This is a city GREAT bookstores. In less than a week we spent time in three different bookstores, each of which is vastly superior (yes, vastly superior) to any bookstore in Washington. London has at least one other bookstore of this caliber that we did not have a chance to visit. Oh for a Foyles, a Hatchards, or a Daunts in Washington. I made purchases in each of the stores as we spent hours in each of these gems. I was busily scribbling down many more titles that I wanted to purchase but did not want to break my back or my suitcase carrying them all home . (Home now and just ordered seven more books on line)
We need bookstores--great bookstores because it is through browsing that we find what we want to read. Would anyone dream of buying all of their clothing on line without ever trying anything on? Books are the same way--without GREAT bookstores we are prisoners of reviewers and of those book that become popular. GREAT bookstores help us push the limit on what we want to read and explore. How can we in America be great and learned with our current bookstores?
London hooked me--even if just for the books.
Oh the museums--amazing
The Churchill Museum and War Rooms were incredible-- the perfect follow up to the battlefields of Normandy. Churchill--what a leader, what a way with words. As John Kennedy wrote about him, "In the dark days and darker nights when England stood alone — and most men save Englishmen despaired of England's life — he mobilized the English language and sent it into battle."
This museum, set into the preserved underground bunkers built during the war to protect the British war command from the blitz, you relive the harrowing days of the war--when Great Britain stood alone against Germany. Oh-- Churchill had what it took. We long for such leaders today.
The British Museum
What antiquity is not in this museum?
Egypt-check, Babylon-check, Persia-check, India-check, South America-check, British Isles- duh
I loved the very large room on the Enlightenment and the Era of Discovery. The treatment of language, religion and text could be used as a classic introduction to the modern study of Judaism and Reform Judaism.
Westminster Abbey-- beautiful, a must see-loved Poets Corner-Shakespeare, Dickens, Milton and on and on and of course a thrill to see where Newton and Darwin are buried-- see Enlightenment above.
Greatest thrill was having drinks in the House of Lords with our new dear friend Rabbi, Dame, Baroness Julia Neuberger. What a blast.
London--simply walking the streets is a thrill. Finally, bought a nice wool sweater for myself--very British.