Best of the British

Pussycat, pussycat, where have you been?
I’ve been to London to visit the Queen.
Yesterday morning, Ron and I hopped a high-speed train to London.   Once we arrived, we planned to catch the Original Red Hop-On, Hop Off bus to do a once-around of this new (to us) city.  
We have learned this is the most efficient way to see the high points (Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Picadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, the Tower of London, Soho, Carnaby, etc.) as well as the kitschy tourist stuff we will avoid (the London Eye…translation: eyesore, the London Dungeon…tourist trap spook alley) and anywhere else the “sheeple” queue up to follow the herd.  
We then pow-wow (fun, fun) and hand-pick the places we want to return to on our own.

We had some other dreams for our two-day visit; eat English Fish and Chips and go to Abbey Road. I also wondered if I would find the England my Mom had always wanted to see, but never did…
Some things went as planned.  Some did not. And that might be the best part of traveling.

I woke up with a sick stomach (too much wine and French pastry I suspect) and Ron was sporting a blister on his foot the size of a tennis ball.  Down, but not out,  we pressed on. I managed to refrain from ralphing on the train and Ron was very fond of the riding vs. walking plan.
As we were being chauffeured through the city, we listened to a proper Englishwoman narrate the sights and tell us why we should care.  But we draw our own conclusions, sweet cheeks.  So here are some of ours about London:
Good Lord, how do you drive on the opposite sides of the road?  And WHY?

How many RED double-decker buses does it take to create complete traffic gridlock?  London has greedily tripled this number!

London is full of Muslims and other immigrants…we spoke with almost NO London natives.

The women aren’t as pretty as in Paris and most have the same fashion sense as the Queen…None!

The Tube is a work of genius, and makes navigating the city simple….loved it!  Plus no-one pisses or drops their trash/cigarette butts where they stand (get a clue France).

London is clean, stately and rather pedestrian…no skyline really.  Ron says, “It isn’t as exciting as New York, as beautiful as Paris or as classic as Rome.”  Amen

The London Tower bridge is beautiful (see above)….it was our favorite London landmark!

The logo for the 2012 London Summer Olympics is hideous… the mascots are contrived and ridiculous.

Being all proper and even superior while boasting about various charities and giving to the less-privileged in hopes that they will eventually become hard-working, moral Christian citizens makes me appreciate even more why our founding fathers told King George to stick it up his ass! 

It isn’t close to anything and is nestled in a quiet neighborhood way off the beaten path.  But a short walk from St. John’s Wood tube stop will lead you to this iconic street.  People of all ages wait in line to take pictures imitating the crossing strides of the four men who started a music revolution. 
But for both of us, crossing this famous street was a tribute to our generation and those of us who lived through revolutions of our own.  We went to honor our youth and to remember the way we felt when we first heard the Beatles. They wrote the soundtrack to our experience. 

Abbey Studios is an unassuming building at one end of the crossing. But the wall surrounding it is covered with the names of those who have made the pilgrimage, perhaps like us, to acknowledge the music created there.  Come Together, Something, and Here Comes the Sun all came from the Abbey Road album. It was the last the Beatles would record together..
We left our own note of thanks on the wall.

It’s very late as I write this so let me just finish with these thoughts:
We found our fish and chips. We experienced the beauty London had to offer. Sadly, I don’t think London was the England my mother dreamed of visiting.  She wanted to see the English countryside, to walk the moors through the heather and smell the sea.

But I am glad we made the trip.  I am glad to be back in Paris.  And I am glad that in 1782, with the help of the French, we kicked Britain’s ass!