I was feeling quite adventurous as I peered out the window of my cab to inner city London that chilly Sunday morning. Out of all the times we had vacationed, this was the first time I had gone anywhere alone without my husband by my side. I was a bit nervous, but mostly excited. I felt a zing of adrenaline that you only get at certain times in your life – that feeling you get all the time when you are a kid – your first time doing something unknown. That’s one of the prime reasons I love travel. Those experiences get less and less as you grow older – you have to search for them as an adult, they don’t come daily as they do when you are young and the world is so new.
Anyway … It was the morning after St. Patrick’s day and we were both feeling less than ideal. But I was in London, England for the first and perhaps the ONLY time in my life, and no amount of two-in-the-morning whiskey was going to hold me down. We had a train to Paris to catch later that morning and I was determined to see something perhaps frivolous to others before I left.
Leaving the hubby in bed, I hailed a taxi like a regular pro. Of course all of the normal thoughts went through my head – will I get back in time, how far exactly is my destination from my hotel, will the cabbie kill me, how do you pay a cabbie, do I even fully understand this currency, am I going to get ripped off ???
Fortunately, all went well, and I have to say I was quite impressed with myself. After the cabbie left, I confidently spun around to face what I had been ever so eager to visit.
There it was –221 Baker Street.
The real location in London of the fictional character Sherlock Holmes and John Watson’s residence. I just love Sherlock Holmes 🙂
Tourists are welcomed inside the house which holds a gift shop on one side and a Victorian replica of what the house would have looked like as described in the books (had it been real) on the other. You walk up several flights of old rickety stairs going from room to room all the way up to the attic. If nothing else, it is interesting to see the inside of one of these old English homes.
Upon entering, I met an extremely friendly blond hair gal from Switzerland who was touring around Europe as well. She too, had fell victim of late night St. Patrick’s shenanigans and had just arrived to London by train. She reported to me that she hadn’t slept and inquired if I’d like to accompany her through the house as well as other parts of London. I would have been so inclined to another adventure with a new person, but I was on a time crunch as it were. So I went through the house with her as best I could before I had to run. We even posed for a picture together as I was Sherlock and she Watson! Oh, what an experience it would have been though getting to know a fellow European and establish a relationship with her. I wish I had more time.
The tall narrow home was adorable and didn’t disappoint. Before I left, I just had to buy a souvenir, but feared I wouldn’t have enough money for the taxi back. So on to my next adventure I went down the street to a cash machine as they call it in Europe, (ATM in the United States). Regrettably, I had let me husband handle the money the entire trip, and was really not at all familiar with the currency or how to summon it from a Cash Machine. Luckily it was very user friendly and easy. Again, I couldn’t believe how smooth everything was going. I frantically purchased my souvenir, hailed a new taxi, and made it back in plenty of time for my next adventure – Paris.