Saturday, February 22nd, 1997 London, England
Randy, Patti and Barbara got up early and went to the Portobello Market for the weekly marketplace known for its bargains and truly a must for visitors who like to shop. They shopped until they dropped!
Jim and I set out much later after a breakfast at PorChester Café. We walked all the way to Buckingham Palace and managed to arrive part way through the changing of the guard. But we did find a great viewing spot for the return on Monday with Randy and Patti.
After that we caught a cab to the British Museum which turned into a history lesson as the cab driver talked about everything that we passed all the way there. We also found out that he lives part time in both Bloomington, Indiana and also Cambria, California. A wonderful and instructive ride for only £5.00.
Jim enjoyed the museum very much as he saw the Rosetta Stone and the Elgin Marbles among other items. I enjoyed a second cup of coffee and also roamed the library room and saw many old manuscripts. There was a special display of original Beatle songs. Took the tube back to the hotel where we rested until the shoppers returned. There was a message from Patti that they were still shopping and would return about 4 pm.
Patti brought fresh fruit to Jim and I from their shopping trip. We sat down and looked at all the different plays, but no seats left for Saturday night. Barbara is very tired from shopping; but is willing to go out to dinner with us.
Off to find the pretty restaurant that we saw coming home last night. It was across from the Palma Restaurant which has been highly recommended (but looks questionable) for breakfast and lunch by friends at home and also the hotel. We arrived at Krust’s Restaurant and found that the entire restaurant was pre-reserved for 8:30 PM. As it was only seven; we promised to eat fast and be gone if they’d let us have a table.
They agreed and we had fun ordering rapidly, then enjoyed slowly ordering wine which we drank with garlic bread. It was nearly 8 pm when the main course finally arrived. During the salad/soup/liver pate course we played a lively game guessing the names of the singers on songs the restaurant was playing. It was a lively party and we managed to leave on the dot of 8:30 PM. Talked about dessert but there wasn’t time. One interesting dessert is the “Spotted Dick”…a type of sponge cake with chocolate chips. In retrospect; the meal was not quite what we’d anticipated for the price.
Barbara’s steak was well done and she wanted it medium! But…not enough time to cook another one but they did it anyway!! She really didn’t want a new steak; she’d preferred a salad in compensation. Jim ended up eating most of her steak as we hurried through the meal. But the best surprise of all was when we found that the garlic bread we’d enjoyed prior to the dinner cost £8.00.
We caught the double decker bus and went to Piccadilly Circus area which is very much like Broadway in New York. (Barbara had recovered and went with us.) It was very crowded with mostly young people as it was Saturday night. We’d tried to get tickets for a play but everything was sold out. Looks like we’ll be going on Monday as the theaters are dark on Sunday night so we decided to order tour tickets for Sunday night for a planned tour of two pubs, and the old streets of Dickens’ London. It goes from 7 pm to nearly midnight and is known as "Jack The Ripper Tour".
Tonight we ended up at a café for coffee and dessert. When we left the pub, a woman was hopping on one foot with her escort as they left the pub across the street. We offered to help carry her across the street but they wouldn’t accept any help. We were all in a great mood with our bellies full of sweets! We figured she got hurt with the new style dancing where they bump into each other all the time! After a quick ride home by the tube with only one transfer; we were off to bed by midnight.