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Like so many bookish boys, I devoured Sherlock Holmes stories. Years later, visiting my girlfriend in London, I discovered that 221B Baker Street, the detective's fabled domicile, was a "real" place.

The Sherlock Holmes Museum is built into a converted orphanage. It's a quaint, three-story Victorian row house with a souvenir shop(pe) on the first floor.

On the second floor, we found a small flat furnished with vintage chairs and curtains. Replicas of Holmes' paraphernalia were everywhere: secret diaries, pistols, fragments and canes.

An elderly man approached, wearing a house robe. "Welcome," he said.

"Hi," I said, disarmed. "Do you work here?"

"I," he said, grinning, "am Sherlock Holmes."

My girlfriend and I smirked at each other. He offered his pipe and hunter's cap, and we took a picture.

When we’d taken our fill of the museum's wax sculptures and faux-artifacts, we caught a glimpse of "Sherlock Holmes" — fast asleep in his easy chair.

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