Atlantis Alumni

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Joyous Return to London

It’s been 7 years since we were last in London. As the famed 18th century genius Samuel Johnson said, “He who grows tired of London grows tired of the world.” That thought may be paraphrased poorly, but it sums up a description of one of the greatest cities in the world. We arrived at the Hotel Russell this afternoon extremely tired from our long seven hour flight, but the city picked up our spirits. Jim was soon out exploring our immediate neighborhood of Russell Square and Bloomsbury. We later took the tube to Covent Garden and saw the inventive Christmas decorations there, such as a giant wire statue of Rudolph the reindeer with his red nose; his was a sculpture made out of green plastic and LED lights. We also took the tube to the National Theatre to buy tickets for tomorrow night. And then we walked across a bridge back to the other side of London, already dark after sunset, toward Somerset House. Jim photographed Big Ben and the Big Eye, the popular Ferris wheel. At Somerset House there was not only a “Christmas Arcade” full of shops, but also a skating rink. At the same huge palace we visited the amazing Courtauld Gallery, full of important paintings by Rubens, Manet, Monet, Gauguin, Van Gogh and many others. At Somerset House there was also a temporary exhibit of the English artist who documented World War I, Stanley Spencer. After stopping by Trafalgar Square to see its big Christmas tree, we went to the exciting Fitzrovia part of town, on Goodge Street and adjoining streets to eat a special dinner at Nizuni. Those folks who follow this blog regularly may have noticed how much Japanese cuisine features in our lives. Here we enjoyed eggplant cooked to distraction, scallops in sesame paste with wilted spinach and a spicy mackerel. After this delightful dinner we wandered out in multi-cultural London again, and took the subway home. This has to be the most visited and cosmopolitan city in the world, and at this holiday season it is full of visitors from every corner of the globe. Tomorrow, we look forward to more adventures. –Dan

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