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In London

I spent the last couple of weeks in London for work which felt like traveling back in time (like 9 months). The weather was cold when I left in February and I was wearing the same winter coat. But I must have hit the most beautiful fall weeks though, the weather was cold, but awesome with lots of sunshine.

My walk to our office was along the river Thames and the reason why I felt like traveling back in time was that our office is in Richmond which is where I lived before I moved to sunny California. This was the view on my walk in the morning:

You can see I made a new friend. LOL.

My room in the hotel (the Petersham Hotel – I can highly recommend it!) was pretty nice too and since Kate Winslet stayed here before, I like to think of my room as the one she stayed in. The view from the balcony was great too.

It felt pretty special being back in one of my old home towns seeing my local friends. I loved the visit, but can’t say that I miss London too much. But I do miss the conversations with my friends, so I can’t wait for teleportation to happen. 🙂 And until then, I remember the bratwurst, mulled wine and dancing at the Winter Wonderland with my dear friend.

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Night view from Westminster

I am obviously not spending enough time as a tourist in London. Beautiful night views often escape me.

Here are more night views that I caught during the Olympics.

This is a view from Westminster across the river Thames of the Jubilee Bridge and the London Eye.

The Jubilee Bridge is lit up as part of the London 2012 festivals. A little closer it looks like this – with Charing Cross Station to the left .

The London Eye looks great here with the London Aquarium. The London Eye is often lit up, not just during the 2012 festivals – at least I think so. I have seen it lit up before. It is one of my favorite night and evening views from London.

These are some of my favorite night views in London. I think, though, I need to explore more night views after all. So, stay tuned. 🙂


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Olympic Torch Relay – River Thames

Being able to see the Olympic torch relay several times has been amazing. It makes me feel I am part of the Olympics. Yesterday I got to see the very final leg of bringing the Olympic flame to the Olympic stadium.

The Olympic flame traveled along the river Thames all the way to the Olympic stadium. I was lucky enough to view this right up close from Chiswick Bridge.

It was a beautiful seeing the Olympic flame on the river. The boat that carried the flame was the Royal Barge Gloriana that I mentioned in a previous post. It was also the boat that lead the jubilee river pageant.

Olympic torch relay coming towards Chiswick Bridge

As the Olympic flame was traveling towards us it was first held in the Olympic Couldron (I think that’s what it’s called) at the front of the boat.

You can see the flame up front in the Olympic Couldron

And somewhere between this picture and the next the torch bearer took the flamer over from the Couldron to the torch.

The way we saw it from the bridge was like this: one moment we saw the big flame, the next moment it was gone…

The torch bearer took the flame over

…but then a moment later as the barge came closer we saw that the torch bearer held it.

Olympic torch relay on river Thames

And a final close-up of the Olympic torch. The flame has to compete with all the gold on the royal barge. you can hardly see it, but it’s there!

Olympic torch relay on river Thames

Then the barge passed under the bridge. We risked our lives crossing the street to see the Olympic flame make its way further along the river on this very last leg of its journey to the London Olympics 2012.

Olympic torch relay leaving Chiswick Bridge

The torch relay was such a beautiful way to be part or at least feel part of the Olympics 2012. I got a little carried away at the end, but do I know if I ever get to do this again?

“A once in a lifetime event” is an often cited – and in my opinion overused – phrase. But I can truly say this felt like a special moment (or moments for that matter… LOL) – being there for a part of sporting history.

Here is my last photo of the Olympic flame floating down the river Thames on the Royal Barge Gloriana.

It was an amazing experience!

… and the Olympic flame is on its way…


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Diamond Jubilee – Royal Barge Gloriana

So, of course, I will be missing the Diamond Jubilee celebrations as I will be in sunny California running the San Diego Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon.

But living in a Royal London Borough on the river Thames has it perks. The Royal barge Gloriana is being restored and prepared for the Diamond Jubilee right here in Richmond.

It’s a beautiful ship boat  barge.

Apparently there will be a crew of 18 oarsmen on this barge this weekend, but no member of the royal family.

There will be a pageant of 1000 boats sailing down the river on Sunday and this beautiful barge Gloriana will be leading the pageant.

I am a little sad of missing the festivities, but I have seen quite a bit of decoration along the streets where I live and I have already marked the day when the Olympic torch comes through my neighborhood.

Enjoy the photos! Click on the them to enlarge them. It’s worthwhile this time. 🙂


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Palm trees and fishing along the river…

I know you all have been waiting for this.

This time I took my camera (or cell phone). My “lazy” run yesterday turned out to be not quite as lazy and I clocked 5 miles. It was just gorgeous. The weather was sunny and just cold enough. The rowers were out training. They have a mean coach who makes me check my posture while running…

palm trees

Palm trees along the River Thames

My palm trees are still there.

There was also a guy fishing. Now I am no biologist. But fishing in the River Thames?? I read a claim somewhere that the Thames  is supposed to be the cleanest industrial river in Europe.

I am not sure what that means. Are we comparing the worst of the worst rivers?

Just to be sure I asked the guy fishing what he was doing or to be precise if he was planning on eating any fish he caught. He looked at me like I was a little loco… (I am not, really!). Then he explained he would NEVER eat anything out of THIS river. I guess he wasn’t crazy after all, just sport fishing. But it’s my running route so I needed to ask…


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Yes, palm trees…

I thought this warranted a second post today…

The weather has been beautiful, sunny 16C (61F) which is practically unheard of in London in February. It would have been a shame not go for a run. So off I went for a lazy, easy, slow run enjoying the sun in my face when I suddenly stopped dead in my tracks…

This is my home path. I run here practically every day. I have been running here for a year and a half which means I must have run past this spot at least a hundred times.

There are palm trees. Right along the river. Facing the river. No, not in someone’s front yard. ON THE BANK OF THE RIVER!

They looked a little sorry with all the cold weather recently. But they were there. Standing proudly. I didn’t take my cell phone, so couldn’t take photos. I will do so next time there is a sunny day and share with you.

Yes, I have a running route along the river Thames in London and there are palm trees! 🙂

We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.
~ Frederick Keonig