It was a lovely two weeks in England. We spent it meandering about Cambridge, drinking lots of tea accompanied by scones, crumpets, sticky toffee pudding, shortbread, Cadbury chocolate…I also enjoyed fish and chips, pasties, steak and ale pie, and even some good pizza and chicken chow mein. Yum.
One day my mom and I went into London and spent the day in a part of the city we had never seen before: “The City.” It is the oldest part of London, where Roman settlers first built a bridge over the Thames, a bridge that has seen many incarnations. Now it is the Tower Bridge, leading to the Tower of London. Did you know that it was those marauding Norwegians who once tied the bridge supports to rowboats, rowed away to pull it down, and then created a song about it (London Bridge is Falling Down)? That is according to the information we read at St. Magnus the Martyr Church, rebuilt by Christopher Wren after the Great Fire of 1666. We planned to visit about five or six of Wren’s churches in the City area, but only St. Magnus was open.
Wren built so many structures in this area because it was heavily destroyed by the Great Fire. He also built a monument to the fire, a tall pillar standing near the place where the fire began. For a small fee and the task of climbing 311 steps, you can get a nice view of the city.
My mom and I enjoyed seeing this financial part of the city, an interesting mix of old and new bumping up against each other.
My mom, dad, and I flew to Kyiv on New Year’s Day, arriving just before midnight. When we got to the Hotel Ukraine at almost 1:00 a.m., the room was facing the opposite direction from what I had reserved, which I could live with, but when we found that it had not been cleaned…well, that was a non-negotiable. The woman at the reception desk told me there were absolutely no other rooms available, but after insisting for some time that we get a new room, she did manage to come up with one. Humph.
The next day was bitterly cold, a shock to the system! It was well below freezing, with a cold that slices right behind your eyes and under the bridge of your nose, giving you the sensation of gulping down a frozen drink. But – there is snow on the ground! What a wonderful effect it gives.
My next post will bring us down to Cherkasy. Until then, Happy New Year to one and all, and may you all be healthy, happy, and intrepid travelers of life in the coming year!