Returning to Paris this afternoon after a fantastic weekend in London.
Jean has been (as usual) the perfect hostess, with a rich itinerary and tireless energy. From the time I arrived Saturday morning until we finally crashed last night, it has been a non-stop London culture class. We started with a travel card so I could jump on any bus, tube or train and go anywhere anytime, then went to the Borough Market, which is a huge open-air gourmet food festival held every Saturday. We had enough free samples of everything to satisfy our lunch needs, then dessert and coffee before hitting the Bok Bar, a South African sports hangout for a televised rugby match and a pint. Walking along the Thames, we came to the newly created Memorial Park for the victims of the 07/07 bombings. It was very silent and sad with enormous blankets of flowers sent to "The People of London and the Families of the Victims" from "The Republic of Jamaica", or "The Consulate of Bangladesh", etc... Everywhere we go in the tube or on the train, we see an incredible police presence.
After dinner at an Indian restaurant we went to a party for a girl leaving for Oz and the entire party (25 or so) went out to a club til whenever it was we left.
Sunday we bused and tubed to Hampstead Heath, a several hundred acres estate of mostly dense woods with several open heaths (meadows) and ponds. The manor of the estate is the Kenwood house, which appeared after a walk of a few kilometres. It has an amazing collection of art; Vermeer, Hals, Rembrandt, Turner, Constable, Reynolds, Gainsborough and is freeee! We picnikked on the grounds before walking back to browse the Camden Town Market, which is a crush of people from all over the world selling (and selling hard) everything from clothing, food and jewelry, to things they can only whisper about. Indian food for dinner (again) before going out for Quiz Night at the pub. Tea and Crumpets for brekkie, now I'm off to the National Academy for an Impressionist exhibit before I catch the Eurostar to Paris Gare Nord.
All my best, and I'll be back to the colonies in a week.
lundi, juillet 18, 2005
letter from london
Turk's European odyssey continues.