Our first post! We are thrilled that our blog is up and running but more important is that we have finally embarked on this adventure around the world, something that we have been planning for several years.
A bit about the name of our blog, Grand Tour of the Middling Sort. It is an amalgamation of two ideas: The Grand Tour – the traditional long trip taken by European (usually British) upper classes and young elite usually to such places as Italy, France and Greece, in the 18th and 19th centuries for education, elightenment and, because that’s simply just what one did ; and the “middling sort”, a term created in the 18th century and used extensively in Victorian England to refer to the new and influential merchant class, or middle class – people who possessed an entrepreneurial spirit and were able to improve their lot in life with hard work and perseverance. We’ve taken the concept of The Grand Tour and turned it on its head as our travels will take us farther than the requite Western European nations of grand tours past, and we are doing it because it is simply NOT the sort of thing one does these days.
But, for our first stop: London. It’s wonderful to be back in this beautiful and fascinating city and fortunately the weather has been kind to us this first week – sunny, warm weather and no hint of rain. Our flat is in the eastern part of the city in an area called Tower Hamlets. We are walking distance to things such as Brick Lane (which is actually half a block away), Spitalfields Market and The Tower of London. The city is abuzz with Easter preparations, parties for St. George’s Day and, of course, the royal wedding. The pubs are packed (so great that you can bring your glass of tipple OUTSIDE to drink it) as is the river walk along the Thames. Spring has sprung and it is glorious! A few random photos of the city this past week: