Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Wandering in London in Wonderful Weather

Actual date of this event: 25 May

On Saturday morning, I woke up pretty late (more on why in a later blog). I walked into the living room and all I could see was sunshine! It had been cloudy all week long, so this was very exciting. Especially since it was Saturday! I went back into the bedroom and pulled open the curtains as Luke says, "No... still sleeping." I pointed at the window and forcefully said, "Sun!" So, he got up :) We decided we would take advantage of the sun by going to Hyde Park, and then walk around since Luke had yet to see some of London's main attractions.

We got off the tube at High Street Kensington, a new stop for both of us (it really is awesome to be able to just get off at ANY station, and if you don't like the area, you can just get back on the tube to somewhere else). We walked down the high street which is packed with shops and restaurants and traffic and people. We found Kensington Gardens, which is just west of Hyde Park, and began wandering.

These swans were sleeping.
Apparently you are supposed to pay to sit in these chairs although we saw no where to pay???
hahahahaha, this still cracks me up!
"Luke, take a picture of me blowing a dandelion." "Oh my God, Are you serious?" "Yes!"
Albert Memorial
fence around the memorial (notice all of the scaffolding - stupid scaffolding ruining my pictures!)

Look at this guy.
Look at him.
Look at him.
What a silly guy. And about an hour later, we saw him again by Buckingham Palace.
He told some people he has falling and broken his arm a couple of times. What a silly guy.
One of my favorite things from the whole day was the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain. The design of the fountain was very unique, so I enjoyed walking around the whole thing.
The fountain makes a circle. You can see in the top right area, the ground is raised. The water gets pumped from the bottom to that area and then divided evenly to both sides and flows down to the bottom again. Pretty neat how it divides evenly.

the bottom of the circle

 Pictures above & below:
Grooves and curves were designed on the floor of the fountain to create ripples and movement.

In case you can't read the sign, it says that the fountain is made of granite and to not walk in the fountain.  There were 20+ kids playing around in it and even a few adults.
I needed something to eat and Luke needed a potty, so we stopped for a short break before we continued on.
This was one of the quieter paths in the park.
 Above: Crossing the Serpentine - a large pond in the middle of Hyde Park.
You can hire a horse (British term for "rent" a horse) so there are piles of horse poo.
"Speakers' corner", which is at the northeast corner of Hyde Park, is a place where random people come to speak about whatever.
Lines and lines of tour buses at Speakers' Corner
Marble Arch - It used to be a ceremonial entrance where only royalty could pass through it. It was moved to this location in the 1800's.
This was a really weird statue, but also kinda cool. It was built in 2009.
When we exited the park at the northeast corner, we discovered that Baker Street was near by, so we wandered in that direction.
SMALLEST CAR EVER!! Smaller than a smart car - can you believe it?!?!
Jump for joy!!!! The line was ridiculously long so I didn't get any. But next time!  fo.sho.
The infamous Baker Street! Or at least famous to a Houstonian.
Above: Time for a beer! tried a new one - Camden Town brewed in North London

 Above: We came across the US Embassy where there was a protest (sorry about my finger in the picture). Ronald's statue stood out front.   

Then, we came to the southeast corner of Hyde Park after making somewhat of a circle. This brought us to Wellington Arch which leads to Buckingham Palace.

Gates into Green Park which is next to Buckingham Palace

Then, we meandered toward Parliament square to see Westminster Abbey and the Parliament Building.
front view of Westminster Abbey
 Above: There is a statue of Martin Luther King (4th from the right) on Westminster Abbey as a martyr of the 20th Century.
visitors entrance to the Abbey (side entrance)
back view of the Abbey
I just LOVE the Parliament building which is called the Palace of Westminster.

 Above Left: Big Ben (north end) ; Above Right: Elizabeth Tower (south end)

Luke and I had made dinner reservations at Cantina Laredo (mexican!), so we headed toward Trafalgar Square which was near the restaurant.
Memorial on Whitehall to commemorate the Women of World War II

The National Gallery which is supposed to be one of the best attractions in London (it's free).
 Above Center: Margarita Menu - one had avocado muddled into it. I opted for a mango margarita!

My chicken tacos were pretty spicy! So yummy though!!!
After dinner we wandered around Piccadilly Circus, which is a square similar to New York City's Time Square. It has a huge electronic screen. This is one of the busiest squares in London. I learned recently that Harry Potter was filmed here in The Deathly Hallows Part 1 when they almost got hit by the bus.
We had one more drink at a pub before catching the train back home. From where we were, it took about 40 minutes to reach our flat. Although, I had seen quite a few of these sights previously, I enjoyed it again. I learned quite a few new things, and wandering in London makes for some great people watching! It is such a busy city with so many streets and shops. We ended up walking over 10 miles throughout the day, so we were exhausted when we finally got home. It was a great day - I just wish the weather were like that all the time!

If you see a "subway" sign in London, it usually means pedestrian tunnel not underground train.

1 comment:

  1. London is so much fun! The attractions never get old!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...