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London - July 2007

In continuing our trip a bit further out, my buddy Jim and I took another train from Paris under the English Channel to the center of London. The train ride was awesome and going through the tunnel under the water of the English Channel was a cool experience. A few coordination issues with the lifts and such, but nothing too drastic-- nothing I can’t handle.

Once we got off the train and through Waterloo Station we got ourselves a cab to the hotel. The cabs here are all the same model car just different years and all are wheelchair accessible, with ramps that pull out of the floor, grab bars and the rear seat even folds up. I even had enough head room, which is tough to find most times at my height. This driver was tops! He brought us a special way to the hotel that took us along side some of the nicer areas of the city. Once we got to the Metropolitan Hotel we were guided to this little side entrance with an automatic door and ramp up to the check in desk.

The Metropolitan Hotel ( is a rather contemporary design with awesome rooms. Ours even overlooked a nice section of Hyde Park. After we got all settled in, we hopped another cab to Soho for dinner at The 3 Greyhounds, a typical corner pub with good food and laughter all around. The steak and ale pie was just the ticket! The only downfall was there were no main level bathrooms. The only had some down a really narrow flight of stairs and I wasn’t going to attempt it. Especially after a few pints..

The next day was a lazy day, relaxing from the trip and then we decided to venture out for dinner at Nobu ( right in the hotel for sushi. I must say this is the second Nobu Restaurant I have been to – once before in Miami – and I really like this place. The food is great, the wait-staff is on top of things and the décor is just right. The accessibility was a cinch. I just needed to be able to roll under the table and with my tall chair and long legs sometimes that can become a challenge.

We set off in the midst of a typical English cloudy, rainy day to the Tate Modern Museum ( with a coffee at the Tate Modern Café. The food was really tasty there and the accessibility was great. Then we took the giant ramp to the entrance of the art galleries.

After a bit of wandering around there, we headed off to St. Paul’s Cathedral ( This place is so beautiful! And it was great to get back out of the rain. There was a side entrance that was ramped and easy to get in. One tip for people who want to see the inside of this amazing cathedral is: make sure you don’t take photos. There are strict rules against it with signs posted. You will get reprimanded if you are seen snapping pictures. Learn from my mistakes..

Once we had our fill of the church, and my hair started to smoke as the statues began to cry blood, we worked our way down the street. My forward progress was suddenly halted by the giant red SALE sign in front of a Blacks ( outdoor store. So, I obviously had to go in and check it out. The staff was really helpful and although I could only see the things on the first floor, the salesman was more than willing to run up and down the stairs to show me what he had to offer as I gave him suggestions of what I was looking for. We ended up with just the right stuff to satisfy the gear craving and decided to get on our way before we really spent too much money.

We dropped our findings off at the hotel and headed right back out for the British Museum ( This museum is so incredible. The entrance is just breathtaking with its grandiose marble and lofty glass ceiling. The whole entire place is probably one of the most accessible places I have ever been in. It is designed so well and is beautiful just as a building itself, without all the amazing history and artwork. The ancient Egyptian display was of course my favorite and there were tons of different pieces and spectacular art.

With a long day of wandering and so much seen to take in we went back to Soho and stopped at the Coach and Horses Pub ( for dinner. Pints of Guinness and plates of fish and chips and bangers and mash to fill our bellies. This was a perfect end to a great day.

Today we got ourselves up at the crack of noon and staggered down the street to the Hard Rock Café ( right down from the hotel. We picked up a few souvenirs and grabbed a table to enjoy some great American food. It is so good to have American food again. It felt like forever since I even had real bacon. It really is amazing the things you miss from home when you are gone for a long time. And at this point I have only been away from home for about 6 months in my travels.

Once we were sufficiently stuffed, we continued on our journey to Buckingham Palace. We had gotten there too late to see the ever famous changing of the guard so we took our photos and were on our way to the next destination. I must say, it is really easy getting from one place to the next here. There were only a few hick ups along the foot paths. We then went to Westminster Abby ( Now this place is just plain awesome! Even for a person who is not so religious, this place amazed me. It has such a daunting presence from the outside and no different once you get inside. One cool thing that I learned talking to one of the gentlemen that worked there was that part of the building had been stuck by bombs back during wartime and destroyed some of the stained glass windows on one end, so they used the shards of colored glass to remake some of the other windows. The whole place was really cool to see. Not to mention all the famous people entombed there.

After we ambled through the Abby we crossed the river past the Parliament building and Big Ben to the London Eye ( for a ride high above the city. Getting into the building after getting our tickets was quite the line, but it was all up a ramp and the platform made it easy to get into one of the cars that actually fit 12 people with seating around the edge of each pod. Glass surrounded us and we could see all over the city once we got to the very top. This is by far the best Ferris wheel I have ever been on and it is going to be tough to beat.

We finished our ride and on the way out saw a strip of different street performers doing what they do best. We watch in awe as people were juggling these clear spheres in a way that was just hypnotizing then moved on to a contortionist that put his entire body through a metal coat hanger and then, escaped from a straight jacket. There were actually quite a few different performers working along the river bank. It was a lot of fun.

That night we took a cab to the Wolseley Restaurant, frequented by fame such as Jack Nicholson. After a fantastic meal in the posh of the posh restaurant we called it a night.

Today was an utterly lazy day spent in the room recovering from all the activity over the last few days. I did get back to the Hard Rock Café for dinner with another friend who was there in the city the same time I was. But then back to the room for some sleep.

After a good day and night’s sleep we decide we wanted to go see Trafalgar Square (, so we hop in one of the wonderful cabs and made our way there. I really must say how much I love this taxi system. The cabs are all accessible and the drivers go through a lot of training to become a true cabby. We spend some time wandering around the square and then stop off at Pasta Brown for a lunch at their outdoor café.

After lunch we go back to the hotel to clean up and relax a bit before heading back out. We both agree that Nobu needs another tasting so we go downstairs and have another great meal.

On tonight’s docket is the always entertaining show Stomp at the Vaudeville Theatre. Now we are even closer to where it all started. Brighton is where Stomp got its start. And yet another great night in the books!

The next day the trip ends with a flight out of London Stanstead Airport back to Geneva. The flight goes easy and transfers go really well. London, I WILL be back, soon!