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Day 1 - Transatlantic Flight and Christopher Wren's London

Our flights from Oklahoma City to Dallas and onto London was uneventful. Which is they way one would like it. We used our miles to upgrade our seats to business class - very nice. There was always plenty to drink and eat. We even got personal DVD players of the flight from Dallas to London. Lisa slept comfortably on the way to London. I wish I could have slept better, but that's the way it goes.

Here's our Dinner Menu on the flight from Dallas to London

Warm mixed Nuts

Smoked Salmon and Herb-marinated Shrimp

Fresh Seasonal Greens with julienned Zucchini
Yellow Bell Peppers, Burton Mushrooms
and Cherry Tomatoes offered with creamy Caesar Dressing

Assorted warm Breads


Cowboy Beef Fillet featured with Red Chili Onions
and accompanied by Corn Bean Ragout

Lamb Shank enhanced by an Ale Tomato Sauce,
offered with Mushroom Risotto,
Butternut Squash and Haricots Verts

Herb Chicken accented by a Madeira Demi-Glace,
served with Potato Cheddar Gratin, Eggplant Confit
and sautéed mixed Vegetables

Lasagna layered with roasted Red Pepper and Pesto Sauces
creamy Fines Herbes Boursin Cheese and Spinach
topped with Red Pepper Strips

T H E  C H E E S E  A N D   D E S S E R T   C A R T

Caciotta and Cheddar Cheese
presented with seasonal Grapes and dried Apricots

Ice Cream Sundae
Vanilla Ice Cream with a choice of Hot Fudge,
Butterscotch or seasonal Berry Toppings
Whipped Cream and Pecans

Frangelico Poached Pears
in Pecan Crust

I will let you guess what Lisa and I had for our entrees (something different for each of us). For dessert, Lisa got the Ice Cream and I got the poached pears and the cheese. The pears were terrific. Breakfast on the airplane was average.

We touched down at London Gatwick Airport and headed to passport control and customs. Since we were the first and line, we got through very quickly - a nice change. Our luggage arrived without any damage and we went to wait for our driver. He showed up a little late, which made us a little paranoid. He was a delightful English gentleman named Peter. He told us a couple of interesting stories on the way and showed us many back roads, in order to avoid the traffic.

(We arranged for a driver for the amount of 70 pounds. The drive is about 1 hour from Gatwick. The other option was to take the train for about 35 pounds, half the cost. I decided to get the driver because of the luggage. Even though Lisa and I travel extremely light, hauling what luggage we did have from the airport, to the train, through the subways of London, during the busy time of day, didn't sound very inviting. However, we are going to take the train back to Gatwick on Sunday morning, when there is a very limited number of people traveling.)

We checked into our apartment. There is a little bit on construction going on around us, but we haven't heard any noise from it. Faye meet us and showed us how a London Apartment worked. It a very nice place, two bedrooms and baths, full kitchen and a washer a dryer. I would DEFINITELY stay here again.

After settling in, we headed on to the tube. It was, of course, very crowded. I had to get off half way to our destination, Tower Hill, to get away from all the people. I think I must be getting claustrophobic in my old age. We got a 7-day travel pass, so that made our traveling very easy. Tower Hill Tube stop is across the street from the Tower of London.

Tower of London
Ancient Roman Wall

We are coming here to take our first London Walks tour. The name of the tour is "The Case for Old London", which turned out to be the walk "Christopher Wren's London". We saw many of the churches designed by Christopher Wren after the Great London Fire. A very nice walk, indeed.

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About Sir Christopher Wren from Yahoo!

Wren, Sir Christopher
1632—1723, English architect. A mathematical prodigy, he studied at Oxford. He was professor of astronomy at Gresham College, London, from 1657 to 1661, when he became Savilian professor of astronomy at Oxford. Though now known as the greatest architect of the English baroque style, in his time Wren was a celebrated astronomer and mathematician who, in 1660, was one of the founders of the Royal Society. His architectural career began in 1661 when Charles II appointed him assistant to the royal architect and in 1665 he spent six months in Paris studying architecture. The distinguished buildings Wren created in the years thereafter owe much of their cerebral rigor to his mathematical training. After the great fire of 1666 Wren prepared a master plan for the reconstruction of London, which was never executed. He designed, however, many new buildings that were built, the greatest of which was Saint Paul's Cathedral.

In 1669 Wren was named royal architect, a post he retained for more than 45 years. From 1670 to 1711 he designed 52 London churches, most of which still stand, notable for their varied and original designs and for their fine spires. They include St. Stephen, Walbrook; St. Martin, Ludgate; St. Bride, Fleet Street; and St. Mary-le-Bow, the latter manifesting the type of spire in receding stages generally associated with Wren's name. Among his numerous secular works are the Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford; the elegant library of Trinity College, Cambridge; the garden facade of Hampton Court Palace; Chelsea Hospital; portions of Greenwich Hospital; and the buildings of the Temple, London. Wren also built residences in London and in the country, and these, as well as his public works, received the stamp of his distinctive style. His buildings exhibit a remarkable elegance, order, clarity, and dignity. His influence was considerable on church architecture in England and abroad. Wren was knighted in 1675, and is buried in the crypt of St. Paul's.

After pondering a bit about what to do, we went to Harrod's to enjoy the food court. You wouldn't believe how cool the food court is. They have everything! We couldn't decide want to eat, so we finally choose a calzone. We got a couple of drinks and some milk and headed back to our apartment, only a block away.

Pizza from Harrod's

After dinner, we though we would rest a bit and decide what to do next. I couldn't keep my eyes open. Even during the walk when we would sit down inside one of the churches, I keep nodding off. Oh, well. Inside of killing ourselves, we called it an evening. The first day was very short, but we would at least be well rested for the next day.

Pictures from Day One

Day Two