14 March 2009

London for Less

There are some silver linings to the economic crisis. First, for some reason the U.S. dollar is up against most other currencies, including the British pound. Second, air fares are down. Both good reasons to finally make that trip to London. 

Another good reason: we very much needed to change our travel pattern from Texas - Buenos Aires - Texas to BA - Texas - BA. So on February 26 we flew back to Austin, using the return portion of our tickets that had brought us to Buenos Aires last May. (Thanks to our good friends Roger and Maria Nasr for putting us up!)

With our Texas business (tax filings, bank runs, and medical appointments) out of the way, we left for London on March 4 on an open-jaw ticket that allowed us to return from London to Buenos Aires. Of course, we had to connect through Houston on the return leg, which made for a very long trip: we left the apartment we had rented in London at 6:30 am on March 12, and arrived at our home in Buenos Aires at 11:30 am on March 13, some 31 hours later. 

London was worth it, though. We stayed in Southwark, right off the Tower of London Bridge, on the south side of the Thames, in an area of refurbished warehouses that had served the docks in past eras. We were pretty much in walking distance of most attractions: we trekked across various bridges, to Bloomsbury and the British Museum, to Westminster and Parliament and other government buildings, as well as to closer sites, including Burrough's Market, St. Paul's Cathedral, the National Theatre (where we attended a dramatic reading by playwright David Hare), and the adjacent Festival Hall area, with all sorts of enterprising entertainers performing for passers-by. Photo impressions here.

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