About Me

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Hello, I'm Bearnard (a.k.a. Bernie) B. Behr. I travel around the United States with my human Gary, who is a professional tour guide for California Sunriders motorcycle tours. We both come from Conifer, Colorado, a nice little town in the Rocky Mountains. We travel all over the country finding beautiful places and meeting all sorts of people from around the world. I keep Gary from getting in trouble and help him keep the guests on his tours happy, not an easy job! We have a lot of fun together and see a lot of really great places, and since Gary is a professional photographer too, we have some great pictures too (usually starring yours truly). Gary also likes to write a lot, (he's a little long-winded but tells a good story) so there's usually a lot to read. It's a good thing too, I can't type very well with these paws, so I'll have Gary do most of the writing. Keep coming back and enjoy the blog. Feel free to post a comment or make suggestions (like how to keep these crazy humans in line!) and we look forward to reading them. Sincerely, Bearnard B. Behr And Gary Fleshman
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Saturday, February 02, 2008

Day Two in London

At Least it's not Raining today…Yet!


So after a nice relaxing evening with friends and a good night's sleep it was time to catch a train from the south suburbs of London back into the city center.


We got off again at Charing Cross station again, mainly because it's just so easy to get to everything worth seeing (and it's Carol and Norm's stop too). We stopped for a nice breakfast at a little local eatery down one of the small alleyways they call streets here. You couldn't get a car down it if you tried, but they call it a street anyway. We had our breakfast with Norm before he went to work and went about our merry way!


Today we traveled around London using "The Tube" or "The Underground" as they call it here, to me it looked a lot like a Subway, like those in New York City. They do have some silly names for things here, like an Elevator is called "The Lift", cigarettes are "Fags", a trashcan in called a "Dustbin" and a lot of other silly names for things.

On our day out today we didn't have as much time as yesterday, so we were only able to see a few things before we had to catch a train. Since it was a nice day out we walked around a little more, passing by places we had already been to. Since it was nice out today the horses were standing outside their shelters, enjoying the nice warm sunshine while it lasted.

Even the humans seemed a little happier to be standing outside today, even if they weren't allowed to move around much.

By this time in the trip I was getting a little homesick and decided to call home. I got into one of these telephone booths alright, made my call, and promptly got stuck in the door on the way out of it. Gary thought this was hilarious and started to giggle almost uncontrollably, and after a few minutes he calmed down enough to hear me yelling at him to get me unstuck! He finally quit laughing enough to prize me out of the door and resume walking.

On our way to the next stop we passed by Parliment's east tower (Big Ben) again, and Gary found a much better place to take pictures of it. So we stoppe for a few minutes to take a few pictures.

So after a few good shots like this one we walked a few hundred feet more and we were at our next stop…Westminister Abbey.


This is another really big church, and this one is special because this is where all the Monarchs (not the butterflies) go for religious ceremonies, like Weddings and funerals. It's also where there are a lot of really important and famous people are buried, including some of the Monarchy.


It may be a church, but it also has a part that looks a lot like a castle. For several hundred years the church was almost as powerful as the government or Monarchy (some people said it was more powerful), and was very important.


It's a really big building, and I guessed if the bigger the building was, the more important the people inside were. Since all I was used to was our little house in the Rockies, these places seemed gigantic to me, so they must be a lot more important than just little 'ol stuffed me! Gary said that was completely and utterly wrong, and that they were compensating for a lack elsewhere (I really didn't understand this…), and that I was much more important to him than any of these silly humans!

No matter… it was still a very pretty building to look at, and I thought it was almost like a piece of art. Gary said that it really was a piece of artwork, something called "Architecture". Whatever the call it I still think it's very pretty. It's just a bummer we once again don't have the time or money to get inside.


So we just wandered around outside again, and Gary seemed to be happy enough to just take some pictures of it.


He found lots of good places to take pictures from too.


So we finished up taking pictures and Gary said that we needed to get moving to see the next thing in time. So we started walking again to go back to Buckingham palace to see the "Changing of the Guard".


So we walked back through the park, looking at all the nice tasty fish swimming around in the lake! Before I could even ask though, Gary said not to get any Ideas about jumping in after them for a quick mid-morning snack!


Apparently the guards standing outside the palace get replaced by new guards all the time. I guess this is so they don't fall asleep at their places. Gary said that the changing of the guard was another of these special "ceremonies" that the still have for the family of Monarchs (extremely silly humans). They have a bunch of guards dressed up nice march around a bit and take each other's place. They do this very precisely and even have a marching band play music for them while they do this.


By the time we got there it was a little too late…since it was a nice day and not raining all of the other tourists were already there (some for several hours) waiting to see it. So we weren't able to get even close to it, so it was time to give up, go back to get our bags from Norm, and catch our train to go see some more friends in Gillingham.
That's it for now…keep checking back and we'll finish this story soon!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

We finally get to London!

So we finally get to London!
After our day adventuring around the Salisbury area we went back to Overton for a good night's rest. The next morning we got up packed our bags, had a quick cup of tea, and said thank you and goodbye to David & Penny their wonderful hospitality. David was nice enough to give us a ride to the train station and we were off to London.


After about a hour and a half we arrived in London's Charing Cross station, right in the middle of central London. Our friend from a previous Route 66 tour, Norman works in downtown london and was nice enough to meet us at the station and let us store the crazy humans bags somewhere while we walked around to see the town.

After dropping our bags off at Normans' office it was time to go for a walk around Central London for a few hours. Our first stop was Trafalgar Square, right in front of the National Gallery, and had some really neat statues, fountains and lots of silly humans walking around.


See what I mean, the strange and silly humans were everywhere! I wanted to go for a quick dip in the pond to look for fish, but Gary informed me that it was a fountain, and that there weren't any fish in there. I pondered for quite a while why these humans would make such a nice pond in the middle of the city but not put any fish in it! These English humans are supposed to like Fish & Chips, so where do they get the fish?


I still didn't believe Gary, so we went down to the pond for a closer look! The statues in the pond were spitting out the water, so it must not be good enough to keep fish in. The only thing that looked like a fish was the Dolphin behind the human statue, and it was spitting out the water too, so this was pretty good proof that there must have been something wrong with the water!


On the other end of the square there was another statue, this one was of a lion, and boy was it really big. I don't think that a real Lion is this big, if it was I think the humans would have a real problem on their hands. It was neat though, and after a quick picture we were off again to adventure around!


Gary's friend Norman gave him directions on where to go to see things that he really wanted to see. The first was the guilded gates to one of the royal parks just down the road from Trafalgar Square. It was nice to see that the humans were smart enough to leave themselves some room to run around in that wasn't paved over. This is the entrance to St. James Park, and we found out later that it also was once the burial place for Lepers…strange humans! It was just accross the street from one of the most famous places in England, Buckingham Palace.


It too had a big, guilded fence around it, and lots of police and security people. I decided that it would probably be a good idea to behave myself, I didn't want to get in any trouble (like I did in Oklahoma and New Mexico…) in a strange country.


I asked Gary what the silly humans did here, and he said it was the home of the British Royals. I really didn't understand until he explained that they were Monarchs. After a bit of confusion I finally understood and wondered why they needed such a big house! Gary said it was because they were very important, and at one time used to be the ones who ran the country.


They had a lot of security people everywhere. These must be some very special Monarchs to have all these guards keeping them safe.


I wanted to go in and see these really important Monarchs, but the man at the gate wouldn't let us go in. I then came to the conclusion that the big fence wasn't there to keep these Monarchs in, but the rest of the people out! I asked Gary why they wouldn't let us go see the butterflies, he just giggled a bit and explained that these Monarchs weren't the pretty Orange butterflies we have back home, but a family of silly humans. Now things were beginning to make more sense to me, I knew these humans were silly and I guess letting a family of butterflies run the country would be extremely silly, even for them!


I still wanted to see these really important humans, but Gary said that all we could do is just stand around a while to see if they came outside. It was raining a bit, and it began to rain even more, Gary said these humans really don't like the rain so we finally gave up on the idea and decided we had better get back to sightseeing


So we got back to walking, and we went through the park along the lake. Now this was a proper lake and there were even fish in it too. I asked Gary if I could do a bit of fishing here, but he said that it was a Royal park, and that the fish here were just for looking at…extremely silly humans! There were Ducks, and Swans around too, and Gary said not to get any ideas about them either, and that they were just for looking at too.


At the other end of the park there were some humans sitting on top of horses just standing there doing nothing…in the rain! When I asked Gary why they were on horses in the middle of a big city where a car would be much better, he said that they were there because of a tradition.


When I saked what the tradition was, he said that this place is where the Royal guards are stationed and meant to be the dividing place between the Royal Monarchs (not the butterflies) and the modern government.


I found a nice place to sit down while Gary took some pictures of the silly humans on their horses, doing nothing but standing around in the rain.


There seemed to be two different types of silly humans on horses, some of them in red uniforms, and some in black. When I asked Gary why this was he said it was to represent a balance of power between the two forms of government.


I just sat around wondering why they didn't have enough sense to get out of the rain, but then realized that we were getting rained on as well.


At least this fellow was lucky enough to have a place to get out of the rain! After a couple more pictures it was time to go see more. So we walked down the road a bit to the home of the English modern government, the Parliment and House of Lords.


The first thing we saw was a really big tower with a clock at the top. Gary said it was called the East tower and there was a really famous and important bell on the inside of it called "Big Ben"…leave it to the silly humans to give a bell a name!


This is the Houses of Parliment and the House of Lords. Gary explained to me that this is where the humans now run the country from. He also explained that the Monarchs no longer ran things, but were kept around for the ceremonial events…and to distract other silly humans with their extremely silly behavior. I guess it was so they wouldn't get bored, and would have something to talk about while it was raining outside (which seems to be all the time here).


Here's a good look at it from the other end, and a good view of the Thames river that goes through the center of London. Gary said that the reason London is here is because of the river, ant this used to be a very important place for trading things with other humans…including fish.


It's a really big building too, and really pointy and pretty! We then hopped on a bus and went up the road a long way to go see another cathedral. We went for a nice ride and ended up at St. Paul's Cathedral, which has been around for almost four hundred years. A really big place, we wanted to go inside and see what it looked like, but the humans at the door wanted a lot of money just to go inside. Since Gary is a bit on the poor side already and everything is double the price for him over here he didn't have enough money for us to go inside.


So we just walked around the outside for a bit, looking at all the neat statues and the building itself.


It was so big that no matter where we went we couldn't get a picture of the whole thing that was any good! Since we couldn't go in and we had walked around it completely, it was time to go to the next thing on Gary's list. So we walked along the Thames riverwalk toward our next destination, the Tower of London and the Tower Bridge.


We stopped for a brief rest break while on the way, we (well mostly Gary, he tends to carry me all the time) had already done a lot of walking today and was getting a little tired. Here's a good picture of the Tower Bridge from the walk along the Thames.


After Gary was sufficently rested we continued until we came to the Tower of London. This is a really famous place, and has been around for about a thousand Years. The humans have used it fo a variety of different things. It used to be the home of the Monarchs before they all moved to Buckingham palace. It has also been used as a Fortress, Prison where they tortured and executed other humans, a Zoo, Armoury, place to keep and Make money (something these humans are still obsessed with), public records office, Observatory and where the silly humans keep the "Crown Jewels".

It's a really big place, but we didn't have the time to go in and see it.

It's also the home of a bunch of Ravens, and the silly humans believe that if the Ravens ever leave the Tower of London that the country will fail. So they have someone whose job is to look after these birds and make sure that they stay and are happy there.


Since we didn't have either the time or the money to get in we just walked around the outside (again) before we set off to walk across the Tower Bridge.


Gary said that the Tower Bridge was probably one the most important landmarks in London and that we had to walk across it.


They painted all of the metal on the bridge a very pretty blue color. We stopped several times while walking across it to take some pictures.


It's a big Bridge, but not nearly as big as my favorite bridge, the Golden Gate Bridge in California. Why do these silly humans paint these bridges such bright colors?


The neat thing about this bridge is that it has two towers on either side where it splits apart so big boats can go under it.


The Golden Gate Bridge doesn't split apart like this one does, which is why it's so important. Plus it's really pretty too!


The towers on either side are really tall too!



The humans really spent a lot of time to make sure it was a good bridge, and they made it out of really big pieces of stone and steel to make sure it lasted a long time!


It's a good thing to go see in London, different than any other bridge I've ever seen.


After walking across it, we continued along the Thames river stopping occasionally to take some more pictures.


Just about the time we got across it the sun began to go down, and we were at a really big ferris wheel called "The London Eye". It was a huge ride and went really slow, and looked neat all lit up a pretty blue color. This was the end of our first day walking around London and it was almost time to go meet up with Gary's friends to spend the night with.

Before we went though, we were both really tired from our busy day and just had to sit down again for a rest before we met up with Gary's friends. It had been a great day (except for all the rain that never seems to stop here), and we were coming back tomorrow to see more.
Now it was time for a good dinner and a good night's rest.
Check back soon as the story continues…