Monday, July 02, 2007

A Tale of Two Cities

It was the best of timing, it was the worst of timing.

Actually, mostly the worst of timing.

Yes, England has had the most rain and floods in June ever. This caused various delays in transportation.

Yes, England and Scotland have been hit by various terrorist attacks suddenly. This caused more delays in transportation.

Rachel was supposed to leave out of Glasgow airport on Sunday. She managed to switch the flight to Aberdeen airport, but the flight never left anyway. I'm really not sure where she is right now. Probably still in England, somewhere. And she discovered when returning the car in Aberdeen just how much they were robbing us in Glasgow (hundreds of pounds, apparently).

After my 4 hour debacle picking up Tal on Wed, I had another 3 hour debacle returning from central London to Golders Green on Friday, only arriving at 8:15 PM, well after my host had gone to shul.

In brief, here's the past few days:


Went with Tal down the river to all the usual sites in Thursday. Bored at Buckingham palace, saw the National Gallery again and listened to a schoolteacher describe the famous painting The Good Samaritan to his class ("See, the two Jews are like the two dogs licking the blood, while Christ is like ...")

We managed to exactly miss every play at the National Theater. We went up and down the river on a boat. We saw, and hated, the Tate Modern (more about that later).

We saw Stomp and were blown away. Awesome, awesome, awesome!

We walked Portobello market again on Friday, slept in Kensington Park, walked around Golders Green, and bought as little as possible. Eggroll: £5.50. That's about 45 NIS. No thanks.

On Saturday, I fear that I made a mess with my lovely hosts. I kept saying things I regretted saying, and ended up feeling very awkward. And I asked for too many things, which they felt obligated to give me. A bit of a culture clash, I fear.


We made it without difficulty to York to a nice B&B (Number 34).

We walked around York's city, and saw Jorvik (which could have been interesting, but was ridiculously overproduced). York's main attractions are terribly spoiled with admission prices and souveniers. Other than that, the city has nice shops, views, and so on.

York is not only physically halfway between London and Scotland, it's also halfway accent-wise, socially, pub-culture, prettiness, warmth, and probably a number of other indices.

Today we went to Scarborough, but, again, missed the theater, and were rained on while we tried to enjoy the beach. Before we left York, and after we returned, it's been sunny.

What can you do?

Summing up: enjoyed one and a half days in London from Wed to Sat, and enjoying our trip in York since Sunday, but missed the main attractions and get rained on occasionally.

Many notes and pictures for after I return and can sort through them.


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