We had front row seats to the changing of the guard at 11 a.m. Much pomp and circumstance including beaver hats and a troupe of bagpipers and drums.
We visited the chapel next but were not permitted to take any pictures.
The Apartments were also off limits to photography, but we did manage to take one picture of Queen Victoria’s Doll House.
We know that the prohibition against photos has some rational explanation but it really limits the lasting impressions of the places we visit. Picnic dinner of cheese, bread and fruit in our hotel room.
Tuesday, May 10, 2016 London Raining, hard at times
After breakfast in our room, we walked to Kensington Palace, which as the name implies, is in Kensington near to our hotel.
The palace was the residence of Queen Victoria until she was 18 and became queen when she escaped her mother’s rigidity and chose to live at Buckingham Palace. Presently, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and HRH Harry live in the 500+ rooms that are not open to the public. On the half hour there are brief talks about the palace and dress of the royals. The guides were informative and entertaining. One of the temporary exhibits was the dresses of Queen Elizabeth II and Diana Princess of Wales, and the sketches by many of the “great” designers who designed for them. Many of the works of art are by the “old masters.” We played “dress up” and thoroughly enjoyed the museum
When we finished the tour of Kensington Palace we took the tube to The British Museum because we had a couple of hours to kill before meeting Ari , who is in London on business, for dinner. We expected to be somewhat bored and were enthralled. The place is huge and explores culture and the way of life of man. We found and read the Rosetta Stone.
and located the Elgin Marbles taken from the Acropolis in Athens in the 19th century.
Although these great works of antiquity should best be viewed in their original location, it is hard to argue that but for Lord Elgin and others these magnificent works would likely have been recycled over the years and lost forever.
Dinner with Ari at an Italian restaurant near his hotel.
Wednesday, May 11 London Rainy
Took the tube to the “Churchill War Rooms” underneath and quite near 10 Downing Street. Conducting the war effort while running the government in these underground quarters for days on end without seeing the light of day must have been demanding and depressing for all those who toiled here.
Lunch with our friend Lynn who we have skied with for many years and then back to the hotel where we caught up with Jane as she was checking in
.Dinner with Jane and Ari at the pub right next to his hotel.
Thursday, May 12 London-Guildfield
This is us leaving our hotel for points south and another great adventure. Points along the way.
The gate was locked.
Friday, May 13
Our first night together. Three bugs, three bikes and three bunks. Quiet and Cozy.
Our first night together.