Sunday, September 25, 2016

Back From a Blogging Break and Literary London

View of the Rhine valley and Bacharach from Stahleck Castle.

It's been several months since my last post.  We did move to Germany, near Kaiserslautern, which is in the Rhineland-Palatinate in the southwest part of the country. The transition has been more complicated than I expected, especially since we didn't have internet in our new house for two months. The one upside was that I had lots of time for reading; hopefully now I'll get caught up with my book blogging.

Before I start posting reviews again, I thought I'd share a few photos. I haven't done too much traveling around Germany yet, but we did make a quick trip to beautiful Bacharach, along the Rhine.


I also had two amazing trips with my girls, one to Paris (just over 2 hours by express train from Kaiserslautern!) and London. I thought I'd include some photos of literary landmarks. 

One of our first stops was the V&A and we thought we'd stop by Harrod's. Walking along Cromwell road I realized I was passing Brompton Square, where Lucia lives in E. F. Benson's Lucia in London, which I'd finished just a few weeks before. I googled the address and lo and behold, there it was with a blue historical marker:


Closer inspection revealed this was Benson's own house!



We also saw THREE West End plays while we were in London, two of them classics:


I loved all the plays, each was completely different. I had to include The Mousetrap which I saw as a child while visiting Toronto. I was delighted to find this marker honoring Agatha Christie in the theater district:




The Mousetrap played for years at the Toronto Truck Theater, a converted church. It's no longer running in Toronto but it's still going strong in London. This counter in the lobby shows exactly how many performances:


Of course I knew the ending but it was still a great show and my girls loved it. 

Naturally, we visited multiple bookshops. We went to Waterston's at Trafalgar Square and in Piccadilly Circus; Daunt Books in Marylebone, and Foyle's near Charing Cross. I can't remember exactly how many books I bought but I wanted ALL OF THESE classic mysteries:


And I couldn't have missed a pilgrimage to Bloomsbury where I finally got to visit the Persephone Book shop. It's covered in scaffolding but still open. 


I arrived on a Saturday morning and my heart dropped when I saw the shop was closed! However, we double-checked the hours and it didn't open until noon that day, so I wasn't disappointed. I bought three more books, some bookmarks and a lovely Persephone tote bag. 

And no literary trip to London would be complete with out a trip to Platform 9 3/4 at King's Cross!!


People line up to have their photos taken and sometimes it's quite a long wait. We went the first day of our trip and the lines were long, so we tried again the last morning of our trip and were pleasantly surprised by how quickly it moved. The employees were delightfully enthusiastic and of course there's a Harry Potter shop full of all sorts of souvenirs. (Also a great restaurant close by with a delicious Full English Breakfast.) I adored London and there's so much I didn't see, so I hope to go back soon. 

I hope to post more photos soon and actual reviews of books I've been reading this summer! 

20 comments:

  1. What a great trip! I hope you're loving Germany. I want to read all about it!

    I went to London too, in June. I also visited the Waterstone's at Trafalgar and Platform 9 3/4! And I bought 3 of the mysteries. :D

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    1. I need to do a separate post on all the books I bought! I was smart enough to bring a fairly large suitcase, I knew I'd be buying lots of books!

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  2. It's so good to 'see' you, Karen! I was beginning to think you gave up blogging with the move. Thank you for all the photos. I love London, too, and it's been five years since out last trip... wish we were planning another. I'll look forward to more pictures and hearing about what you've been reading :)

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    1. Thanks! I was so caught up in moving and getting settled that I just couldn't even think about blogging. I'll be posting more photos soon!

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  3. Looks like a busy summer! Welcome back and thanks for sharing your photos. I look forward to hearing about your reading.

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    1. Thanks! I'll have lots more time now -- I have tons of photos to upload!

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  4. Good to see you back in the blogging world! Good to know that life can be lived without the internet but it will be good to see what you've been reading. Lovely photos of London.

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    1. Thanks! It was tough without the internet but it did make me realize how much time I spent surfing (and reading other blogs!)

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  5. Welcome back! I love seeing pictures of others' travels. Hoping for more from Germany.

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    1. Thanks! I'll try and post some more photos soon.

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  6. Welcome back! It's sounds like you've had a fun summer with your family trips and lots of reading. I'm so glad you didn't miss out on Persephone!

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    1. My heart sank when I walked up and it was closed -- I'm so glad my daughter was smart enough to read the hours posted on the door!

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  7. Welcome back, Karen! Your new home looks like a lovely section of Germany. :) I hope you enjoyed your trip to London - it looks like a fantastic visit. I had no idea that The Mousetrap was the longest-running play! I love that they had a counter specially made just for it. :D

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    1. The Mousetrap was GREAT -- it's been playing the West End for 59 years! We had amazing seats, smack in the center of the first row of the balcony. And they sell ice cream in the intermission at all the plays which was delightful.

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  8. I'm so glad that you're back. What a great time you've been having - country hopping! I love the photos. I'm always amazed when I'm in Belgium or somewhere and I see a road sign pointing to Paris. It seems not to be far from so many places - which has been a disadvantage I suppose - historically!

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    1. There are road signs to Paris on the highway near us and I'm always thrilled to see them. You just drive to Saarbrucken and keep on going! I think it's about a 5 hour drive but there are tolls and parking so I don't know if I'll try driving there.

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  9. So great to see you post again! Thanks for sharing all the bookish aspects of your recent travels. The pictures are fantastic.

    I am especially tickled to see Lucia's house. Lucia in London is the book where I too became a "Luciaphile".

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    1. I read the first four Lucia books this summer but I thought Mapp and Lucia was the best. I also bought the DVD adaptation, the 1985 version. I haven't watched it yet but I'm really looking forward to it.

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  10. Thansk for the update! I have missed your posts, but 2 months w/o internet is quite a shock to the system, at least it would be for me. I loved your literary pilgrimage photos, especially the bookstores. Sounds like you are transitioning well to life in Europe--what a wonderful adventure.

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    1. We could only get the internet on base and then I wasn't really there long enough to sit and blog, I was usually running errands so I would just check emails and sometimes read other blog postings. It's so nice to see that people are still reading my blog after such a long absence!

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