Reading: I read a few books on holiday: Friendfluence, The Purple Shroud, Delirium, and The Perks of being a Wallflower.
Running: I ran 67 miles in twelve days! One day on the boat I ran 13 miles, one the deck (three lap = 1.1 miles). I know this sounds crazy… but running calmed me (rough seas) and kept me busy. OMG… I just realized I ran a half marathon on a boat!
The Trip: I hope to write a separate post for this trip but let’s be honest.. I still haven’t posted on Ireland from last July…. so I’m taking time on my flight home.
My father booked himself a trip on the QM2 last fall, from NYC to Southampton and a month ago I decided to join him. We spent eight days at sea (I ran/walked 10-12 miles every day and survived a week of ‘extremely rough’ seas), followed by three days in Oxford, and three days in London.
With only three days to explore, we hired a driver once we got settled (by driver I mean cab). We have the concierge find someone with knowledge of the city, based on the places we want to see that day. It’s a great way to meet locals, hear stories, and learn about the city. Bonus… they wait while you run into a Cathedral! I saw a week’s worth of London in three days, with no stress/pressure (and my father didn’t have to walk).
The Tower of London: I’m related to Anne Boleyn, did you know this about me? I guess I take this lightly, thinking everyone is related to someone of great historical importance but my assumption may not be true (based on the comment by our driver). Anyway, I really wanted to see where she lived, was imprisoned, and where her execution took place. I think I will finally commit to reading Wolf Hall, which I bought the day it was released in 2009!
The distance from the London Bridge to the Tower can be measured in strides, and sits right on the Thames. St Paul’s Cathedral, Castles, and walking the streets of the Great Fire…. it all came to life. If you haven’t been to London and you enjoy history, this is a must see destination.
Highgate Cemetery: Let’s blame Audrey Neffenegger for this fascination. I have wanted to visit Highgate since reading Her Fearful Symmetry. This was a highlight of the trip! It’s spooky (in a good way) – walking down paths of overgrowth, exploring the stones, occasionally hearing blackbird wings whipping in the air high above you, the sounds of an owl, and the voices of children from a park blocks away. I’m going to listen to this book again, can’t wait!
photo: don’t the headstones on the far right look like ghosts?
We hired one a driver on our last day to bring us to a few places, including Notting Hill, seeing the dragons that protect the ‘city of London’… we were also lucky enough to see the changing of the guard (completely unexpected). Then to Heathrow for an evening flight home, which isn’t anything like what we saw in the Bourne movie series (ha).