29 April 2010

London to Norway to Denmark to Italy to London, April/May 2010

The view from our hotel window, day; and night...

"There's a tea tasting. I would love to go to a tea tasting" calls Joselyn from her luxurious bath tub where she is scubbing off the jet lag... We are finishing our one day in London just now... enjoying that strange sense of dislocation.... We are staying at the Millennium Knightsbridge on Sloane St, near Harrods and Have A Nickel's... sleeping and trying to adjust to the new time zone. Our first stop outside this morning was to have coffees at Cafe Nero, an "Italian" coffee shop with no Italians in it. However, tonight we plan to have dinner a one minute walk from this hotel, at Sale e Pepe, a small Italian restaurant where they greet you in Italian.

 I will speak Italian one way or another. 

I will say: "Abbiamo un prenotazione... mia moglie e' una vegetariana..." 

They will hear: "I dunno... I think he said he has a premonition that the milk is spoiled, or made out of vegetables.

"You take care of them. I can't understand a word they say."

On the way over from San Francisco we were given seats in the middle of a five, and if you've flown you know what that means. We objected, pointing out the J has to go the lav a lot, and were moved, no charge because the clerk was in a good mood at the baggage check, to economy plus (exactly four more inches of leg room), saving us $200. Then we asked again, later, and because the plane was only 3/4 full, were moved to a 2 bulkhead seat with LOTS of room. By pressing our feet against the bulkhead we could (a) summon help (b) stick a leg out the window or (c) relieve our cramps.

Did you know there is an Italian bookstore in London? It's called The Italian Bookshop. 5 Cecil Court, closest tube station is Leicester Square tube Station. Charing Cross is close as well. Opening time 10:30-6:30pm. Near to Foyle's, Waterstone's, and 100 small antiquarian book shops.

Tomorrow we give ourselves over to the good hands of Natl Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions. We meet in the lobby here, then proceed to Winchester, then Exeter, to Totnes, a ferry down the Dart to Dartmouth, overnight in Exeter, then finally join our ship there (it was delayed a day in a drydock in Spain to fix a leaking seal).... I know there's a joke in there, but I'm too spaced to find it. The ship will take us around the outside of the British Isles -- Scilly isles, Skelligs, Dingle Peninsula, Aran islands and cliffs of Moher, county Donegal, Iona and Staffa, St Klida and Callanish (Hebrides), Inverewe Gardens, Orkney islands, Fair Isle and Mousa, and the Shetlands.... whew... all this in about two weeks.

Hope this log wasn't too boring. See you all soon, one way or the other.

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