United Kingdom
Kensington Square Garden

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    • Day 2

      Kensington Gardens

      April 28, 2023 in England ⋅ ☁️ 17 °C

      Suzie - We are staying in Bayswater, part of the City of Westminster and on the doorstep of Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park 😀😀😀 It's absolutely beautiful here 💜💜💜💜

      I'm so glad we are here!! Our arrival at our hotel wasn't as smooth as we hoped but it sure was memorable!! Note to self, go to stations that have lifts, most stations have stairs and the people of London were very kind to help us get our bags up the stairs!!!

      Nik - After battling with our bags on the stairs through the train stations....(Why are there no ramps? Do they not like ramps here? They would be very helpful when your dragging a 20kg bag around. ((However I do have to thank the many, many people who showed us such kindness, offering to help us with the stairs.))

      ...and a strange issue with the express train pass I had, (🤷) we made it to our hotel in Bayswater. It's small, but tidy and warm and suits our purpose....sleep and showers.

      I'm tired and have sore legs from being cramped up in the plane for so long, and looking forward to sleep tonight, but I'm not really feeling jet lagged. So yay!

      After dumping our stuff at the hotel and a very much needed shower (the shower could be hotter) we went for an explore. A walk to Kensington Palace and the gardens too. So good to stretch our legs a bit and start looking around.
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    • Day 12

      Japan House

      May 31, 2023 in England ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

      Japan House is also on Kensington High Street and features items from Japanese companies. Downstairs, they have a library and an exhibition space, which held a collection of intricately patterned silk braid cords.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 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 2

      London, Kensington Palace

      April 17, 2017 in England ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

      Arrived easter Monday in London. Checked into Copthorne Tara hotel in Kensington. Went to Elephant and Castle Pub for drinks near Kensington Castle. Toured Church walk and gardens at Kensington Castle.Read more

    • Day 2

      Our Luggage is MIA!

      June 13, 2019 in England ⋅ ⛅ 57 °F

      Our luggage is still in Atlanta, and we're told it "might" be here by tomorrow evening. There were six of us whose luggage was misplaced, which is some sort of a record for a Voyageurs trip. Thanks to time spent filing a report with Delta (the London people were horrified), we only got 2 hours at Windsor, so Ellie didn't get to do the castle tour. We're hoping to see it on Saturday between concert performances. Honestly, this day has sucked in every possible way so far, but we're hoping things will improve tomorrow.Read more

    • Day 3

      London Day 2

      June 14, 2019 in England ⋅ 🌫 57 °F

      After a visit to a local pharmacy and a Marks & Spencer's, we slept well last night. Fortunately, the clothes we bought fit well enough that we feel good about this morning's city tour and this afternoon's trip to the Tower. We see Wicked tonight, too. I hope our luggage is at the hotel when we return!

      UPDATE! Jodie says our luggage will be delivered tonight between 7PM-2AM! YAY!
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    • Day 3


      June 14, 2019 in England ⋅ ☁️ 57 °F

      Our luggage was at the hotel when we returned from seeing Wicked! While Ellery and I are very relieved to have our things back, we were a little irritated to discover that TSA or Delta airlines decided to search our bags (which I'm sure is policy for any random suitcases found in an airport) but they really didn't need to make such a mess of our stuff, and they really didn't need to steal our brand new TSA locks. I know it's minor, but this is just one more thing I wish I didn't have to experience. Tomorrow will be better.Read more

    • Day 5

      Leaving London...

      June 16, 2019 in England ⋅ ⛅ 52 °F

      We were up at 4, loaded our bags at 4:45, ate breakfast, and then loaded the bus. Ellery's favorite part of our London tour was riding the Eye. She also liked seeing the Crown Jewels, but she did not like the amount of second-hand smoke we inhaled, and we both agree that there are far too many people here. We couldn't live in a city like this.Read more

    • Day 22

      From Athens to London

      August 6, 2019 in England ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

      Flew to London on a 3.30pm flight. Spent the morning cruising the hotel - late up, late brekky - checked out at 12pm, checked into our flight and spent a couple of hours in the British Airways lounge. We were bumped up to business when we made the booking - something about putting us on the wrong flight and changing us, blah blah. Small plane, just with an extra seat between us and better food.

      Arrived at our Hotel, Park City Grand Plaza in Kensington, at about 7pm.

      First thing we did? Find the closest corner pub! Had to be done. We went to the Builders Arms, just 6 mins walk.

      Day over.
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