Travel is one of my passions, but another is photography. Since my trips are only occasional, I have decided to add more of my photographic experiences to this blog.

Since you are obviously here, please enjoy.


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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Family trip

Family trip to Canada and England.

My confession - 5 days visiting family in Collingwood and Omemee, Ontario, and not once did I snap a picture with my camera, not even with my IPhone.  Now follow that up with another 6 days in England and you can see I have some serious catching up to do.

Okay - rewind!!  After flying from Phoenix to Toronto and then driving to visit our oldest son and family in Collingwood, ON, we spent a relaxing time basically bonding and making up for the year long absence since our last visit.  From there, we travelled to the small community of Omemee, (no kidding - Google it) near Peterborough, ON to visit Judy's 96 year old father, before flying from Toronto to London to visit our daughter and family where during the first few days of our visit, our granddaughter will celebrate her Bat-Mitzvah, and  Rosh Hashanah,  our New Year is observed.

Sept. 18th -
Finally we head to London proper to act like tourists.  Taking the train into Waterloo Station (the Brits really know how to put together a transportation system that is efficient and the cost to the traveller is reasonable), and then the 'Tube' to Trafalgar Square where our hotel is located.
We take a walking tour to watch the Changing of the Guards, tour the Royal Mews, where the limousines and horses and carriages of the Queen are displayed.  Exhausted, we return to our hotel to relax for the evening. (Looking out of our window in the Hotel Trafalgar, I see a Canadian flag fluttering in the breeze, and below on the facade of the building - "CANADA" - on Canada House.  With no offense to my newly attained American citizenship or my many American friends, I do feel a distinct stirring of national pride.  I guess you can take the boy out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the boy). 

Sept. 19th -
Once more into the breach.  Jump on the Hop-On Hop-Off bus to get to Tower of London, where we to meet a guide to take a Jewish walking tour within the walls of Olde London.  Interesting facts were discussed going back to Norman times and up to the early 1900's.  We visited the oldest Synagogue in England, Bevis Marks Spanish and Portuguese, built in 1701, authentically furnished with the original benches, candlelit chandeliers, and decor.  We were given an informative talk by one of the Synagogue elders, relating its' history and some of its famous members, such as Moses Montefiore, and Isaac Disraeli, father of Benjamin Disraeli, Prime Minister to Queen Victoria.

Following this informative but exhausting walk, we made our way back to the Tower of London and boarded a boat on the Thames which took us to Greenwich, of 'Mean Time' fame, within sight of London, but far removed from the bustle of the city.  Returning by boat late in the afternoon, we again passed the Tower of London and continued on to Westminster and the famous "Eye", a giant Ferris wheel built to be short lived for the turn of the century,   but proving so popular, it remains a 'must see & do' while in London.  In the 30 minute rotation, fabulous views of London can be seen.

Sept. 20 -
We bought tickets to see a matinee of Billy Elliot, and then took another sightseeing ride on the Hop-On Hop-Off bus to once more get a tourists' glimpse of London, had another Pub lunch and then off to the theatre to see Billy Elliot - ABSOLUTELY AMAZING.  The Victoria Palace Theatre is old and very quaint with great sight lines, but oh so uncomfortable seats.  The staging, story line and music were fantastic beyond words - an absolute highlight of our days in London.

London is a special city to visit; the old mixed with the new; the history and the recovery from the devastation from the bombings of WWII.  Leicester Square (remember -  WWI-"It's a Long Way to Tipperary") - Covent Garden(My Fair Lady).  So much to see and so little time - an excuse for another trip soon.

Returning to our daughters' home in Claygate via the tube & train, we continue our visit with family.   

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