Britain London, England 2000.06.19 - 06.25

Wandering London Part 2

Our return to London meant the return of our rental car and freedom from the stress of driving. We were very fortunate to be invited to stay with Wes' college friend Sarah and her friend Chris. Sarah and Chris have a flat near the center of London - a perfect base for city explorers.

Neal's Yard

In addition to the typical tourist attractions, we found one gem in London. Her name is Adeline Tsang Prior, and she's one of the BEST massage therapists we've ever been to. Before working on the muscles, she relaxes and warms the tense areas through gentle touch. Then, finding the source of the pain, she gradually works from the source to the location of pain. Imaging a deep tissue stress release without a single second of pain.

We found Adeline because a friend recommended that we go to Neal's Yard Therapy in a courtyard called Neal's Yard, located near Covent Garden tube station in London, for a massage. After 2.5 weeks of driving in Britain, we were tense and hurting - Wes had his usual painful left shoulder, and Masami had her usual painful right shoulder. Masami was so tense that she was getting headaches daily and Wes was nearly at that stage.

We made the reservation by phone. Wes got Adeline and Masami got someone else. When making the reservations, Wes specifically asked the receptionist if both therapists were trained in Reiki. The person Masami had didn't have a clue about Reiki nor massage. Enough said. In the end, Masami made another appointment later in the day with Adeline. She cured her tension.

Adeline works at Neal's Yard Therapy Rooms (Tel: 0171-379-7662) on Thursdays and at NW London Medical Centre (Tel: 0171-624-2804) on Mondays. She also sees patients at her private office. Contact information:

Adeline Tsang Prior
15  Belvedere Court, 225/227 Willesden Lane, London NW2 5RL
Tel: 0181-459-0339  (+44-181-459-0339 outside Britain)

Neal's Yard is a cute little courtyard with various therapeutic rooms, medicinal shops, and food stalls. In addition to Neal's Yard Therapy Rooms, there is a bookstore specializing in homeotherapy / acupuncture / etc, an aromatherapy shop, and a consultation area.

St. Paul's Cathedral

Back to site seeing in London. St. Paul's Cathedral is worth visiting. The ceiling on the inside is the most colorful we saw in Britain, and it alone is worth the admission fee. Once inside, visitors are free to climb the steps to the top of the dome.

The front of St. Paul's Cathedral doesn't look like much, especially with one missing clock face. The inside, however, is worth seeing.

Hampton Court Palace

Hampton Court Palace is a short day trip from London. Trains to Hampton Court (zone 6) depart from London's Waterloo Station regularly. There are also boats between London's Westminster Pier and the riverside next to the Palace (schedules are available at any Tourist Information Centre). We decided to take the train in the morning from London and return on the boat. The train is a short 30 minutes, and the boat is a long 3.5 hours. In addition to the slowness, the boat exhaust made us sick. Fortunately, the boat makes several stops before reaching London. We had enough boat riding by the time we reached the 1st stop (one hour from the Palace). We got off and took the train the rest of the way home.

The front entrance to Hampton Court Palace. The Palace is immense. The structure is 6 acres and the grounds are 60 acres. Included in the palace entrance fee is admission to a large 300 year old maze made of 6 foot high shrubs. Do you know how to navigate yourself through a maze?

The clock in the main atrium is similar to the one we saw in Wells Cathedral. The center dial shows the shape of the moon. The outer rings show the day of the month, the minute, and the hour. We wonder if old English clocks need to display the shape of the moon because the one in the sky is often covered by clouds.

Hampton Court was once the residence of King Henry VIII. Various rooms are restored close to their original state. We would recommend a visit.

The Tower of London

Another decent London city attraction is the Tower of London where the Crown Jewels are stored. Visitors enter a huge safe to view jeweled crowns, swords, etc used by the British royalty during special occasions. The 100+ carat diamonds, rubies, and sapphires are so huge they seem fake.

This second visit to London wrapped up our stay in Britain. We originally thought about a 2 week stay, but it ended up being 4. London alone required a week to see the major attractions. We spent one week in Wales and another in Scotland, and we could have easily spent more time in each. Although we reached most of our planned destinations in England, some places we intended to go, such as Blenheim Palace near Woodstock and the Heart Of Lothian in London, were missed. All of our experiences in Britain, with the exception of some peculiar moments in Edinburgh, were positive. We learned some ins and outs that may help future travelers that have been appended to the Britain Facts for the Visitor page.

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