• Uncle Tavo

Brussels-London-Brussels by Train

Malo ho'omou lelei famili. Now that the big wedding has been announced for next year in London, Kara and I have decided to check it out for you. Just kidding! We've just got back from London having escaped there for the weekend. What you may not know is that we usually travel from here to London by train, a train journey of just one and a half hour. Of course, all this is made possible by the Channel Tunnel, completed in 1993, which runs underneath the sea between Calais (France) and Dover (England) for 50 kilometres or 30 miles, the longest under-sea tunnel in the world. I saw plenty of sharks - hehe!

Brussels Station, 9:00AM, ready to board : I hope you will appreciate the irony in the picture to your left ("Welcome to Green Britain" amidst plastics and coke tins). The other is Kara standing next to the true pride of the British - Fish & Chips!

Arrival at Pancras Station, London, 10:40AM: The "Eurostar" is the fast train (with a top speed of 300 km/h) that connects Brussels, London and Paris. To your right is the famous London Taxi which took us to our hotel. We were both impressed with how spacious and comfortable it is let alone the price - now we know why Tonga's King is in love with it.

To your left is a shot of the dome of St Paul's Cathedral which I took from the window of our hotel room. St Paul's is London's largest church completed in 1710. it is possible that next year's royal wedding will take place there. The brown house next to it is called "Wren's House". Christopher Wren was the architect that designed not just St Paul's but so many of London's landmarks after the London fire of 1666 (watch that number - lol). The picture to your right is a shot of the hotel's dining space from where our room was. It was glasses all round - which I found cool.

Chelsea is not doing well at the moment in the English Premier League but it does not seem to dampen the enthusiasm of this fanatic supporter to your left - Bring it on Man U! To the right is Kara on London's Millennium Bridge with St Paul's dome in the background. On Sunday at St Paul's, we both burned a candle for Maggy & Jimmy.

Last but not least, there are more important reasons why I need to visit London at least once a year. Vegemite is not found anywhere here in continental Europe. I can only get it in London and this time I bought two - one for me and one for my cycling comrade Roger (Kara's uncle) who has never heard of it. I am hoping that he will not like it so I can get it back. lol! To the left is the famous English meat-pie which I always enjoy since my high school days in Wellington, NZ. You have to be at London's Covent Garden for the best meat-pie ever - as yummy as Stan's to'okutu!

Mou nofo a. 'Oku ma 'ofa atu 'aupito from freezing Europe,

Uncle Vo & Kara

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