Yesterday turned into another epic. When we started planning our trip we were going to try to avoid London, but as we could not fly into Manchester from Hong Kong we thought we should have a couple of days in the big city. However there are so many great things to do in London so we’ve worked ourselves quite hard. Westminster Abbey came first, eighteen pounds seems a bit steep but the excellent audio guides provided meant enjoyed it more than I remember from previous visits. Just being where so many coronations and significant funerals have been held, along with being able to stand near (or walk on) the tombs of people who have made contributions to our history is quite amazing even forty one years after my first visit.
It’s also 41 years since I last went to the British Museum so we decided to try the one hour recommended highlights. Of course this is almost impossible but we did see the Parthenon (Elgin) marbles, the Rosetta Stone, the Lewis chessmen along with a heap of other priceless stuff.
Heading back to the hotel we wandered into Hyde park, at Lancaster gate at which point the rain came down so we sheltered by a pond with nice fountains and watched a heron like bird fishing. Next to Gatwick a bit early to find our flight was a bit late, which resulted in our arriving at our guest house on the Isle of Man around ten pm. A good night’s sleep was no problem.
Today saw us take the bus North from Douglas to the port of Ramsay. At the bus station a lovely gentleman started chatting, he was obviously pretty active although his sight was poor and he told us that he would be ninety nine in one month. Before the war his elder brother had emigrated to the Waikato and he had always meant to visit but, perhaps he’d left it a bit late. In Ramsay I managed a sketch of the harbour, sadly the first real work I’ve done.
We caught the electric tram back to Laxey where we visited the big wheel (above) before walking down to the harbour and beach. What a pleasant, quiet, place it was at least until we hurried up some steep steps to try to catch the tram. We found the station but when the tram did not arrive we consulted the timetable and found that we had the time wrong and we had 30 minutes more to wait. But it was sunny, the bluebells were in flower and we needed a rest.
When the tram came the conductor was great fun and we talked all the way back to Douglas. Apparently the trams are 120 years old, the one we rode on started service in 1895 and is still, pretty much, bar some painting and reupholstering, the same as it was then.
From the tram terminal we had a two mile walk back to find some dinner and get back to the guest house. We’re tired but my knees seem to be holding up.