London, First Views

(The hotel has a weak WiFi network, so I’m having trouble uploading pictures. That may limit my postings for a bit.)

We arrived a day late; an engine problem prevented the Ithaca/Philadelphia plane from leaving Philadelphia so we rebooked and started our travels in Thursday. We had settled on a hotel in Bloomsbury, and after dropping off our luggage, we set off to wander. And we immediately found ourselves in a maze of winding streets, courts, and places. For anyone navigating on a grid system, trying to keep track of compass directions, London presents a few problems, not least of which is the lack of parallel streets to keep one oriented. We walked a mile north thinking we were heading toward the river when we finally checked a map and had to retrace out route to the south.

We chose Bloomsbury, of course, because of the cultural history embodied in its streets. During our first dazed walk, we came across several blue plaques identify the residences of literary icons. What most attracted me at first glance, however, were the parks. Every few blocks revealed another public square, a fenced in block or two, studded with soaring trees and littered with relaxing Londoners.

Russell Square, in the heart of Bloomsbury:

Of course, besides lounging, the locals practice their sports in these spaces as well.

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