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london - summary

Some general themes from London before moving on to Paris:
- Our trip would have been cheaper and more convenient if only we'd been handicapped members of the clergy. Or possibly if we had disabled people to escort into events. For those planning trips to London, consider bringing costumes or props to make your stay more economical. For instance, companions of the disabled get a free ride on the London Eye and religious officials get into Westminster Abbey without any pesky fees.

- Prepare to be depressed by the currency conversion rates. Thinking of everything as "Pound-Dollars" (as at least one of our fellow line waiters called them) doesn't really help.

- As mentioned throughout, travelers should definitely consider the bench situation at potential attractions. On a whirlwind museum tour of the city, opportunities for sitting and looking at exhibits are particularly appreciated. Additional considerations include freeness, availability of video presentations, and complimentary audio added context are must-haves when one is designing a museum.

- A second comment on the free museums: we apologize for not having enough Pound-Dollars to toss into the donation bins.

- A third comment on museums: what is the point of including Braille descriptions? Or to the blind: Is it really all that fun to go to a museum where the only thing you can touch is the brief title card?

- Kudos to the business in the general vicinity of Baker Street for tying the most random shops to the Sherlock Holmes books. The tube station is understandable, but the French bakery decorated with and named after the detective seemed like more than a necessary stretch.

- To those planning to stay in Marylebone Hall: It is a great bargain, but expect weirdness and uncomfortable beds. In particular, every hour seemed to bring a different security protocol and every day brought surprising guests. On arrival, the lobby was filled with students studying Ethical Sandwiches having a picnic. One day we arrived to hear the hall filled with middle school dance music. Another day brought lots of small children of color dressed in tuxedoes and formal wear with their adult supervisors bringing trays of potatoes (some of which spilled on the concrete) and carrots for lunch.

- It was nice how occasionally there would be entertainers performing in the long Underground walkways in specially-marked busker zones.

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