- The Beefeaters - the funny guards at the tower of London and Buckingham Palace - are so named because they were on occasion paid in Beef rations.
|Not actually a beefeater.|
- The nearest tube station to our apartment was "Morden". Anna dubbed it Mordor, as in "One does not simply take a red double decker bus to Mordor".
|In London, the "Eye" is a Ferris Wheel.|
- It's not that hard to drive on the left side of the road, that is, providing there is absolutely no one in the immediate area to be harmed. Otherwise, it's extremely reckless.
- This was the first time we had taken a ferry, but the day we came back from England more than 23,000 people crossed the channel from Dover to France (one way).
- There are entire websites dedicated to the precise location of something called a Tardis. When Anna told us she wanted to see one, I had to google it.
|This, apparently, is a Tardis.|
- Of British words we heard in public: Cheeky - yes. Wonky - no.
- London has the tallest building in Europe, nicknamed the Shard for it's broken-glass appearance. So the answer to the question, "Who sharded?" -- it's London.
- There really is a Kings Cross Station, and there really is a Platform 9 3/4.
- Unfortunately for our son, in Germany Camden is sort of an odd name. London has a whole town named Camden.
|He was on a Camden High|
- Abbey Road crossing looks a lot more peaceful on the album cover than it is in real life. You have to be ready to die to get that shot. Some tourists decidedly were.
- We have been in a ton of old churches, big and small...but among old churches Westminster Abbey is unbelievable.
- Among the names of the famous buried within Westminster Abbey, lie Isaac Newton, David Livingstone, Edward I "Longshanks", and Charles Darwin. That's right, Charles Darwin.
- Fish and chips - not bad.
- Language Lessons: Chips = Fries. Crisps = chips. Tube=subway. Subway=underground walkway. Brilliant= great. Clever = smart. Brilliant ≠ smart.
- As a pedestrian, traffic at crossings could come from anywhere, so the pavement is conveniently labeled with things like "LOOK LEFT" and "LOOK RIGHT." Smart system.
|Brilliant (and by brilliant I mean clever).|
- If you visit London, do not convert pounds to dollars in your mind while shopping. Just don't.
- When to Romans arrived in England, they considered Stonehenge ancient. Before the Romans were the Druids, but they didn't make it, they found it. That's how old it is.
- We decided you could write a Potter novel using primarily the names of Tube/train/bus stops. For example: Harry potter and the Crystal Palace. Principle good guys: Charleywood, Arnos Grove, and Hoxton. Bad Guys: Blackwall, Croxley, and the Blackfriars. Also useful settings: Wigmore Walk and Hackney Wick.
|Some Hogwarts students at play by the Thames|
- The White Cliffs of Dover are eroding constantly - that is what keeps them white.
- If you want to see the Tower Bridge, go to London. If you want to see the original London Bridge, you have to go to Lake Havasu, Nevada.
|The Tower Bridge (that's in London)|
- If you don't mind the gap it's your own darn fault. You had plenty of warning.
- I find the best way to endear the British to Americans is to drive around one of their roundabouts backwards.
- There are now one hundred pence in a pound. Prior to decimalization there were 240 pence to a quid, 20 shillings per pound, and 12 pence per shilling. Got that?
- In London there is a Starbucks approximately every furlong.