May 29, 2022

Naughty Books

Naughty But Law & Legal

RICHARD MASON: How to be a traveler, not a tourist

If you have frequented London and have by no means been to the British Museum, you are no traveler. You are just a vacationer. A traveler would be one particular who would enterprise down a dim alley in Florence pursuing the scent of lasagna, and would undoubtedly check out the British Museum, which has a terrific selection of loot.

Uh, loot? Probably I’m being extreme in my description, but don’t suggest that to the Greeks. They are pointing fingers and stating bad words about the Brits mainly because, as the British will explain to you, “We saved a person of the good treasures of historical Greece from currently being destroyed.” Individuals would be the Elgin Marbles, taken from the frieze of the Parthenon by the Earl of Elgin. That is not very the way the Greeks notify it, but a person way or a further, the Elgin Marbles are a star attraction of the British Museum. So, when assembling your London bucket checklist, place at the top: See the Elgin Marbles.

If you are a museum freak—like my brother-in-law, who reads just about every card description on every single product on display—the British Museum will be your full vacation, and you will want a provider animal when you return residence.

Nevertheless, a few of days in the different museums in the town will do for most of us, and in these two times you will be uncovered to some of the world’s finest collections of art and antiquities, like the National Gallery off Trafalgar Sq.. There are far more museums in London than I could checklist in this column, such as the Lover Museum and The Museum of Brands—something for every flavor.

Nevertheless London delivers a lot a lot more than museums. On a single of our initial visits again in the early 1980s I produced a reservation to tour the Churchill War Rooms. Vertis did not like the seem of that, so she expended her early morning in Harrods, the greatest office retailer, where the searching is incredible and the meals court is worth composing property about. Along with nearly every sort of goods and foods imaginable, Harrods has a good restaurant.

But again to the Churchill War Rooms. For the duration of the 2nd World War when the Germans commenced the bombing of London, the British governing administration resolved to assemble underground bunkers to secure the heads of condition and the War Council. They excavated a sequence of rooms in the centre of the town, where by Cupboard meetings and other war-associated gatherings took spot.

I was in a group of about 10 for one particular of the tours, and soon after heading down some 60 feet underneath a downtown park, we entered tunnels that led to a place which I would estimate is close to 30 to 40 ft in diameter. It is recognized as the Map Room, a person of the assembly spaces for Churchill’s cabinet.

It is as if somebody experienced a short while ago locked the doorway and still left. Churchill’s pen and take note pad ended up there, and maps exhibiting European armies and Atlantic convoys were on the wall. I sat in Churchill’s chair. (Which is almost certainly not authorized now.) It was a breathtaking piece of heritage, preserved intact.

The tour guide made a chilling remark I continue to don’t forget: “These gentlemen and gals who collected here did so thinking they had been flawlessly safe, but they weren’t. If a single of the greater German bombs had made a direct strike, they would have all been killed.” One particular of the other musts in addition to the British Museum if you are a traveler is to head for the West Close, the scene of London’s Broadway and the finest procuring in the town (there are 80 flagship outlets just on Oxford Road, and high-quality dining establishments on every single corner). We generally acquire in an English comedy and a person of the numerous musicals. Only the English can get absent with the in excess of-the-major comedian displays, this kind of as currently “Only Fools and Horses.” There are also a large selection of Broadway musicals together with “Hamilton,” “Mamma Mia,” and “Back to the Future.” And the tickets will expense a great deal fewer than on Broadway.

If you like to poke around in flea marketplaces and antique markets, visit Portobello Highway in Notting Hill. There are close to 1,000 sellers giving every little thing from vintage manner to people art. Saturday is the huge day when added dealers occur to screen their wares it is really crowded. I managed to uncover four total-dimension Audubon wildlife prints for only 10 lbs (about $14) apiece. They weren’t from the primary print edition, but when I framed them, they looked excellent.

A person of my hobbies is amassing antique Arkansas-Gulf Coastline maps, and the Map House in Knightsbridge, about the corner from Harrods, is the most effective place to locate them. Its stock of maps is the very best I have ever encountered.

We’ve stayed in every little thing from a bed and breakfast to the Funds Resort. The B&B was good with a full English breakfast, and the Capital Resort (which will place a pretty excellent dent in your wallet) is nearly up coming to Harrods.

As with all travel to other nations, verify with the Facilities for Illness Management and Avoidance to study if there are well being notices in result at your destination. Visit vacation.point for extra info.

Electronic mail Richard Mason at [email protected] .