Friday, August 29, 2014

France to England

Last night we spent a pleasant evening dining beside the canal in Amiens after our day on the Somme.
Looks like one happy chappy.
Notice the buoy in the water.
This is a typical eating strip in the tourist towns.  Large awnings out from the restaurants for the al fresco dining.  Reality is, it rains so much, they need this for protection.  No rain for the day.
Amiens is a very pretty town, like so many in Europe.  So much housing has been built right on the road and have a small frontage.  It is quite common for the door to be the dominant feature of the house, although many houses here have external shutters.  Newer places have a roller shutter.
These are more original, less damage from WW2 in this area of town.
This building in the Mall, has some structural problems.  It dips left and right, inwards and outwards.

Up and at it to catch the 8.38 train back to Lille Flanders. Some stations do not have lifts or escalators at every platform so a little bit of lugging the suitcase up or down!  A short walk (400m) from this station to get to Lille Europe station where we caught the Eurostar to London (St Pancras).  This place was humming.  People and suitcases every where.  Long line for the station toilet, but it was free.  Not many freebies in Europe. I thought the expression "spend a penny" came from England.
We lined up to get our Oyster card ( travel pass on the underground), then worked out which line, then which train to get to our hotel in Bayswater (N & J, nothing like your Bayswater).  It is very East Melbourneish, (Georgian style buildings we think, will confirm that).
Most of the houses have a downstairs living apartment.  Not much of a front yard for these residents.  Probably cost a fortune in this area as well!
Our hotel below.  We are on the second floor.  Nice enough, but small.

 Good location, short walk to Bayswater station and Paddington.  
Plenty of double deckers about, although they are much more modern compared to our last visit to London.  
The handsome cabs are pretty modern too.  Will get a photo tomorrow.

This afternoon, a visit to the laundromat was required.  As the weather has been cooler than expected, our long pants and jackets have been getting a fair amount of wear.  The bathroom is like a Chinese laundry, (too ikey to pay to have the washing dried).  It will dry well as it is as warm here as we have had it all trip.  Even got the shorts on this afternoon.  Mind you, there was a shower of rain late in the day.
We have wandered down to a local pub for dinner.  A typical pub, but modern, with modern prices!
This is not the cheapest of places.  Check out the petrol prices.
Looks cheap, but factor in the exchange rate, so nearly double it!
It is also a very multi cultural city, with just about every nationality offering their fare in the main street.
Tomorrow, we have are going to Westminster Abbey, the London Eye and a cruise along the Thames, things we didn't do last time we were here.
Good to hear from folks back home, so keep the emails coming using either email address.  Australia hardly rates a mention here.  Lucky we are keeping up with local news online.
Bye for now.

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