Those of you who did not follow our journey across southern England as it happened on this daily photoblog, may prefer this recap of two dozen representative pix from the trip:
TUESDAY DAY 02 – LONDON:
Triathlon (M) – young Team GB fans in Hyde Park hoping their boys medal. One of the few events most Londoners were able to get to see – no tickets required. There were tens of thousands at the park for this one.
in Hyde Park, after watching the exciting finish on the big screens with Team GB fanatics Dai and Wilson. We celebrated the Brit brothers, Alistair and Jonny Brownlee’s smashing performance in the tri.
Stoke Newington – With our London hosts Sarah & Adam at their fave local to share a pint after dinner and to watch some Olympic events on the telly.
WEDNESDAY DAY 03 – LONDON:
Muggles think this is St. Pancras Station.
Ethan & Karina know this is King’s Cross, the one Harry used to travel to Hogwarts.
We travelled across town to old Earl’s Court in West London for the Men’s Volleyball QF matches: Brazil v Argentina, and USA v Italy. Brazil & Italy were the gold medal faves.
Italy was just too good in all phases of the game and won 3-0. We also saw Brazil demolish the Argentines. My money was on Italy to win gold.
Nick, the greeter at Selfridge’s, was very helpful and points out where all the good pubs in the neighborhood are.
Wallace Collection – a small gem of a museum, overlooks Manchester Square, near Oxford Street.
THURSDAY DAY 04 – LONDON:
St. Paul’s Cathedral, with its world-famous dome, is an iconic feature of the London skyline. While not as big as St. Peter’s, the interior may be just as impressive.
Women’s Basketball SF: USA v Australia.
These two had played for the gold medal in the last 3 Olympics. The Aussies played tough defense in the first half.
We had a young Aussie fan Alex in front of us. I told her I would root for the Aussies in the first half because Americans always root for the underdog. When the Aussies powered ahead by 7 points with time left in the half, I told her: “No Deal!” I started to root for the USA, which obviously made a difference. Yanks won by 13.
Sharing today’s perfect pint of Czech Staropramen at Coach & Horses in Stoke Newington on our last night in London. Sarah and Adam joined us late on a work night. Bravo!
FRIDAY DAY 05 – LONDON / CANTERBURY:
Hyde Park – The London mounted police dress a bit more formally than the NYPD mounted.
Canterbury – view of the West Gate, a medieval gate house and the largest surviving city gate in England. view is from our restaurant table in the very fine Cafe des Amis. The next day when talking places to eat with a local, she told us that this was her fave restaurant in town. We went there because it was still open late at night and it was near our hotel. Sometimes you get lucky.
SATURDAY DAY 06 – CANTERBURY / RYE:
Rye rooftops after we climbed the rickety stairs to the roof of St Mary’s, the local parish church.
Rye is a day trip from Canterbury, just a bit down the coast from Dover. Very scenic town was the home of Sir Paul McCartney. Just across the channel from France and near the scene of the crime – the Battle of Hastings.
If this is the Thomas Becket Pub, then this must be Canterbury.
In the center of the historic part of town with a good selection of beers. Inside hanging from the rafters are dried local hops, and on one wall is an eyewitness account of Thomas Becket’s assassination.
SUNDAY DAY 07 – CANTERBURY:
Westgate Gardens. Perfect for a picnic or just a stroll along the riverwalk.
Canterbury Cathedral at night from the Christ church gate. We were lucky – this gate is usually closed after dark, and we walked by just as a car exited the grounds.
Only a block away from this peaceful scene, back on the main drag (High Street), all hell was breaking loose on a Friday night in Canterbury. Who Knew?
MONDAY DAY 08 – COTSWOLDS:
Morton-in-Marsh / Redesdale Arms. A nice room booked at the last minute. When we found out there was welcome sherry, we thought it was a very nice room.
TUESDAY DAY 09 – COTSWOLDS:
Typical Cotswold Cottage in Stow on the Wold.
With Lisa & Billy from Liverpool at the Kingsbridge Inn, right on the village green in Bourton on the Water, in the Cotswold’s. We shared a pint, talked a bit of football. They were disappointed that we did not include their town in our trip; we told them next time, for sure. They gave us a super recommendation for dinner.
To my Highbridge mates: not only was this the Kingsbridge Inn, but across the street was a shop named Highbridge Jewelers – how this can be?
WEDNESDAY DAY 10 – OXFORD:
View from our room at Oxford University’s Keble College. With the students away, between semesters, it was quiet and I could work on my thesis – “The differences between British and American IPA’s”.
The Bodleian Library, the main research library of the University of Oxford, is one of the oldest libraries in Europe, and in Britain is second in size only to the British Library. Of course, there is much more to the library than this original building.
THURSDAY DAY 11 – BATH:
River Avon as it flows through Bath. Kind of confusing because there are Avon rivers all over England – it’s the celtic word for river.
Sharing a pint of Doom with my new mates, Ben & Adrian. Even if it didn’t taste good, the name makes it today’s PerfectPint. Ben and Adrian are from up Manchester way and were in Bath for a day at the races.
All the pubs were showing the big test match between England and S.Africa, the two best cricket teams in the world. Ben and Adrian were kind enough to explain some of the intricacies of the sport, so that we had some idea of what we were watching.
FRIDAY DAY 12 – STONEHENGE:
Stonehenge, about 8 miles north of Salisbury, is one of the most famous sites in the world, attracting about 800,000 visitors a year. Composed of a circular setting of large standing stones set within earthworks, the first stones were probably erected in 2400–2200 BC. Still a mystery – WHY?
A map of our journey / pub crawl across southern England. First days were in London for the Games, last day was spent just outside Salisbury in Stonehenge.