Friday, July 5, 2019

London's Calling

Checking in—this time with a bit more than the usual books and tv.  I made it over the Atlantic to London in addition to what I've been reading and playing, so I have some pictures for this post.



I thoroughly enjoyed the city that I can best describe, no offense meant by the disparity in historical ages, as an amalgamation of New York and Washington D.C.  Due to rebuilding after the bombing in World War II, London has a very modern city vibe, skyscrapers and all, with that financial, busy people doing business things energy.   At the same time, there are scores of tourists crowding the streets and around every corner is a monument, statue, or building that speaks to the city's place as a capital and the United Kingdom's storied and lengthy history as an Empire, Kingdom, and nation.

I had the Rick Steeve's book for London and he mentioned that for Americans traveling to London, and England in general, there is a sense of the familiar, almost a coming home.  I can definitely relate.  Despite some obvious differences, plenty for those like myself who relish the cultural nuances experienced when traveling, there is a great deal of comfort and ease about traveling in London.  There is of course a shared language, but it goes beyond that.  For many Americans, England provides our roots, not only in heritage, but in the formation of our country, its laws, and certainly in our culture.  In addition, I have seen London so many times on big and small screens, read about it through 56 Sherlock Holmes mysteries, and heard about it in history books, the whole trip had a visiting relatives feel about it.


What did I do/see:

Walked the Thames from Westminster Bridge to Tower Bridge and back, the British Museum (the Rosetta Stone), the British Library (the Magna Carte, manuscript by Dickens, composition by Beethoven), Westminster Abbey (Poet's Corner), the Tower of London (Beefeater Tour was hilarious, fortress is just breathtaking), Hamilton (such a great show and extra fun to see a Revolutionary War musical in England, King George was a riot), Cambridge, St James Park, Hyde Park, Kensington Palace, Buckingham Palace, Parliament and Big Ben (disappointingly under renovation), Churchill's War Rooms (for perspective of what it took even at the top levels to win World War II), 221B Baker Street (mostly a recreation, but genuine Victorian era artifacts).

Video Games:

Played through World War Z—difficult and good co-op fun.  Giving the auto chess genre a try with Dota Underwolds.  Verdict is still out, but I'm still playing.

TV:

Still West World season 2.  London put a break in my television watching, although I did manage to figure out Cricket while I was there and saw England lose to Australia.  Also finished Ricky Gervais's After Life (a funny man for sure, but such a touching show).  I highly recommend giving it a try.  It's a  short 6 episode watch, but packs quite an emotional punch.

Books:

Still Way of Kings.  I know, need to get busy.  Didn't do much reading in London either.

Now back to my own books.  Progress is being made on Scarlet and the rerelease with all five books on the way!  No date yet though.  I'm also enjoying the new book—more about that when I have it further along.

Brandon






2 comments:

  1. Oh, I'm so excited!! I can not wait until the next Scarlet book in the series!!

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  2. Thanks for sharing the highlights of your trip. Sounds like you packed your days full of interesting places. So happy to hear Scarlet is coming soon.. she and her other characters are loved and missed.

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