Mersea IslandJune 27, 2018 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C
Much better 👌🇬🇧🍺☀️
Much better 👌🇬🇧🍺☀️
Kensington palace was first on the agenda today. After a train, a tube ride and short walk we were there. The fast track entry was a breeze, especially as there were many people waiting to buy tickets. A right royal palace. Well preserved and regal. Kings state rooms, Queens chambers. Princes William and Harry live there but not in the sections open to the public. It's a huge place with excellent grounds.
We had arranged to meet an old family friend - well family member. Gary was married to one of my cousins, but sadly they went their own separate ways years ago but we still kept in touch, albeit sporadically. He works for the British Olympic Association so we went to his offices in Fitzrovia. Gary showed us the various Olympic torches on desplay. Some very impressive. The Torch tradition started with Hitler apparently and continues to this day. After viewing the torches and gleaning British trade secrets to be passed on to the Australian Olympic Committee (just joking) we all headed to Marks & Spencers to grab some lunch and we headed to Regents Park. Great lunch and conversation. It was good to catch up with Gary again.
Next was a tube and train ride to Kew gardens for the afternoon. What an impressive and well laid out garden. The highlights were the huge glass houses for the palms and lilies. Stepping inside reminded us of tropical Queensland. Stepping back out into the London air and breeze was refreshing. Usually it's the other way around for us. Then there was the impressive high tree-top platform you can walk up stairs to and catch the elevator down from. Great to walk in the treetops. The Garden was closing early at 5PM as there was a live concert being held in the night so we left and cought the hour and fifteen minute train ride home.Read more
A slower start this morning. Off to see Camden markets and lock. Caught the train across to Camden Road and walked the short distance to Camden Town then the urge for coffee took hold, coupled with a misinterpretation as to what bridge we had crossed saw the search for the markets and lock abandoned. So we headed for regents park area nearby. Later relatives told us there had a been a fire at the markets and they were unsure if it was even open at the moment. Still we could have viewed the lock and possibly seen it in operation. Very ordinary coffee and scones at an independent cafe - a first in the disappointment stakes for us - and we were off to Great Portland Street to catch the tube over to Russell Square to meet up with relatives at the British Museum. Shock horror!!!! there was a signal failure and the tube through there was not working. We legged it to Warren Street and caught a tube then another and arrived at the Museum late, only to find a huge line up for a bag check and entry. It ended up we were 30 minutes late to the meet up.
It was good catching up with cousins we had mot seen for 22 years. In the space of an hour and a half we partially spanned the 22 years.
My now the desire for lunch removed all rational thought - or so it seemed - and we made a beeline for a nearby Italian restaurant at Holborn. A great meal and we were recharged to continue exploring. The girls to Piccadilly and the boys for a London Walk discovering the Blitz during WW2. We arrived at the designated meeting place at Exit 2 St Pauls tube station, paid our 10 pounds each and proceeded to be educated and entertained about the Blitz. The devastation of areas of London, the miracle that St Pauls itself was left largely intact and became a beacon of defiance and strength for Londoners. We learned of the air raid shelters and life under the bombing, with the intensity over several months. The various monuments, memorials, and remnants that serve as a reminder if only you know where to look. A highlight for me was a memorial to all the books lost during the Blitz. With the bombing of libraries and paper stores in particular, so many books were lost forever. London can be noisy and chaotic and at times it was difficult to hear the lady Walk guide. After an hour and a half we decided to end our association with the walk and head home.Read more
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