Saturday, October 9, 1999

We took the 9:37 train back to London Ealing Broadway. Britrail was improvising due to the train crash again. We transferred to a tube to Sloan Square, and after a long explanation for exiting the tube without tickets, the lady let us through just to get rid of us. It helped that there was a long line forming behind us.

We found a room at the Astor/ Sir Gar Hotel at 131 Ebury. Everything else was full thanks to football. Never stay there! Never! This place was the worst! It was £70 for a room that shared a bath with the entire hotel, and the toilet did not flush! There were burn marks on the carpet from the electric heater that had once fallen off the wall. The heater was now barely hanging on the wall, at an angle from one poorly secured corner. Even the shade on the table lamp was charred. We were on the 6th floor and assumed we would die in a fire during the night. Yuck, yikes, yuck! Donít ever stay there! All hotels in the future will be compared to this place: "at least itís not as bad as Sir Gar."

Our room at the Sir Gar Hotel

We caught the tube to Tower Hill and walked out onto the Tower Bridge and then around the Tower of London. Jana was totally amused by their silly little bridge. It's incredibly tacky, and a fine example of the gift the British have for creating jobs. This silly little bridge probably cost 25 times what it needed to cost, with all its tacky frilliness.

The Tower Of London

Tower Bridge from the Fire Monument

We climbed up The Monument, a monument to the fire of London, for some great views of the city. I got a little vertigo from the circular staircase.

We saw St. Paulís Cathedral on our walk to Soho. During our walk around the city, I collected phone-booth girls, postcard-sized ads for call girls found in all the phone booths in London. Soho square was dead, but Soho was lively. We pub-hopped for a while and had dinner at an Indian place - best meal of the trip! Chicken Madris....mmmm.

We bought a bottle of mead since Jana had never had any before and tubed back to the hotel. The mead was delicious. I wouldnít let Jana drink the bottle I had bought for my brother John. She was disappointed. We watched a Monty Python marathon on BBC and fell asleep during "Life of Brian."

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