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London Day 8 – Sherlock Holmes, The Beatles, Bus Mania, Harrods, & London Tourist Shops!

Sorry, I actually don’t have time to post pictures tonight… Amanda and I decided today that we’re going to go on an adventure tomorrow, so we need to get to sleep pretty quickly here.

Today, we decided we wanted to head to Harrods to check that out, but as we were walking out the door, we decided to go to Baker’s Street instead… We hopped on the bus and made our way out there, which included a nice walk from one of the bus stops about 0.7 miles away. I’m used to walking at this point, so no biggie there. When we arrived at 221B Baker Street, we quickly learned it’s not wheelchair accessible! I guess I’m not too surprised, it’s supposed to be Sherlock’s home and it’s multiple floors. Oops! Unfortunately, Amanda didn’t have her cane, so we thought we were out of luck. The employees, though, lent her a Holmes cane (something with his face on it), so we could get around, which was very nice! They were all exceptionally kind, actually. The museum was well done… The place looks like it’s falling apart, but it’s part of the charm. There are era appropriate furniture and artifacts everywhere and I did take a lot of pictures, which I’ll share later. Three floors – four if you count the bathroom (not for the public), and four and a half if you count a  tiny loft space (I think there was a box in there). Anyway, amazing place to visit if you’re into Sherlock Holmes OR into historical artifacts. There’s a shop on the bottom floor with all sorts of interesting bits and pieces, even a set of Sherlock Holmes graphic novel, which I think are made by a local press (Self Made Hero.com)… We spent a few pounds, but nothing crazy. Special thanks to the French tourists who decided that anyone in their way was just an object to walk into until they move. Cheers for that, tossers…

Right next door is the London Beatles Store, which, based on their web site, was supposed to be the end all, be all of Beatles shops. It had a lot of stuff, but it was cramped, I couldn’t get Amanda around easily, and it was mostly shirts and posters with other odds and ends. It’s worth going to if you’re in the area, but I’m absolutely convinced there MUST be a bigger Beatles store around!

After that, we started a trek toward Abbey Road… Seemed like it wasn’t too far (another 1.7 miles), so I started pushing Amanda, but after a half mile, she suggested we hop on a bus. We switched from our London Pass (expired yesterday) to a refillable Oyster Card, so why not?!?! Shortly thereafter, we were heading down a hill toward Abbey Road. Took some pictures of street signs and ended up at Abbey Road Studio… I thought there was a shop there, actually, but no one was going near the place except for one guy with a guitar Amanda saw. We took some pictures, watched a guy yelling and jumping in front of their web cam (pointed at THE Abbey Road where the Beatles shot the cover to their album, Abbey Road.

From there, we finally made it to Harrods… BIG… REALLY BIG… It was a pretty intimidating place and we got tired of it very quickly. We love shopping as much as anyone, but it was crowded, people weren’t making it very easy for us to get around, and the smell of perfume was pretty intense. We grabbed a salad from their food area, some gluten free snacks and a couple of drinks (an awesome and tart cranberry flavor with Madagascar vanilla and sparkling water for Amanda and some sort of fermented orange drink for me — don’t ask why I chose it, but it was good), then walked outside to eat it (they’ll sell you food, but don’t give you anywhere to eat it!). After we finished (on the side of the road!!!), we opted not to go back in, but hit a couple of tourist shops across the street (LONDON LONDON LONDON, buy some Union Jacks, get some socks, get some keychains, mugs, and all things BRITISH!). We spent some money in one of those (the second was full of a French class of kids who were more interested in bickering in the aisles than buying anything and, as it were, common courtesy). No, I have ZERO problem with French folks, it just so happened that two sets of problems today were due to them. Next stop was the National Geographic London, where Amanda got a hand-knitted beanie with a bill.

Once we walked out of there, I was convinced I saw another patch of tourist shops back where we came from, so we went that direction. Ummm…. I couldn’t find them. We did see another amazing looking church, but it was mainly just more walking. So much for that. Hopped on a bus… a PACKED bus… and headed back in the direction of Chelsea! We had a bit of a snafu with two people with buggies (baby carriages) and we had to fit on with a wheelchair. A French lady with her baby was really cool about it, but the other guy, not so much. It was very cramped, but we made due and Amanda almost fell asleep when the French lady was trying to calm her baby by singing a French lullaby. I was too darned hot to do anything but look outside and wait for the open cool air!

Anyway, that’s it for today! We got back, made friend chicken fingers and chips (french fries), had some Gelato, and have to head to sleep. Why? Well, we’re renting a car first thing in the morning, heading to Wales for the Doctor Who Experience, and then on the way back, we’re going to check out some castles. Should be a fun day!!!

Off we go!

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