Our main activity for today was to visit the Museum of London. Our friend Jim came to our hotel after breakfast, and as we were walking towards the museum, he gave us an informal tour of some of the sights along the way. We passed through the green at Lincoln’s Inn Fields (very quiet and serious, away from the noise of the city), down into the Silver Vaults near Chancery Lane (incredibly ornate silver decorative pieces – almost like a museum but everything for sale), and by the jewelry stores on Hatton Garden (window shopping only). After we had been at the museum for a while, Jim decided to leave (we have all been here many times), and we made plans to get together again the next day. Denise and I spent the rest of the day at the museum, focusing on the exhibits about early and then modern Britain, skipping the medieval and early modern entirely (not enough time to see everything, especially since we were reading everything and trying to absorb all that knowledge). As if to show ourselves that we’re really tough, or for some other reason, we decided to walk back to the hotel, even though bus and subway were readily available. Needless to say, we were wiped out by the time we got to our room. But we feel that walking is the best way to see London, and that’s why we’re here, so that’s what we did. And we loved the experience.
When we began our last day in London, we had thought that we’d be going to the British Museum for a few hours, but when Jim arrived, we just wanted to sit in the hotel lobby for a while and chat with him. Turns out we stayed there for the rest of the day. We always have a lot to talk about with him (he was an English teacher in a former life), but we were also enjoying the parade of hotel guests through this very busy lobby. Quite ironically, Denise and I were in London during Fashion Week, and many of the people we were watching were clearly “fashionable,” unlike ourselves. Their clothing, hair, makeup, and posturing kept us entertained.
Because it was Fashion Week and rooms were all booked up, we had to leave the Hoxton this afternoon and spend our last night at an airport hotel. So we walked through the rain to the Underground and eventually ended up at the Novotel Heathrow. This is another hotel chain that we’re familiar with, and we like that its rooms are large and clean with free water and tea. Next morning after a leisurely breakfast, we took a taxi to the airport and were on our way back to New Jersey.
We had been too long away from London, so the chance to see our friend Jim again after our Jewish Heritage tour gave us an even greater incentive to make the trip. It was everything we had hoped for.