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London via Japan

UNITED KINGDOM | Saturday, 28 June 2003 | Views [1401] | Comments [5]

Tower Bridge, London

Tower Bridge, London

Hi Everybody,

Well, i'm back in London yet again.

Had an overnight stopover in Tokyo on the way here, so now i can say i've been to Japan too! From the air it seems to be covered with either rice paddies or golf courses - i've never seen so many golf courses in all my life. It seems quite possible that the majority of trees in Japan seem to be surrounding fairways & greens!

My hotel tv was showing the local version of 'who wants to be a millionare' (mill-yen- aire?), which they seem to have merged with 'funniest home video's (i can't possibly explain here). Anyway, there doesn't seem to be a point in using the 'phone a friend' lifeline (a live video cross!), as by the time they have said the question in Japanese, and the friend has repeated the question, all the time is up! The hotel room was small but fine, and I was amused to see that in place of the ubiquitous 'Guidions bible' they had 'The teachings of Buddha'.

Dinner of boiled Rice & a tiny bit of seafood cost me about $34, and it was almost the cheapest thing on the menu. You think they would be able to make a decent cup of tea too - home of the tea ceremony an all, but they seem to be badly influenced by the Americans in this department - using some alien concoction instead of milk and not even hot.  Yes, I'm a tea addict but you knew that already.

So onto London... Amazingly, the weather here is warm & sunny! (a surprise for me as I've only ever been here in late autumn/winter). Clear skies, up to 28 degrees and a bit humid. I don't think I'm going to need my thermals in a hurry (Though my umbrella has found use already, no suprise there). Somehow i manged to get sunburnt within my first 24hrs in London, probably a neat trick for an Australian!

Went for a drive up to Cambridge with Ed & Clare in their classic old triumph - a great car to see the English countryside in. Cambridge is very pretty, lots of grand Uni buildings, colleges, churches. parks, canals & cute ducks. I'll do a comparison with Oxford when I go there & decide which is the nicer. Unfortunately we didn't have time to go for a punt on the river.

Went to Madame Tussauds, I've always avoided it previously due to the queues & cost. So I queued up for over an hour, paid nearly $50 and was quite underwhelmed, battling for space & a view between the hordes of overweight tourists (mostly American & Arabic). I did chuckle when I saw little Johnie Howards figure standing behind Saddam Hussein's. The live actors in the chamber of horrors was a nice touch, the fake taxi-ride though the animatronics was good, but I got the most amusement out of a wax figure that looked like an ordinary tourist with daypack & camera, posed to take a picture of one of the wax celebrities (it was Buffy). All the real tourists kept moving out of the way (& even apologising), so the fake 'tourist' could get a clear picture.

Have done a cruise on the Thames to add to my suntan/burn, as well as much wandering about London. Took a spin on the 'eye of London' (aka millennium wheel, worlds biggest ferris wheel) and got a very good view over very clear London, and a peek into the ceremony in buckingham palace for the Russian prime minister. Checked out the RAF Museum, lots of old planes and a few 'touch & go' landings by a pair of Chinook helicopters next to the car park was a nice bonus. It nearly blew over a few of the smaller cars and did overturn a picnic table.

The tv here is interesting, with shows like 'Death by gardening' (watching burkes backyard, surely), and documentaries on custard wrestling. Things could get scary if i start getting into eastenders...

Anyway, i will be heading off to the south of England sometime next week, then through Cornwall & wales and back to London again, so will probably write again then.

Hope everybody is well, and will write back!


Tags: cambridge, cambridge, death by gardening, golf courses, london, madame tussauds, millennium wheel, sunburn, tokyo




hiya ol pal. Hope you're surviving there in the land of endless bloody gardening and home decorating shows. We thought England had the most boring TV! Yet when you meet English people travelling, it seemed like all they'd talk about was what they saw on TV - even the ads!!! "These Englishers are crazy" (from Asterix). Anyway, hope you have a great time, I have got an idea ....

would you puh-leeeeeze come to Hong Kong to see us - if you possibly can? If you do, I promise I will personally take you on a holiday to one of the
prettiest spots in China, a small town not far from Guilin, which your parents have been to - but Yangshuo is out of town, by a river, in the mountains, quite nice. It would be excellent to see you, so consider it ....
Hk has some super cheap deals right now, SARS is over and they're trying to lure back the tourists. We have accommodation for you if you can make it.

take care, have fun ... hope to hear from you soon!

Love from Julie

  Julie (long lost cuz) Jun 28, 2003 8:44 PM


Hallo - how goes sunny London calling? Or have you exited eons before an now in the next o/s locale?

I whizzed over in April - just in time to be a bit too present for my sister's very home birth before breakfast, then loitered for a few weeks quality nephew sitting duties in downtown Kent - must say it
was quite a contrast to my previous visits to the UK.

Caught up with Caroline too, which was good fun - hows abouts you or have you been too busy gallivanting around the countryside?

Is this an extended trip or a more sober annual leave trip?

Do tell


  Tyrell Jul 9, 2003 7:36 PM



Hope you're enjoying your jaunt around Cornwall! Sorry we didn't make it out for your birthday, we'll have to make it up to you when you're back in town. Anyway, get in touch when you're in the area - Mandy is having trouble getting on to the Internet but said she will write as soon as she can. We have got a few provisional dates for doing stuff that she wanted to run by you but I'll leave that to her.

Speak soon,

  Clare & Ed Jul 11, 2003 10:07 AM


Hi E,

My goodness you have been up to a lot. I enjoyed reading about your travel tales in both Japan and the UK. Very entertaining.

I haven't got much news except that I'm in rainy Canberra at the moment, watching and waiting for BJ to finish work.

Tonight we will go 2 check out the night life (or lack of) in Canberra before a weekend in museums and art galleries.


Melanie. xo

  Mel Jul 11, 2003 10:53 AM


The weather is equally crap in London today but should brighten up again over the weekend. Plans for tomorrow night are to go for a curry in Brick Lane so hope that's ok with you - should be good, we haven't had a curry out for ages and you get to experience the proper East End!


  Clare & Ed Jul 17, 2003 4:06 PM

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