Wednesday, October 3, 2012

UK Day 7 - Brighton to London

This morning I got to try a "full English breakfast" which consisted of two poached eggs, baked beans, sauteed mushrooms, bacon, sausage, and toast.  It was pretty good and a nice way to start the day.  I also got to try "brown sauce" which is apparently common over here in the UK.  It tasted a bit like barbecue sauce, only a little sweeter than average.  Interesting, and OK on eggs.  I still have no idea what the baked beans are doing at breakfast.

We also walked around and got a few photos of Brighton's beach, which was nice:

The next stop was the Royal Pavilion in Brighton.  I got a photo of it (through the rain) from the outside, but they allowed no photos on the inside.

The Pavilion is the doing of George IV of England (the son of the one America wrote that well-worded "screw you" to in 1776).   It was basically established on a farmhouse and expanded into a palace suitable for a young king to entertain guests.  It was sold to Brighton some years ago, and although most of the royal stuff was removed when they moved out, the queen has lent it back to the Pavilion for exhibition.  How nice of her.

The palace is very ornately decorated in Chinese style, or rather, what an Englishman who had never been to China thought was Chinese style.  There are lots of dragons, snakes, and bamboo throughout the palace.  The most impressive piece to me was the large chandelier in the dining hall.  It was constructed to look as if the entire 30-foot, one-ton piece was being held in by the claws of a large, silver dragon.  Suspended from that was a lower ring of six smaller silver dragons, each with an oil lamp (now electric) in their upturned mouths.  When the original oil lamps were lit, it would have looked as if they were breathing fire.  Now that's cool!

After going through many other rooms in the Pavilion, we headed to lunch and then on to London.  For lunch, I got to introduce Quartney to the wonderful world of Spanish tapas.  Needless to say, she's now addicted like the rest of us that are familiar with them.

In London, the first stop was the London Eye.  This massive Ferris wheel overlooks the entirety of downtown London.  It's a huge, glowing, blue circle along the Thames.  We went on it and tried to get photos, but they may be a bit blurry due to the constant motion, darkness, and rain (did I mention we were in London?).

Tomorrow is Buckingham Palace, probably something else, and saying goodbye to Europe.  One more bonus photo of Big Ben!


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