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  #1  
Old 08-22-2017, 06:20 PM
spjork spjork is offline
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What Would You Do As A Tourist in London?

I've lived near or in London for over 10 years and I've still not done most of the things people would usually do when they are tourists.

I guess I take for granted that I can visit the Tower of London, the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham palace, et al, when I have the time, just as I suppose most New Yorkers think the Statue of Liberty is always going to be there waiting for them and they can go some day-- just not today.

So maybe I should ask those of you not in England what it is you would do if you had a day in London? Because I'd like to stop only living in but seeing this city I've come to call my home.

Last edited by spjork; 08-22-2017 at 06:21 PM.
  #2  
Old 08-22-2017, 06:38 PM
Ethilrist Ethilrist is online now
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Go see a play at The Globe. Looks like you have a choice between King Lear and Much Ado About Nothing.
  #3  
Old 08-22-2017, 06:49 PM
FinsToTheLeft FinsToTheLeft is offline
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Go to the top of the Tate Modern or the Skygarden on a clear day (yes, I realize we are talking about London &#128526

Take a Yeomen Warder tour of the Tower of London

Walk from Camden Market to Kings Cross along the Regent Canal

Go to the Columbia Road Flower Market

Eat at Borough Market, just to say screw you to terrorists
  #4  
Old 08-22-2017, 06:56 PM
Sherrerd Sherrerd is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethilrist View Post
Go see a play at The Globe. Looks like you have a choice between King Lear and Much Ado About Nothing.
^ This at night, (or the Royal National Theatre perhaps), and the National Gallery during the day. St. Martin-in-the-Fields is just steps away from the art and if they're doing one of their free lunchtime concerts that day, I'd leave the museum for that hour.
  #5  
Old 08-22-2017, 07:23 PM
Trancephalic Trancephalic is offline
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Stay on the road. Keep clear of the moors.
  #6  
Old 08-22-2017, 07:42 PM
glee glee is offline
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Natural History Museum.
Science Museum.

Open top bus ride around London.
Boat trip from Westminster Pier to Tower of London.
(both of these have running commentaries.)
  #7  
Old 08-22-2017, 07:47 PM
Marvin the Martian Marvin the Martian is offline
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Tower of London/Crown Jewels
Royal Observatory at Greenwich
Climb up the dome of St. Paul's
British Museum
Never saw the point of the London Eye
  #8  
Old 08-22-2017, 07:47 PM
Maggie the Ocelot Maggie the Ocelot is offline
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The Eye.
  #9  
Old 08-22-2017, 07:55 PM
SpoilerVirgin SpoilerVirgin is offline
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London Walks
British Museum
British Library
Boating on the Serpentine
See a show
  #10  
Old 08-22-2017, 08:00 PM
silenus silenus is online now
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Spend 3 years in the British Museum.
  #11  
Old 08-22-2017, 08:08 PM
Miss Mapp Miss Mapp is offline
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I usually go to have tea at the Kensington Palace Orangery, then try to visit one of the stately homes that used to be outside the city but the countryside has long since been swallowed up by the metropolis. There are quite a lot of them--Syon, Chiswick House, Ham House. Next time I plan to see Walpole's Strawberry Hill House.
  #12  
Old 08-22-2017, 08:31 PM
Tim R. Mortiss Tim R. Mortiss is offline
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Mind the gap!!
  #13  
Old 08-22-2017, 09:02 PM
leftfield6 leftfield6 is offline
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Imperial War Museum. I ran out of time before I lost interest. They literally had to herd me out at closing time.

Actually my favorite thing to do in London is go for a walk along the Thames while listening to Ray Davies & the Crouch End Chorus on my earbuds. But I'm odd like that.

I'm going to be there the first week of September. Can't wait. London is my favorite city to visit.
  #14  
Old 08-22-2017, 11:03 PM
DSYoungEsq DSYoungEsq is offline
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I've been there three times. Each time, I've found more to do than I had time to accomplish. Someday, I'm going to hire a BlueBadge and have him/her personally squire me around the British Museum for three days.

One of my most fun things done was a walking tour that took me past Craven Cottage and Stamford Bridge; had I really tried, I could have gotten Loftus Road too. And the walk along the Thames was very pretty.
  #15  
Old 08-23-2017, 12:04 AM
Little Nemo Little Nemo is offline
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Another vote for the British Museum. I'm a museum kind of guy.
  #16  
Old 08-23-2017, 02:45 AM
Banksiaman Banksiaman is offline
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Having just got back from there:

1. Don't go in mid-summer, over-congested with tourists.

2. Museum of London, especially the section dealing with Victorian London --> Blitz --> post-war transformation.

3. Red bus hop-on-hop-off tours. Commentary on mine was very good.
  #17  
Old 08-23-2017, 06:27 AM
elbows elbows is online now
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I would haunt the British Museum. Then the Victoria and Albert Museum. Then The Natural History Museum....I think you get the idea!

(And I wonder, to myself, if it would be like Inca ruins in Peru, or Churches in Italy, y'know, you see so many that one day....it's just enough, no more! That's really hard for me to imagine though!)
  #18  
Old 08-23-2017, 08:22 AM
kayaker kayaker is online now
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My gf went to London with a coworker. They divided their time between pubs and cemeteries. Four days was not enough.
  #19  
Old 08-23-2017, 08:45 AM
LVBoPeep LVBoPeep is offline
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I was only in London for a full day but we did the Red Rover open top bus tour and The Tower! I thought the Tower of London was about the coolest thing ever. The river bus was a nice break from all the tower exploring and our guide was very funny and informative. You probably know this but you can get on and off the river bus too and so it is a good way to hit several areas while enjoying the view and a beer.
  #20  
Old 08-23-2017, 09:53 AM
peedin peedin is offline
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The National Gallery
The London Eye
St. Paul's
Imperial War Museum
Changing of the Horse Guards
Boat ride to Greenwich
  #21  
Old 08-23-2017, 10:44 AM
Chefguy Chefguy is online now
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Westminster Abbey; lots of famous people entombed there.
Kew Gardens.
Stroll across Abbey Lane.
The weekend markets.
Find a good fish and chip store.
  #22  
Old 08-23-2017, 10:46 AM
MikeG MikeG is offline
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Look right
  #23  
Old 08-23-2017, 10:58 AM
zimaane zimaane is offline
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I've been thinking about a trip to the UK for a while

Tower of London
British Museum
Kew gardens
Pubs
then back to the Tower of London, it seems like a fascinating place

(BTW I'm in the same boat in a way. I've lived near Washington DC for more than a decade, and never been inside the white house or congress, nor to the top of the Washington Monument.)
  #24  
Old 08-23-2017, 11:55 AM
Weirofhermiston Weirofhermiston is offline
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Take a look round Eltham Palace. I lived in South London for more than thirty years and only discovered this gem shortly before I left (in fairness, it hadn't been open all that time). Bit of a journey to get there but well worth it.
  #25  
Old 08-23-2017, 12:45 PM
Ranchoth Ranchoth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trancephalic View Post
Stay on the road. Keep clear of the moors.
No...too easy...

Well, I was going to say, personally, visit the Hunterian Museum...but it seems, doing a little checking, it's going to be closed until late 2020 for renovations.

I'd also try and get some Jellied Eels. I can't seem to find them for sale anywhere on this continent.
  #26  
Old 08-23-2017, 02:02 PM
Ludovic Ludovic is online now
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
Look right
Or, actually, both ways. There are too many one way streets and pedestrian islands in the middle of streets for me to only look one way in London. Suburban roads, that's another story.
  #27  
Old 08-23-2017, 02:23 PM
corkboard corkboard is offline
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Stay on the road. Keep clear of the moors.
Few things here actually make me laugh out loud, but this sure did. Well done.
  #28  
Old 08-23-2017, 02:58 PM
blondebear blondebear is online now
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Another vote for Kew Gardens. The huge Victorian greenhouse (Palm House) alone is worth the price of admission.
  #29  
Old 08-23-2017, 03:28 PM
psiekier psiekier is offline
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I was in the UK for two weeks about 15 years ago.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spjork View Post
I guess I take for granted that I can visit the Tower of London, the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham palace, et al, when I have the time, just as I suppose most New Yorkers think the Statue of Liberty is always going to be there waiting for them and they can go some day-- just not today.
I hit all three of those spots.

I visited the Tower, saw the Crown Jewels (I had to buy a reference book as photography is not permitted), explored the museum there, and took lots of pictures of the ravens and the Yeoman Warders.

At Parliament, I met three young travelers from South Korea who joined me as we sat in on the House of Commons. It was like C-Span, but with British accents - democracy at its finest! Later that night, we went down to Soho for Chinese food. I was gonna get a big dish of beef chow mein.

The following day we met up at Buckingham Palace to observe the Changing of the Guard. It's not enough just to go there; you have to see the Changing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by spjork View Post
So maybe I should ask those of you not in England what it is you would do if you had a day in London? Because I'd like to stop only living in but seeing this city I've come to call my home.
Other things I did, not counting a weekend jaunt to Edinburgh:
  • Ride in the London Eye (Try both on a clear day and at night!)
  • Visit the Tate Museum of Modern Art
  • See the National Portrait Gallery
  • Explore the British Museum
  • Take in all the exhibits at the Victoria and Albert Museum
  • See importatnt documents (such as one copy of the Magna Carta) at the British Library
  • Explore the Imperial War Museum
  • Cross the Thames using Tower Bridge
  • Visit Westminster Abbey and St. Paul's Cathedral
  • Check out the Salvador Dali Exhibit (Is it still there, near Westminster Bridge?)
  • Explore Piccadilly Circus
  • Go shopping at Harrod's
  • Stop by Games Workshop Hammersmith (Is it still there? I heard it closed), wherein was displayed the entire Ultramarines chapter
  • Eat cheese enchiladas at the Texas Embassy
__________________
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"Le vent se lève! ... il faut tenter de vivre!"
  #30  
Old 08-23-2017, 03:41 PM
Icarus Icarus is offline
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Add to your list a few we visited the last time we were there -

Kensington Palace - A treat for the Diana fans.

Apsley House - The 9th Duke of Wellington still lives there (sometimes) behind that big door.
  #31  
Old 08-23-2017, 03:49 PM
Sherrerd Sherrerd is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ranchoth View Post
I'd also try and get some Jellied Eels. I can't seem to find them for sale anywhere on this continent.
What would have been the point of fighting the Revolutionary War if we were going to let in jellied eels?




Also: Amazon UK hasn't yet killed off Foyles, and their Charing Cross Road flagship bookshop is well worth a visit for any book lover.
  #32  
Old 08-23-2017, 03:56 PM
MrDibble MrDibble is offline
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One of the things I really liked doing was catching a waterbus from Little Venice to Camden Lock Market. Goes past the Zoo, too.

Also, while all the museums are nice, I have a soft spot for the Museum of London.
  #33  
Old 08-23-2017, 04:08 PM
Sir T-Cups Sir T-Cups is online now
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Do an audio tour of the British Museum. My biggest regret from my time in London was never doing an audio tour of it, only walking through it myself.

One that hasn't been mentioned, and was honestly one of my favorite things I did: Do a Jack the Ripper walking tour! It's a nighttime tour that takes you through the actual streets and corners where Jack did his slaying, with some cool stories told the entire time.

Can't recommend it enough.
  #34  
Old 08-23-2017, 04:26 PM
bonzer bonzer is offline
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Speaking as someone who's lived in the city for nearly two decades, the attraction that the locals most take for granted and so miss out on is the Tower of London. We generally lump it in with things - like avoidably being in Leicester Square or Piccadilly Circus, or being in Madame Tussaud's at all - that only tourists would do. Now the Tower is undeniably expensive and has its cheesy-tourist-trap aspects, but it's a big site with lots of different things to see (of varying interest) that could easily soak up a day if you're inclined.
  #35  
Old 08-23-2017, 04:42 PM
Bryan Ekers Bryan Ekers is offline
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hat Would You Do As A Tourist in London?

I would irritate the locals by constantly saying things like "That Jag-u-ar has a lot of alu-mini-um in it."
  #36  
Old 08-23-2017, 04:48 PM
Gatopescado Gatopescado is offline
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Find a Pub, have a pint or two and play darts with the locals.
  #37  
Old 08-23-2017, 04:52 PM
Drunky Smurf Drunky Smurf is offline
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I'm not really a fan of big cities so I'd go to the countryside and visit the little village that is my namesake. Then probably ride a sheep.
  #38  
Old 08-23-2017, 05:26 PM
Sherrerd Sherrerd is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Ekers View Post
I would irritate the locals by constantly saying things like "That Jag-u-ar has a lot of alu-mini-um in it."
I hope you'd be careful or you might find yourself locked up in a boot.
  #39  
Old 08-23-2017, 05:43 PM
Wendell Wagner Wendell Wagner is online now
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Go to Greenwich Observatory, not to see the observatory but to climb the hill where you can see the skyline of London.

Go to the ExCeL Centre just to see how large it is.

Go to the Tate Britain to see my favorite painting in the world, Ophelia by John Everett Millais.

Go to the Museum of Curiosities.

Walk around to the rear of Buckingham Palace, which looks like a prison because of the dirty old brick wall with a barbed wire fence over it:

https://www.google.com/maps/@51.4982...7i13312!8i6656

Go to the Sherlock Holmes Museum at 221B Baker Street.

leftfield6 writes:

> I'm going to be there the first week of September.

I'm going to be taking day trips into London during most of September, so anybody want to have a Dopefest?
  #40  
Old 08-23-2017, 05:43 PM
Muscleman Muscleman is offline
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I will go there on december! any suggestions?
  #41  
Old 08-23-2017, 06:09 PM
Miss Mapp Miss Mapp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendell Wagner View Post
Go to Greenwich Observatory, not to see the observatory but to climb the hill where you can see the skyline of London.
It's a great view. Down the hillside are also some ancient burial mounds, the remains of a tree that was there in Elizabeth I's day, and Queen Caroline's bathtub over by the rose garden. But there's nothing to see of the Roman ruins up on the hill-top--just a plaque about the Time Team dig there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wendell Wagner View Post
Go to the Sherlock Holmes Museum at 221B Baker Street.
If you go at the right time, you can chat with Dr. Watson.

Last edited by Miss Mapp; 08-23-2017 at 06:09 PM.
  #42  
Old 08-23-2017, 07:04 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is online now
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Stay on the road. Keep clear of the moors.
It's "moops".
  #43  
Old 08-23-2017, 07:15 PM
Ludovic Ludovic is online now
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I spent a day and a half in London and all I was see Hyde park (twice!), see the monuments near Green Park, and see Tate Britain (not modern: the one on the north side of Vauxhall Bridge.) I would have done slightly more except I thought that the Tate opened at 9 but it was really at 10, and there wasn't anything to do around there except walk across the Thames and wonder what the unmarked MI6 building was. Thankfully their wifi worked even outside the museum. (And walk a bit of John Islip street which is gorgeous at least when I was there in the summer.)

At any rate, I'd recommend Tate Britain. It actually has a great variety of eras represented, with even a modern wing, which was exactly enough for my tastes (I wouldn't enjoy an entire museum of modern art, but just a gallery and a half is enough to add a little variety.)
  #44  
Old 08-23-2017, 07:44 PM
Infovore Infovore is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drunky Smurf View Post
I'm not really a fan of big cities so I'd go to the countryside and visit the little village that is my namesake. Then probably ride a sheep.
There's a village in England called "Drunky Smurf"?

You know, I could almost believe that.

The London Dungeon is fun, if your tastes run in a more macabre direction.
  #45  
Old 08-23-2017, 08:17 PM
Ukulele Ike Ukulele Ike is offline
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I'm an art kind of guy, so I haunt the National Portrait Gallery (the Aleister Crowley and Mervyn Peake paintings are favorites, because I enjoy weirdoes), and the OLD Tate Collection. I could spend a day in the 19th and early 20th century rooms alone, and an hour in front of Jacob Epstein's massive "Jacob Wrestling with the Angel."

Don't skip Somerset House and the Wallace Collection, which contain several masterpieces that make you say "WTF is this doing HERE?" Manet's "At the Folies Bergere," for example.

I'm also a big WWI buff so I love the Imperial War Museum and the dozens of monuments scattered around the city. Don't miss the once-controversial Artillery Memorial, just SW of Hyde Park.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roya...llery_Memorial

You can also stroll aimlessly and read all the blue historical markers affixed to buildings. Fascinating.
  #46  
Old 08-23-2017, 08:52 PM
JohnGalt JohnGalt is online now
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Some things we did (about ten years) ago that haven't been mentioned:

- the Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower of London. It's when the warders "lock" the tower for the night, so it happens at 9:30 PM. It's cool, plus you're next to Tower Bridge and the Thames at night. Back in 2005 then we had to send a postal mail (from the US) with a international postal coupon attached for the return of the tickets. Now they're totally online, but fully booked until July 2018!

- the Beatles walking tour

- no love for Madame Tussaud's here?

I especially liked the National Gallery, since I had this Eyewtiness DK: Perspective book which explained many of these paintings and the evolution of realistic perspective in paintings.
  #47  
Old 08-23-2017, 09:31 PM
leftfield6 leftfield6 is offline
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One of my favorite things to do when I go to a city like London is check out some of the oddities that don't make most travel guides. Check out this guide to London sites.

I'll be in London from Sept 2 until Sept 10, if any London dopers want to meet up. Staying at a hotel one block away from Trafalgar Square.
  #48  
Old 08-23-2017, 09:51 PM
Ukulele Ike Ukulele Ike is offline
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Staying at a hotel one block away from Trafalgar Square.
Oooooo! Walk north on St. Martin's Lane to Cecil Court and window-shop in the excellent rare bookstores. I can't afford to buy anything there, but looking is free. There's also a great occult bookshop right in the middle of the lane, south side -- the best I've seen since Sam Weiser's of New York closed down years ago.

Then walk south down Villiers Street toward the river and stop at Gordon's Wine Bar, in business for four hundred years. The subterranean interior is damp, dark, cavelike and claustrophobic, so just order a coup of port, dry sherry, or Amontillado (they'll draw it from the barrel) and carry it back upstairs to sit outdoors in the breezy alley.
  #49  
Old 08-23-2017, 09:58 PM
leftfield6 leftfield6 is offline
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Originally Posted by Ukulele Ike View Post
Oooooo! Walk north on St. Martin's Lane to Cecil Court and window-shop in the excellent rare bookstores. I can't afford to buy anything there, but looking is free. There's also a great occult bookshop right in the middle of the lane, south side -- the best I've seen since Sam Weiser's of New York closed down years ago.

Then walk south down Villiers Street toward the river and stop at Gordon's Wine Bar, in business for four hundred years. The subterranean interior is damp, dark, cavelike and claustrophobic, so just order a coup of port, dry sherry, or Amontillado (they'll draw it from the barrel) and carry it back upstairs to sit outdoors in the breezy alley.
Already done both of those things on prior trips. . Bought my significant other a really nice first edition of one of her favorite authors last time I was there.

Love Villers Street. One of my favorite things to do on a sunny day is grab something to go from Herman ze German, and go sit in the little park there near Gordon's Wine Bar.
  #50  
Old 08-23-2017, 10:31 PM
bump bump is offline
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Originally Posted by silenus View Post
Spend 3 years in the British Museum.
This is probably the single most accurate post.

Plenty of places have military museums, art museums, etc... and some places have historical and anthropological museums. But none of them stack up to the British Museum.

It's unlike anything else in the world.
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