Who does not love Paddington?
Our final full day. Once again Anna Grace was studying, breaking to lunch with friends from ICL. Tony and I were awake with the first trains of the District Line, sipping our coffee and plotting the day. The weather seemed to be holding for a day outing to Dover and so to St. Pancras we went to catch the train. We were hoping to avoid the London Marathon crowds and thankfully Mother Nature stepped in with the assist.
Like Paris, London is always a good idea. The city is home to around as many people as there are in the whole of Austria, and visiting felt like the urban equivalent of forest bathing. English spoken EVERYWHERE! Look Right! Diversity! Shops open on Sunday! Great Indian Food! Free Museums!*
Not across the pond, but across the Channel. Roughly 36 hours in Dublin for a campus tour; Anna Grace has decided upon Trinity College (School of Physics)!
On the way home we dropped in on Londontown for a few days so she could visit friends at ASL and ICL, and Tony and I could find new things to explore in one of our favorite favourite cities.
Just a short train hop from Dublin lies
Cape Cod the lovely fishing village of Howth. The forecast was, “Typical Ireland,” according to our concierge, “A bit drizzly all day out at the harbour.” Her words did not dampen our moods because, seashore!
The path to this city break was not an easy one. A fellow AIS family offered the services of their visiting niece for house-sitting and so forth, and after making contact and securing the young woman’s assurance and willingness to sit for Clayton Theodore, I booked our flights. Then, the young woman disappeared from our radar AND after reappearing, failed to meet as scheduled, sending us into scramble mode to find a replacement sitter. Personal responsibility is difficult for some, I guess.
If it is not obvious, food and dining feature prominently on our travel itineraries, and London did not disappoint. It being near to the Chinese New Year, and London being home to Europe’s largest Chinatown, sitting for Peking Duck was a must.
Here in Vienna one can’t throw a Mozart kugel without hitting schlocky souvenirs of Emperor Franz Josef and Empress Elisabeth. Or Gustav Klimt. Or Mozart. London souvenir shops, in contrast, are far more discreet in their tacky royal souvenir offerings, and even more so in their Harry Potter giftware selections. One tourist activity London does offer, though, is a “Harry Potter Tour,” and the three of us spent a pleasant afternoon walking about the city in the footsteps of The Boy Who Lived.