Pinch Me Places: 221B Baker Street

One of the most fun travel experiences I've ever had was my 1995 visit with the lovely Robin and our awesome kids to 221B Baker Street, the London address of Sherlock Holmes.

The location has been lovingly and meticulously recreated from the writings of Arthur Conan Doyle into a museum and tourist attraction honoring the world's most famous consulting detective. That's Aubrey, above, by the hearth in Holmes's sitting room.

And that's Aaron, above, in Holmes's deerstalker cap and holding his meerschaum pipe. The occupant wasn't in at the time, so I felt free to let Aaron have a little fun. Oh, yeah, and I also got a picture of myself in the same chair. Same cap. Same pipe. Yeah, buddy.

I was so enthralled with the details (the engineer's thumb was in a cabinet in this room, for crying out loud, and the Queen's initials still marked the wall--both details from Holmes stories) that Robin thought it necessary to remind me, "He is a FICTIONAL character, Bob." Pshaw. All she had to do was look around and she could have seen that Holmes was as real as the walkup lodgings of Dr. Watson:

It is truly a "pinch me" place for me, and not less so because Holmes was (supposedly) fictional. It was a thrilling and absolutely enjoyable step into Victorian England, the stories of Arthur Conan Doyle, and the enduring figure of Sherlock Holmes.

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