The Traveler's Journal

Adventures, tales, stories and vignettes by travel writer James Patton Jones

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Monday the 22nd of April 2019 | AM Edition Published by JRAC, Inc.
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Previous Articles:

Architecture in Columbia

To London via Train
A Bus to Stonehenge

A Flight to France
Normandy, Brittney and the Loire Valley
First Day in Paris
Walking Tours of Paris
Memories of Paris

Arrival in Tokyo
Subway Survival, Swords, Site-Seeing, and Sushi
A Week of Business Meetings, and Wonderful Food
Asakusa and Tokyo Tower
Mt. Fuji and Hakkone
Sony Building, Hibiya Park, Shopping

Memories of Mexico

Swiss Excursion, Part I
Swiss Excursion, Part II

Snow Camping in Yosemite

Going on an Adventure? For maps navigational accessories, The Traveler recommends:
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Recommended Books:

Interested in non-travel writing by author James Patton Jones? Non-fiction books, technical books, and papers/articles

To London via Train

Now quite familiar with the subway system, navigating to the train station was straight forward. However, the ease ceased upon arrival at the station. All the signs were in French and the Eurostar train line was not to be found. After several long minutes of wondering around lost, I spied an information kiosk. Now armed with instructions, I soon found my way to the correct area of the station, which, by the way, is divided into several "wings" (mostly hidden by the omni-present construction barriers) and each wing has different levels or floors. After a bit more walking I found the Eurostar ticket counter and received my reserved ticket. Next came French passport control (with an exit stamp!) and then British passport control.

The ride was not as smooth as an airplane-- a little bumpy, more like a car, or an airplane on descent. The sun was just rising as we left town: beautiful reds and pinks over freshly tilled farmlands.

Once we were underway, menus and UK immigration cards were passed out to those who needed them.

The ride to London was pleasant and enjoyable. I spent most of the time planning my itinery for the visit, and then mapping a walking course for the day. When we emerged from the channel tunnel, I could see rolling farmland through the morning fog. Occasionally I caught a glimps of sheep grazing. The landscape reminded me of central North Carolina in the morning. Green trees and shrubs lined the rail tracks, often blocking the view beyond.

As the train rolled into Waterloo station, the excitement within me expanded quickly-- I was here-- London, the business capital of Europe. Following my walking plan I headed West. Immediately I became aware of the drivers: on the "wrong" side of the road! As I walked, I routed my path to carry me past many points of interest: St. John's Catheral, the British Red Cross, Southwark Catheral. Then I cross the London Bridge. (My guide book says this version of the bridge was built in the early 1970s and its predicessor is now in Arizona!) This is one of many bridges across the Thames in London.

[Title: "London Bridge" ImageID: 530629_18 ]

Continuing, I circled St. Magnus the Martyr Church, took a foot-path along the River Thames, then up to All Hallows by the Tower. I toured the exterior and fortificartions of the Tower of London, and then ate the rest of the food that I acquired earlier on the train.

[Title: "The Tower of London" ImageID: 530629_23 ]

[Title: "The Tower Bridge" ImageID: 530629_24 ]

Walking on, I saw St. Margaret Pattons Church, Lloyd's of London, the Royal Exchange, the London Stock Exchange, St. Stephen Walbrook, and then I arrived at St. Paul's Catheral. This beautful building I toured, as its huge stained-glass covered dome is the second largest in the world. Only St. Peter's Catheral in Rome is larger.

[Title: "St. Paul's Catheral" ImageID: 534084_5 ]

Continuing my trek, I strolled past the Royal Courts of Justice, St. Clements Dames, before reaching the Houses of Parliment, with Big Ben standing tall on one end. These were next to St. Margarget's Church and Westminister Abbey.

[Title: "Big Ben and Houses of Parliment" ImageID: 534084_11 ]

[Title: "Back of Westminster Abbey" ImageID: 534084_13 ]

After visiting these, I walked past the gates of Buchingham Palace, but decided to skip the tour (the line was 2 blocks long!). Instead I took a pleasant stroll across Green Park which is a huge grassy park in the middle of town (10 acres at least) where I stopped for a spell and wrote for a bit in my journal, then continued on. Next I arrived at Berkeley St, which, after a bit more walking and a fair amount of head-scratching, determined that this was the wrong Berkeley St. Its was supposed to be near Marble Arch, and it was supposed to be the location of my hotel. I reploted my course direcly to Marble Arch, hoping that once I got there I'd have better luck in finding my hotel. Ah, ha! I found another Berkeley St. And headed toward it, eventually finding my lodging for the weekend: Marble Arch Inn, a Bed and Breakfast.

Later I went out both to check out the neighborhood, and to find some food. I found an internet cafe instead, and so checked my email, grabbed a snack, and then returned to my hotel and went to bed early, since I had a full day planned for tomorrow.

More articles about England:
 A Bus to Stonehenge

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