Saturday, 13 October 2007

Cycle London and Kew Gardens

We went to Cycle in London today. Like Bike Expo in Seattle only WAY MORE EXPENSIVE! By the time we bought tickets, paid for parking at the end of the tube line and then bought a tube ticket we were in it for about $60. The show was okay, only a couple of really interesting things - mostly the major manufacturers showing all their most up to date stuff - which translates to fast and fun but not usually practical for the every day cyclist, commuter, or randonneur. Nicole Cooke made an appearance. We had lunch there which was a bust. So, feeling rather discouraged by the day's events we hopped back on the tube but decided to get off at Kew Gardens. The money spent there was a much better investment! It was a lovely warm, still, fall day (of course no one here would say fall - the season is autumn) and the many trees were in various states of changing colors. The gardens cover several hundred acres and were very open and inviting for strolling around. There was an outdoor exhibit of 28 sculptures by Henry Moore. The Princess of Wales Conservatory housed a huge variety of plants from different ecosystems including some really interesting orchids. After leaving Kew we roamed around Richmond (where the car was parked) looking for a spot for dinner and stumbled upon Fish Works. They sell fresh seafood as well as serve it in their restaurant. Most of the fish available here in restaurants and in the stores is farm raised so it was a treat to order wild caught sea bass. On the way out I chatted with the young man working at the fresh fish counter as he was opening a huge pile of oysters. I asked how many he had done that day and he said he had lost count but that he was opening 3 boxes now (looked like a box contained about 100 oysters). So then I asked if he'd ever found any pearls. His answer (as well as his slight accent) gave away that he wasn't British (or American!). He said "The only pearls I have found are all you pretty ladies walking by". He was Brazilian. Sorry but gotta make a huge generalization here: Anglo Saxon men don't say stuff like that and if they tried it would come out sounding sleazy. Those of Latin background - they can do it.

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