Friday, September 28, 2007

London Journey: Part Six

Spaniards Inn

September 24, Hampstead Heath.

Bobbi and I traveled further afield than we have yet done…journeying to Hampstead Heath. The Heath is a giant tract of parkland overlooking the City of London from the North. Unfortunately, I was too silly to bring the camera, because it is truly an amazing place. Ringed by the hoary villages of Hampstead and Highgate (with its famous cemetery) the Heath is an amazing place…with huge panoramic views overlooking the sprawling London metropolis.The Heath

Dirk TurpinIt is also a bit scary. The famous highwayman Dirk Turpin haunted these hills, relieving travelers of jewelry- including sometimes, rings- finger and all. If I am not mistaken, it is here that Lucy’s Vampiric form stalked little children in Dracula (it’s been a while) and to this day, the guide books advise that it is best to stay off the Heath at night (more common criminals have replaced Highwaymen and Vampires, but the danger can still be real.)

Our walk around the west end of the heath was thus given a spicy bit of urgency as the Shadows began to lengthen.

Our goal was the Spaniards Inn…a 400 year old pub that stands near the edge of the Heath. One legend says that a Spanish Ambassador build this house far out of London to limit exposure to the Plague. In addition to playing host to the Villain Turpin, this inn has also played host to Shelly, Keats and Byron. Both Charles Dickens and Bram Stoker mention it in their novels.

We were there to meet Russell, who had arrived that morning on his own English adventure. He was traveling with the Ghost Tour and their guide had kindly allowed us to join them for dinner in the private upstairs dining room. The ghost hunters were a great group, and I hope that Bobbi and I can take Charles’ “Dracula Tour” to Romania at some point soon. Great dinner, good beer, and fine company…with a ghost story or two thrown in for good measure. Just what an English getaway should be.

1 comment:

khUthU said...

very interesting :) read about ur cat not making it to London.

ur a nice guy. the world need more ppl like u. u should take over the kingdom and make a lot of babies there before going back to vermont :P

Best of luck in London. take care :)