United Kingdom

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    • Day 15

      The Great London Cycle

      August 13, 2017 in England ⋅ ⛅ 20 °C

      Saturday was the Great London Walk and today has been the Great London Cycle. We cycled from Elephant and Castle to Soho, via Lambert Bridge. From there, we cycled through Hyde Park to Kensington Palace. Then returned back to Elephant and Castle after viewing the dismounting ceremony of the Queen's Life Guard, via Waterloo Bridge. Apparently, the ceremony has come about because Queen Victoria found the guard drinking and and gambling, so as a punishment a check was put in place at 4pm each day for 100 years. Even though the 100 year punishment has ended, Queen Elizabeth II has continued the practice and established it as a tradition.

      More than 25 kilometres were traversed today, equating to a lot of pedalling. Needless to say, Jason doesn't want to see another bicycle for a long time.
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    • Day 17

      Day 16. London

      July 10, 2019 in England ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

      Relaxing morning.
      Train & bus to Kensington palace. Nice residence (lots of princess Diana focus) & gardens.
      Lunch & walk around in Hyde park inc pic with English premier league cup & footage inside main arena - check out squirrel man.
      Quick pic of Albert hall (no time to go inside).
      Afternoon tea at harrods - great experience.
      Back on train
      Home for dinner
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    • Day 15

      Victoria Collection, Kensington Palace

      July 5, 2018 in England ⋅ ☀️ 28 °C

      We really enjoy watching the Victoria show on TV so this was of special interest. Victoria was born and grew up in Kensington Palace. At that time it was out in the countryside. We saw the room she came to and held the meeting with all the important people of the country. This within hours of unexpectedly becoming Queen at the age of 18 .Read more

    • Day 2

      Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens

      April 19, 2019 in England ⋅ ☀️ 21 °C

      What a glorious day! I started out in my nice hotel that boasts a kitchenette and free phone! No, I mean an honest to God Smartphone that I can take with me for navigation, web searches, and to make international calls all gratis! I’ve never heard of that! After my not too bad overnight flight, I took the non-express train (UnderGround) in from the airport. The subway cars are so tiny. I couldn’t really stand in the middle with my bag without bumping into someone’s knees. The system works really well, but I have to say, the schematic transit map they have is less than useless. It doesn’t have any sense of geography and scale. It was like that when I lived in New York - I knew which stops came next but not where they actually were located in relation to one another. Anyhow, I digress.

      My hotel sits a couple of convenient blocks north of Hyde Park, so I walked to visit Kensington Palace. The gardens were exquisite. They have 50 gardeners to keep the place magnificent. I took a tour that was entertaining and quite informative on the history of the Stuart and Hanover families who have lived there since the late 1700s. William and Kate and their three children live there now as had Harry and Meghan until just recently. Princess Diana’s hand and fashion were highlighted. While it is a “palace” with all the pomp and tradition that comes with that word, I was not overwhelmed by the public rooms. The oak staircase leading to the Queen’s quarters were beautiful but spoke more of showing off (look how much expensive oak we can waste on a staircase) instead of fine art. Ceilings were painted to look like they were elaborately carved domes but in reality are an optical illusion. Interesting. Few of the furniture or decorative pieces used (or even substituted) were displayed.

      But oh, the tiaras. Brazil nut-sized emeralds adorned earrings, necklace and tiara. A spectacular show of wealth and jewelry making. Three displayed in a large glass case jiggled every time someone walked about the room. It is an old house.

      Hyde Park feels like New York’s Central Park with strolling locals, their families, joggers, tourists, lovers holding hands, and young people gathering in clumps on the grass. Song birds sang strong and clear doing their best to entertain. I don’t have a bird book (or app) that covers London so I’ve been taking pictures for later identification. The Robin doesn’t much look like an American Robin. I loved the unmanicured look of the fields and trees knowing that it was a deliberate and exacting plan to get it to look this way.

      I went in search of the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain. What a joyful thing it is! People are encouraged to wade and splash and have fun in the water. It was such a contrast to the formal Kensington Gardens. I loved them both.

      Two small spaces, theSpencer Gallery and the Spencer Sackler Gallery, host installations and modern art. Like much of modern art, I can’t say why it moves me when it does or doesn’t. I just know that when I come away feeling that the artist captured a spirit and transmitted that to me - that is the essence of art.

      I capped off the day with a delicious Indian restaurant called Dishoom. It is wildly popular and for good reason. I had one lamb chop that was deeply spiced and cooked just right, chicken tikka - no sauce to hide the tandoori flavors, a bowl of green veggies in chili and lime, and their signature black daal dish. I couldn’t finish so I have some for another day, if I don’t continue to eat my way through London.

      I made it to nearly 10pm London time. Trying to beat jet lag.
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    • Day 58


      June 7, 2018 in England ⋅ ⛅ 59 °F

      Up to get organized for London. Did not even unpack last night, fell into bed. Spent AM time cleaning up and doing some theater planning. Have a list of plays I would like to see, have 5 days and plan on 5 or 6 plays. Off to "downtown" and the discount ticket kiosk. Got tickets for Dream Girls tonight and then went to the box office for Consent - a Harold Pinter drama - for tomorrow night. Got my Oyster (transportation card) for the week, walked around the usual hordes of tourists in the Piccadilly Circus area. Back to flat to get groceries at the Waitross (supermarket) right across the street.

      Lunch and some more planning time and out late afternoon for a walk in Holland Park with an entrance right across the street. Had been here last year in April and it was so beautiful with all the tulips in bloom. This year, all of the latest planting (I think they were iris) were gone and they are getting ready to replant the next annual. Some roses still left in the Rose Garden but not a lot there either. So not as pretty this year but still a huge park and so much more to see and do. Lots of babies in carriages, toddlers - some terrific kids playgrounds - and, as always in London, heard part of a rehearsal for their Opera in the Park series, and lots of people just out enjoying one of the fantastic London parks.

      I checked out the Kyoto Garden, a Japanese park within Holland Park. It is still very beautiful and comes up as one of the 5 best parks in London. Back to figure out the washing machine and out for the theater. Dream Girls was good, not great. I marvel at how many good singers there are in the world. This musical has a lot of them. The lead was terrific and one of the fellows (their manager for those of you who have seen the play) was also excellent. Walked around for a bit after the show to see the usual mobbed night life in this area (the West End theater district) of London at 11PM at night. Always fun - for just a little while.

      Miles: 7.5
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    • Day 59


      June 8, 2018 in England ⋅ ⛅ 63 °F

      Feeling much more rested today! Catch up on E-mail and "life" in the AM. I have not done any shopping for 2 months and have a list of things I want to get here in London. So need to start on that today or, as usual, I will be shopping at the airport.

      A warm sunny day in London, the city sparkles. First off to go to the National Theater (for those of you who like theater this is the theater in London that does the filming of one of their performances that show in our movie houses) for tickets for Saturday. The National always has new/innovative and unusual remakes of old standards. They do more drama than musicals. Saw Angels in America here last year, this year it will be Julie. A old drama that I had not heard of before and it just opened last week. The gal who plays the lead was Princess Margaret in series The Crown - Vanessa Kirby. Will let you know.

      Then a wonderful lunch at one of my favorite London places - Wagamama. An upscale noodles place and they now have a location on the busy Southbank area of the Thames near the National and the Royal Festival Hall. Duck Ramen in the wonderful London sunshine. All is right with the world. On my way back to the tube, I went past the box office of a play I had been looking at, new, called the Moderate Soprano. I went in and, as luck would have it, they have a matinee on Saturdays, so bought a ticket. So double header tomorrow.

      Then off to Harrods for my annual trip around the store. The store is always changing and I continue to be amazed to understand how so many people really "shop" there. Harrods's defines upscale shopping for me. I just look for the Harrods gift store, get my mug and little things for friends that might appreciate the sentiment. A real treat today as I was walking by one of the many restaurants - an Italian and Pizzeria - and a chef (at least he was all dressed in white with a bakers hat) was singing Italian opera!! What fun! Did not get my camera out in time.

      Home for a "feet up" and change for the evening's outing. Tonight is the Harold Pinter drama - Consent. Had never seen and it was excellent. Acting was terrific and the rape subject is timely with the #metoo focus. An interesting way to approach a legal issue through the life of 3 couples. Would highly recommend.

      Miles: 7.5
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    • Day 12

      Kensington Design Museum

      May 31, 2023 in England ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

      Met up again with my high school friend and went to the Design Museum in Kensington.

    • Day 15

      Sunken Garden, Kensington Palace

      July 5, 2018 in England ⋅ ☀️ 27 °C

      This is located directly behind the palace. Apparently Diana used to love wandering through here. This year it's designed to reflect and compliment her clothing display. I believe last year it was all done in white flowers to honour the anniversary of her death.Read more

    • Day 19

      Athens Markets

      September 10, 2015 in England ⋅ ☀️ 19 °C

      Just a quick post about the markets back in Athens. They were incredible! All of the foodie stuff I wanted and was waiting for. Buckets upon buckets of endless olives, feta, fruit and vegetables. Not to mention mountains of amazing figs costing just a few euros per kilo!!!?
      Bread stalls and ready to eats were spotted but mainly the ready to eat sustanence came from roadside cafes and a bag of figs. Yum yum yum.

      The meat markets were something else also.. any New Zealand health inspector would've shut the whole thing down in an instant. But still it was fantastic: piles of liver, kidneys and general offal beside whole skinned goats and sheep hanging it the 30+ degree heat on the roadside.cut and optioned meats were mostly already snapped up by local restaurants but some still remained.
      The fresh fish market was coming to a close when we arrived but still had mountains of sardines, squid, octopus, bass, mullets and a variety of Mediterranean fish.. all sitting on a far too warm bed of almost fully melted ice. The smell was, understandably, strong and it's fair to say we rushed through.

      Finally come the endless buckets of spices, nuts, grains, seeds, flours, dried fruits and everything inaginable filling them to the brim!

      Altogether it was a fantastic market and a wonderful place to wander and taste.
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    • Day 5

      Kensington Palast I

      October 30, 2016 in England ⋅ 🌫 11 °C

      Dann erreichten wir den Kensington Palast.

      Ich wollte hier unbedingt noch einmal rein. Das letzte Mal als wir den Palast besichtigt haben war er im Rahmen einer Ausstellung stark umgestaltet und die eigentlichen Räumlichkeiten waren kaum zu besichtigen.

      Die Ausstellung begann mit vielen Gemälden und Fotografien der Royals.
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Kensington, Kensinqton, Кенсінгтон, Кенсингтън, کنزینگتون, קנזינגטון, केंसिंग्टन, ケンジントン, 켄징턴, Кенсингтон, 肯星頓, 肯辛顿

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