A Travellerspoint blog

London

A bit of Natural History.

overcast 15 °C
View Red and Annie's European Journey on Gibbo54's travel map.

Our last day in London today. We had another late start this morning and then made our way by bus and a couple of different trains to the Natural History Museum in South Kensington. This was just fantastic. The building that the museum is housed in was built by specifically for this purpose in the 1870's - it is beautiful - and I think as much of a draw card as the exhibits themselves. The Central Hall is just astounding - jaw dropping as you enter.
There were thousands here, and as with the British Museum - so many groups of school kids - they were everywhere.
The Dinosaur display was just brilliant - if only we had had Scarlett, River and Ocea with us - they would have loved it.
We spent about 3 hours there and thoroughly enjoyed every moment. We had a short walk up to Harrods to check it out. The Food Court was pretty impressive - the chocolates especially. What an expensive shop though, completely over the top.
Several changes on the Underground later and we made our way back to the Temple Church near Fleet Street. We got there about 15 minutes before it was due to close - but at least we got there. An absolutely stunning building - The Temple Church was built by the Knights Templar, the soldier-monks who protected pilgrims to the Holy Land during the Crusades. The original church was consecrated in 1185. The remains of 8 Knights Templar are buried in the church, statues of these knights lie horizontally on the floor - above the crypts.
From Fleet Street we made our way back in to the Underground and travelled to Tower Station. Even though we've seen the Tower Bridge, it didn't seem right to me to visit London and not have another squiz! It was bitterly cold at this point of the day, but it was worth the trip there to see the Thames, the Bridge, the Tower of London - and the general atmosphere of the area. Hundreds and hundreds of people!
Again, back on the train and then the bus - and home to meet up with our landlord Mary. We were really tired at the end of 4 full days here, but we decided to go out for dinner on our last night in London. We caught the good old 29 bus back in to Camden Town and came across a little Spanish Restaurant in one of the back streets. We had a great meal - reasonable and delicious - lovely people as well. We came outside at about 9pm - to hundreds of people in Camden Town. I can't get used to all these people. Luckily, our apartment is a bit further up Camden Road and is in a lovely quiet area. Back home to pack our bags - we have an early start in the morning.
Interior of the Temple Church.

Interior of the Temple Church.

Display of chocolates in Harrods.

Display of chocolates in Harrods.

The magnificent main hall of the Natural History Museum - London.

The magnificent main hall of the Natural History Museum - London.

Selfie - two idiots abroad - at the Natural History Museum.

Selfie - two idiots abroad - at the Natural History Museum.

A sculpture of Charles Darwin - overlooking the main hall of the Natural History Museum.

A sculpture of Charles Darwin - overlooking the main hall of the Natural History Museum.

This little boy was drawing a picture of his favourite animal - this is a fantastic place for a school excursion. All the kids wear hi-vis jackets.

This little boy was drawing a picture of his favourite animal - this is a fantastic place for a school excursion. All the kids wear hi-vis jackets.

Taxidermy - lion at the Natural History Museum - London.

Taxidermy - lion at the Natural History Museum - London.

Beautiful display of butterflies and other insects.

Beautiful display of butterflies and other insects.

Tarantula - in the Spiders and Insects Exhibition.

Tarantula - in the Spiders and Insects Exhibition.

Moving Dinosaur - a real hit with the kids.

Moving Dinosaur - a real hit with the kids.

Dinosaur skeleton - in the Pre-historic Exhibition.

Dinosaur skeleton - in the Pre-historic Exhibition.

Fantastic interactive display of dinosaurs.

Fantastic interactive display of dinosaurs.

Anne on the Thames - London Bridge in the background, early evening.

Anne on the Thames - London Bridge in the background, early evening.

Tower of London.

Tower of London.

Four of the Knights Templar who are buried in the Temple Church.

Four of the Knights Templar who are buried in the Temple Church.

Remains of a dinosaur - now fossilised.

Remains of a dinosaur - now fossilised.

Replica dinosaur skeleton in the main hall of the Natural History Museum.

Replica dinosaur skeleton in the main hall of the Natural History Museum.

Our apartment in London - our door is the little one on the right.

Our apartment in London - our door is the little one on the right.

Posted by Gibbo54 12:08 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

London

London by foot.

all seasons in one day 17 °C
View Red and Annie's European Journey on Gibbo54's travel map.

Another slow start to the day today. We are tired! We're still catching up after our 18 days non-stop in Turkey.
We have had sun this morning - quite unexpected. So we decided to make today our "out and about" day. We caught the bus and the Underground to Trafalgar Square - and from there we walked what felt like all over London.
The London Eye - that was pretty good - a slick operation, and good value. We were lucky to have sunshine while we were up in the air, so that was a bonus for us. There were great views from the top - I would think the best in London.
Westminster Bridge, The Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey. Would you believe - the entrance fee to Westminster Abbey is £17 pounds? We decided to admire it from the outside. I just don't get that. The British Museum is free admission - and you're there all day. Not impressed!
Anyhow, on we walked - past St James Park - how beautiful! So green and gorgeous flower beds. We eventually found the Temple Church - it was featured in the Da Vinci Code movie. It was hiding in the middle of buildings in the Fleet Street area, but unfortunately by the time that we got there, it was closed. Maybe next time.
Throughout the afternoon the weather went fairly quickly downhill to the point that it was raining quite consistently. Definitely 4 seasons in one day today. We got back on the Underground and then on to our now familiar bus back to Camden - wet and tired, but a really good day today.
The gardens of St. James Park.

The gardens of St. James Park.

Military Headquarters - London.

Military Headquarters - London.

Westminster Abbey.

Westminster Abbey.

Big Ben.

Big Ben.

Red on the Westminster Bridge - overlooking the London Eye.

Red on the Westminster Bridge - overlooking the London Eye.

View from the London Eye of the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Bridge - complete with evenly spaced London Double Decker buses.

View from the London Eye of the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Bridge - complete with evenly spaced London Double Decker buses.

Anne on the London Eye - brilliant view of the Houses of Parliament.

Anne on the London Eye - brilliant view of the Houses of Parliament.

On top of the London Eye.

On top of the London Eye.

The Shard - London.

The Shard - London.

The Thames - interesting angle of the London Eye.

The Thames - interesting angle of the London Eye.

The London Eye bathed in sunshine.

The London Eye bathed in sunshine.

Nelson's Column at Trafalgar Square.

Nelson's Column at Trafalgar Square.

Trafalgar Square.

Trafalgar Square.

London Buses.

London Buses.

Posted by Gibbo54 12:37 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

London

A Les Miserables Day.

overcast 12 °C
View Red and Annie's European Journey on Gibbo54's travel map.

We had a slow start to the day today - we needed to have a bit of a sleep in. At around 11am we made our way by bus and train to Hampton Court Palace - which is a half hour train trip out of the centre of London.
The weather today is COLD - around 12 degrees. But at least it's not raining.
The Palace and Gardens are very impressive - awe inspiring actually. The whole operation is very cleverly run with a good Audio Tour facility and staff who know their history. There are people in costume who speak in character the whole time, which makes for a very interactive experience.
We spent about 3 hours here, exploring the different courts and rooms - such opulence. Henry VIII lived here - the antics that they got up to!
By the time that we made it home by above rail, Underground and Bus - we had about 10 minutes to get changed and leave again for the West End and Les Miserables. We ran right out of time, grabbed a quick sandwich for tea and found our way to the Queen's Theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue - West End - with about 10 minutes to spare.
Les Mis is in it's 28th year at the West End. It was a beautiful performance - spine tingling. One of the main characters in the production is Jamie Ward - he plays Marius. He is from Perth and trained at WAAPA.
The performance went from 7.30pm to 10.30pm with a 15 minute interval. Our tickets cost us £43 each - unbelieveably brilliant value. What a night. We're going to have to get the CD.
We walked through the West End with hundreds of others - of all ages. A Wednesday night at 11pm - so much happening, police everywhere - it was good to get home.
One of numerous staircases in Hampton Court Palace.

One of numerous staircases in Hampton Court Palace.

The manicured gardens at Hampton Court Palace.

The manicured gardens at Hampton Court Palace.

Hampton Court Palace - taken from the gardens at the rear.

Hampton Court Palace - taken from the gardens at the rear.

Opulent gardens at Hampton Court Palace.

Opulent gardens at Hampton Court Palace.

Huge hearth in the main kitchen of Hampton Court Palace.

Huge hearth in the main kitchen of Hampton Court Palace.

Could that be Henry VIII on the right?  A very interactive experience.

Could that be Henry VIII on the right? A very interactive experience.

One of the interior courtyards within the Palace. Beautifully tended lawns.

One of the interior courtyards within the Palace. Beautifully tended lawns.

Famous portrait of Henry VIII. Hampton Court Palace was his home for decades.

Famous portrait of Henry VIII. Hampton Court Palace was his home for decades.

A beautiful tapestry - Henry VIII owned more than 2,000 tapestries. Too much wealth.

A beautiful tapestry - Henry VIII owned more than 2,000 tapestries. Too much wealth.

The majestic ceiling in the Great Room - designed by Cardinal Wolsey.

The majestic ceiling in the Great Room - designed by Cardinal Wolsey.

A selfie - outside the entrance to Hampton Court Palace.

A selfie - outside the entrance to Hampton Court Palace.

Hampton Court Palace.

Hampton Court Palace.

The main courtyard in Hampton Court Palace.

The main courtyard in Hampton Court Palace.

Red and Anne at the performance of Les Miserables - in it's 28th year.

Red and Anne at the performance of Les Miserables - in it's 28th year.

Les Miserables - Queen's Theatre, West End, London.

Les Miserables - Queen's Theatre, West End, London.

Posted by Gibbo54 12:00 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

London

A visit to the British Museum.

rain 14 °C
View Red and Annie's European Journey on Gibbo54's travel map.

A great opportunity this morning to have a huge sleep in - and we were awake at 5.45am! We had our first Skype session with Carly, Sam and our little girls - it was so good to see and talk to them. The internet connection is brilliant, just like at home.
We're about 15 minutes on the bus from the centre of London. We caught the 29 Bus just around the corner - Wood Green to Trafalgar Square - and were dropped off very close to the British Museum. We spent the next 5 hours there.
A fantastic Museum - there were thousands of people around us - as you'd expect. Beautifully displayed artifacts and pieces - including the Rosetta Stone. Alot of the exhibits were relevant to us as they were from some of the places that we've visited in the past.
After we experienced "Museum Overload" we made our way outside to be greeted by a wet and cold day. We were wearing rain jackets but it was obvious that the purchase of a cheap umbrella was also in order.
We got back on the 29 Bus and made our way to Trafalgar Square. We have an Oyster Card so we can take as many trips as we need to on the bus or train. We walked back up to the West End and bought half price theatre tickets to Les Mis - for tomorrow night.
Then got on another bus to make our way home. It was cold and wet - and peak hour. Okay though as we weren't in a hurry and didn't have our bags in tow. It was a slow journey! We got off the bus again and called in to Sainsburys to buy something to cook for dinner and just managed to squeeze in to another 29 Bus to head for home. We were right at the front of the bus - with our noses about 2 inches from the windscreen - we had a great view!
Arrived home to our warm and comfy apartment and had a nice quiet night. Red cooked dinner and I've spent a bit of time loading photos of Turkey on to our Travel Blog. It's been difficult with internet connections to do this, so while we've got a good one I'm making hay while the sun shines - not that the sun's actually shining here :-).
Ancient sculpture of a husband and wife in the Egyptian Exhibition.

Ancient sculpture of a husband and wife in the Egyptian Exhibition.

Interior of the entrance to the British Museum.

Interior of the entrance to the British Museum.

Sculptures are everywhere - overwhelming.

Sculptures are everywhere - overwhelming.

The head of a mummy in the Egyptian Exhibition of the British Museum - macabre, but interesting.

The head of a mummy in the Egyptian Exhibition of the British Museum - macabre, but interesting.

The Rosetta Stone.

The Rosetta Stone.

I'm fascinated by Mummies!  Here is another one - the fingers and toes were individually wrapped.

I'm fascinated by Mummies! Here is another one - the fingers and toes were individually wrapped.

Arriving at the British Museum.

Arriving at the British Museum.

Interior of the British Museum.

Interior of the British Museum.

Red amongst the Greek display - parts of the frieze were taken from The Acropolis in Athens by Lord Elgin - and now reside in the British Museum (much to Red's disgust!).

Red amongst the Greek display - parts of the frieze were taken from The Acropolis in Athens by Lord Elgin - and now reside in the British Museum (much to Red's disgust!).

Exquisite sculpture - the British Museum.

Exquisite sculpture - the British Museum.

Gigantic head of a Pharaoh.

Gigantic head of a Pharaoh.

Posted by Gibbo54 14:36 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

London

Farewell to Turkey.

overcast 14 °C
View Red and Annie's European Journey on Gibbo54's travel map.

So - today we have said goodbye to Turkey. What a wonderful, ancient, colourful, traditional, diverse and proud country this is. To anyone who may be reading this journal - if you've ever thought about visiting Turkey - I say - "Do it!" We have absolutely loved our time here, and take with us memories that I hope will stay with us forever.
We said an emotional farewell to Lesley and Jacquie - they head home to Cairns today. We shared an airport transfer with Paul and Fleur - who are moving on to Greece. We shared a final coffee and Turkish Delights out at the airport - and another goodbye. All four are now wonderful friends. Hopefully in the future we can travel together again.
We are now enroute to London.
We landed at Gatwick Airport and took the Gatwick Express (fast train) to Victoria Station. This is where our challenge began. We made our way from the Station to the Underground, asking for help along the way. Unfortunately we arrived right in the middle of peak hour. Can you imagine what it's like in Central London on the Underground in peak hour??
In hindsight we could have and probably should have caught a taxi, because this was almost beyond me. Down stairs and up and down escalators with our bags and backpacks, and then squeezing on to two different trains. Plus a 15 minute walk to our apartment. But - we made it! Once we sat down in our lovely warm apartment with a cuppa - there was a real sense of achievement experienced. Thank God for Red and his logistics skills!
We are staying in a great apartment in Camden. Mary - our landlord met us on our arrival and gave us instructions and directions etc. We took a walk around the corner and bought some provisions, we are self catering now.
Did heaps of washing, had soup for tea - and an early night in a bed fit for a Queen - like sleeping in the clouds!
No photos today!

Posted by Gibbo54 02:39 Archived in United Kingdom Comments (0)

(Entries 36 - 40 of 58) « Page .. 3 4 5 6 7 [8] 9 10 11 12 »