Jun 9 2017

St Mary-le-Bow

London, EC2V 6AU, UK

This smallish church was rebuilt after the Great Fire of 1666 by Sir Christopher Wren in the City of London on the main east–west thoroughfare, Cheapside. Sir Christopher Wren was an accomplished English anatomist, astronomer, geometer, and mathematician-physicist, as well as one of the most highly acclaimed English architects in history.


Jun 9 2017

British Library @ King’s Cross

96 Euston Road
London, NW1 2DB, UK

A street over from St. Pancras Renaissance hotel is the Library, a little corner to seek a refuge.

On display at the philately, there is a 24¢ inverted Jenny – is it real?


Jun 9 2017

St. Pancras

Euston Road,
London, UK

The place has metro/subway (King’s Cross), EuroStar, railway trains and the Renaissance hotel, big is an understatement.

The hotel is pretty imposing, spreading over a block. Apple is building a new store, apparently.




Jun 9 2017

Thai City Restaurant

Royley House, 110 Old St,
London, EC1V 9BD, UK

It’s cross street from LSO’s St. Luke’s, which is convenient for us. Very red. Airy. Was quiet full, on a Friday lunch.

Food and service are fine, clean bathroom. On our way out, which was end of lunch rush, a young man was laying on the bench by the door, checking his phone. Please, do it elsewhere.


Jun 9 2017

LSO St Luke’s

161 Old St,
London, EC1V 9NG, UK

London Symphony Orchestra has a beautiful side location in a renovated church – LSO St Luke’s (I thought 侧室 is a pretty appropriate for it …) It’s in the north of London. LSO uses it for rehearsals.


Jun 9 2017

Tower of London & Bridge


One of the historical royal palaces, on the River Thames.


Jun 8 2017

London 2017

I went to London on EuroStar from Brussels. Took train to Oxford immediately, and bus back to London.

The subway is pretty expensive, £4.90 for 5 stops from King’s Cross to Paddington Station. The train to Oxford was old, about an hour ride for 60 miles journey. Yes, I am thinking of China’s high speed trains. I stayed in an airbnb in Angel/Islington.

Chapel Market @ Islington




Jun 30 2016

Exited EU messed up their hotel operations too?

I input July 14-17, 3 nights, 3/room at St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London, and got this quote (@ 5:38 pm)

Junior Suite, Club lounge access, Suite, 1 King, Chambers Wing
The rate for this room changes on 07/15/16 to 370 (GBP) per night 499

An agent is dangling on the screen for a live chat, so I connected to make sure all taxes are included, and the last two nights cost £370.  The agent wrote: yes, the price will include taxes. However, an extra £50 for the child and

Thusday night will be 499, Friday will be 370, and Saturday night will be 389, for a total of 1,258 GBP.

I’m not please: the rate is for 3 a room – it didn’t ask the age of the third person, why now charge £50 for the child? Also, the site indicates July 15 and 16 is £370 – Ok, I’ll give them if it means only the night of 15 to 16, not July 15 and 16.  The agent told me to click blue Select to see the rate detail, did I know, no room for this rate is actual unavailable (at 5:44 pm).  I went back to refresh the price quote and I’m still getting the same rate (@ 5:48 pm). Unbelievable. WTH … exit EU messed up their hotel operation too?

为了准确, 俺和他们酒店网聊 才知道他们好烂: 税是包括 但是第三人需要加 £50/夜 (我明明点的三个人喔!!!!!) 第三夜是 £389. 更可恶的是: 这个价钱根本就没有房 – 这不是涮人吗? 浪费俺的时间 脱欧脱的酒店都糊涂了??

Matt P (6/30/2016, 5:32:46 PM): You have been connected to Matt P. How may I help you?
Me (6/30/2016, 5:33:20 PM): i need room for 3 – parents and 16 years old child, July 14-17
Me (6/30/2016, 5:34:06 PM): Junior Suite, Club lounge access, Suite, 1 King, Chambers Wing
The rate for this room changes on 07/15/16 to 370 (GBP) per night 499 – is all taxes included?
Matt P (6/30/2016, 5:34:17 PM): I’d be more than happy to assist you with this. To confirm, you’re looking to stay at the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel London, correct?
Me (6/30/2016, 5:34:28 PM): yes
Matt P (6/30/2016, 5:35:55 PM): Thank you. This rate will include all taxes, though there is a 50 GBP extra person charge. One moment please while I see if your child is exempt.
Me (6/30/2016, 5:36:04 PM): Thur is 499, and Fri and Sat is 370, is this correct?
Matt P (6/30/2016, 5:37:13 PM): Thusday night will be 499, Friday will be 370, and Saturday night will be 389, for a total of 1,258 GBP.
Matt P (6/30/2016, 5:38:09 PM): According to the hotel, the extra adult charge will apply, bringing your total to 1,408 GBP.
Me (6/30/2016, 5:38:40 PM): … but I did input 3/room, and getting the rate … why it is different?
Matt P (6/30/2016, 5:40:15 PM): This hotel does charge an additional fee for every guest over 12 after the first two adults. This charge is 50 GBP per night, for a total of 150 GBP.
Me (6/30/2016, 5:41:00 PM): what about the 370 per night on July 15 and 16? It’s on your site
Matt P (6/30/2016, 5:43:04 PM): I am showing that the rate does change on the night of the 16th to 389 GBP. For a full breakdown of the rates, charges, and fees, click the blue “Select” button next to the rate you’d like to book.
Me (6/30/2016, 5:44:48 PM): no room available
Me (6/30/2016, 5:45:43 PM): wondering how and why am I even got a room with prices??
Matt P (6/30/2016, 5:46:49 PM): It does appear that this room has sold out for these dates.
Me (6/30/2016, 5:47:28 PM): No, I just refreshed the page and is still showing as available
Matt P (6/30/2016, 5:48:36 PM): If this room is still showing as available on your end, I would recommend booking it quickly as it is most likely the last one available.
Me (6/30/2016, 5:49:26 PM): Ok: the situation is, is shows available but when I click Select, your site shows NOT available. What’s going on????
Matt P (6/30/2016, 5:50:48 PM): I would recommend clicking the grey “Find” button as opposed to refreshing the page to force the site to re-check it’s inventory.

Jan 5 2011

The red mailboxes

I’m obsessed with mailboxes ..

my little red mailbox, circa 1961 Beijing

July 4, 2010, London

Oct 15 2010

By train in Europe

EuroStar London-Paris July 5th: US$74 (one way)
Paris-Strasbourg-Heidelberg-Frankfurt: July 11-13: US$48 (€39)
– TGV Paris-Strasbourg
– TGV Strasbourg-Heidelberg
– Commuter train Heidelberg-Ffm
ICE Frankfurt-Cologne July 23rd: US$60 (round trip)

I like to travel by train. Nostalgia aside, its convenient and relaxing. Getting to the airport and having to endure the screening, it has becoming a trip of its own – a weary one.

Even during the high of summer, the trains, in Germany anyway are not fully booked. Even if it is, one could still sit in the dining car. We took the early AM train to Köln, wasn’t full but we had breakfast there anyway. The ride was little over an hour, so by the time we finsihed our last bite, the tip of the Cathedral (Dom) came into our view.


the slow commuter train fm Heidelberg to Frankfurt

trains in Germany are still mostly empty ..