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Monday, May 25, 2009

London is HOT - Needs UV protection

Monday, May 25, 2009

London is HOT. Literally. 87 degrees today.

I’m staying at what is probably the world’s smallest hotel with a big name. It definitely has the smallest elevators that I’ve ever squeezed into – the smallest was maybe two feet deep and three feet wide. Me and a suitcase filled it up. It claimed room for 4. Four people would have passed out from lack of air and claustrophobia in it. LOL. I started taking the stairs and my body is wondering what this exercise thing is all about.

Photo 1: A serious moment at the RAF Museum.

The Museum has an impressive collection of WWII aircraft and artifacts, and a great restaurant. You can reach it on the Tube – (make sure you get off at the Colinwood stop – it’s left out the station and a 5-10 minute walk up the road. If you get off at Hendon you’ll be found passed out somewhere on the road, or begging for a taxi. You can “fly” in the EuroFighter simulator for about $4. What a wild 4 minute ride around the sky that was.

Photo 2: London dress is an amazing collection, including a number of women wearing the minimum –or scarves. It reminded me of the 60’s mixed with the global village.

London is so international – so many colors mix on the streets and you pass all kinds of casual languages, most of them tourists. I’ve been in over 55 countries and even I didn’t know what some of them where. Russian, French, German, etc.

The taxis used to be all black, noisier and bigger -- when I was last here 17 years ago. Now they are quiet, smaller-- and come in rainbow colors. I even saw a pink one today.

The cruise on the Thames to Greenwich was fascinating. For the first time I was able to straddle the zero meridian – one foot in the eastern hemisphere and the other in the western. Too bad they haven’t put a graphic on the wall you stand in front of when straddling the dividing line. Instead, you are in front of a bare white wall.

Beware, it was quite a hike uphill from the Greenwich boat dock. And it was HOT. It seemed like a million people and little kids were out enjoying the bright blue skies. The Thames is now lined with expensive apartments, some converted from old warehouses. In all the years I’ve traveled through London I had never been on the river. It is the best part.

TV news is that skin cancer rates in the UK are way UP -- from too much sun and tanning beds. The reporter said they needed UV protection. Cases will rise by 5 times in the next few years. Imagine the UV rays possible with North Korea, the odd hermit kingdom, with a nuclear weapon.

More later…

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