FOCUS -FEBRUARY 2018 31 Travelling anywhere is usually a fun experience, but of all the different types of travel I have done, exploring new cities is always a fantastic adventure. I enjoy the hustle and bustle, the noise of traffic, and the hundreds of people, all scurrying off to meet deadlines, no doubt past due. London, England is one of those cit- ies I never tire of. I have had the good fortune of visiting numerous times and each visit is a new and memorable ex- perience. There is so much to see and do, that your days will be constantly filled with adventures. About a year ago I wrote an article about my visit to Warner Brothers stu- dio and the sets of all the Harry Potter films (Focus on Scugog, March, 2016). My last trip, however, I concentrated on some old sites that have become age- less in the annals of history. I find that four day visits are the best, as long as it is en route to or from an- other destination. My shortest trip has been two days from Toronto, but jet lag and time difference makes that a bit too unrealistic. I try and stay near Kensington Pal- ace, as I love the area and it’s a half hour walk along Kensington Gardens, through Hyde Park and Harrods de- partment store. I have previously met Meghan Markle on the set of Suits, but when I knocked on the door I was told she was out. No doubt she would have invited me in for dinner, had she been home. From there the city is yours to ex- plore. A stroll through Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus is a great way to clear your mind and people watch. Another excellent way to spend a day or part thereof, is a visit to the Na- tional Museum, where history comes alive. From Egyptian artifacts to trea- sures from the cities of Troy, the Nation- al is unlike many museums, because through films and newscasts, we have become familiar with so many British archeologists and explorers. If Harrods left you wanting more of British goods then a visit to Selfridge’s department store is a must. Their den- im section is an entire floor dedicated to blue jeans, with pricing to meet all bud- gets. The recent miniseries of the same name has heightened the experience of strolling through the store, which is now owned by Canadian Galen Weston. Riding the ‘Tube’ is a great way to get around, as it is efficient and a fun experience. Brits will tend to ignore you, but if you have a question, they will answer you in great detail, especially if it’s directions you’re seeking. London theatres are among the best in the world and to catch a show in the West End is a memorable experience. I saw Kismet and was blown away by the costumes, acting, and the Duke of York’s Theatre. No doubt your visit will take you to the Tower of London, especially if it is your first time. Get there early if you want to see the Crown Jewels (lineups can be lengthy). The Yeomen or Beefeaters have a great sense of humour, but one of my more enjoyable experiences was an evening, ‘Jack the Ripper’ tour. We started across the street from the Tower in Whitechapel, which was at one time the garment district. The build- ings are mostly gone, but the guides have an uncanny way of bringing the setting back to life. Walking along al- leyways where the Ripper once walked becomes surreal, and the adventure BY JONATHAN VAN BILSEN ...................... Please turn to page 32 is calling... Wysteria grows in vibrant gardens throughout the London area. Windsor Castle.