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Date: 9/11/99

        This the last European posting. It’s hard to believe that all this time has gone by, yet it also seems like forever. Very strange sensation of time. I am looking forward to coming home but also have a sadness about leaving Europe. I like it here very much. But the winter winds are not like Santa Monica. I can’t wait to see my “kids” and my friends and colleagues and get a cappuccino at Diedrich's.
Brussels was great, if not a little gritty but definitely add it to a trip to Europe. We dashed out of there early in the morning and drove like crazy by autobahns past Liege and a little detour to Ostend by mistake and finally got to the Hoverport with 5 minutes to spare. We finally passed the 9000 mile mark on the odometer (Marcia drove 8000 of it). We went 1st Class for an extra $15 and got on the Hovercraft first (also get a free drink and sandwich). Stopwatch said it took us exactly 30 minutes to “fly” over the Mer du Nord (English Channel going south) and drove straight to Greenwich (southwestern suburb of London).
There we visited the Old Royal Observatory where the 0 degree Longitude or Prime Meridian. It is also the place where Greenwich Mean Time is standardized. Fascinating to see how it all came about. It was agreed upon by all the nations of the world in Washington DC in 1884. Very neat museum. We then visited the National Maritime Museum, which is near the Thames River, which also was very nice. The nicest is that we were able to get into both of these for free as members of the National Trust (saved almost $35 in ticket prices). Then I went for a run in Greenwich Park, which is beautiful and huge, while Marcia had a coke and relaxed in the park. We then drove a few blocks and saw the “Cutty Sark” sailing ship which is dry-docked there.
Finally drove into London with the GPS sputtering and then finally kicked in at the right time and got us back here to the Forte Bloomsbury in time to unload the entire car of 4000 pounds of baggage and junk. The car is now clean (except for my dents) and ready for drop-off on Sunday at 3 PM which will cost us £75 to do on the weekend. We had a few Guinesses and wine and then walked to Charlotte St. and ate a very good Phillipino restaurant (1st time we ever tried one). Before that we stopped and said hello to the couple (John & Catherine) that run the little Irish Pub down the street to tell them how our trip through Ireland was (they gave us advice when we here before).
My Vodafone mobile phone (“Handy”) is working again so if anyone is dying to call me before I leave on Monday, you can do so by dialing 011-44-7747-675-985 and get me immediately.
Our friend, Steve Kalinch (the Poet we have known from Peppone’s restaurant for over 15 years) took the train up from Brighton and going to dinner with us at Rules in Covent Garden.
Tomorrow will go to Mass at the same local church, run in Russell Square and try to move to Hotel at Heathrow so we can drop the car and not have to taxi back here. Will get up early on Monday to catch the 10:30 AM Concorde to arrive in NYC at 9:30 AM and taxi to the Gramercy Hotel in Greenwich Village.
Next post will be from New York.
 

KJH                                                                                     Go To -> NEXT DIARIO #43 

Kenneth J. Hoffer, MD

KHofferMD@AOL.com            RETURN TO INDEX

London, England

Sent 9-11-99

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