Monday, August 19, 2019

Visiting the Palaces

One of the big things to do in London is the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. However, the crowds are too much, so we decided to go late and just see some of the pageantry, including the Horse Guard -

And the Band.

Those hats really do look uncomfortable.

We got a good view of Buckingham Palace with the gardens in the foreground.

And the Queen Victoria Memorial in the background.

We had a great State Rooms tour of Buckingham Palace, but unfortunately, no pictures were allowed.

After that, we went over to St. James Park. I found a Black Swan -

And a White Swan with her "Ugly Ducklings."

We rested for awhile in St. James Park -

Then my sister and I walked over to Hyde Park, where we saw Wellington Arch -

And lots of statues, including the Statue of Achilles.

We then had a tour of Kensington Palace, which was disappointing. It was more like a museum.

But the Sunken Gardens there were really fantastic!

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Shakespeare, Cotswolds, and Oxford

We spent 2 weeks in London, and mostly toured the local attractions. But on 3 of the days, we took day bus trips to other areas. We went with "The English Bus," and were really pleased with all 3 of our tours.

The first tour we did started out in Stratford-Upon-Avon. This house is the birthplace of Shakespeare.

And this is the River Avon.

This beautiful church, Holy Trinity Church, is where Shakespeare is buried. Unfortunately, his head appears to be missing...

We wandered around town a little, where we found Poundland, their version of the Dollar Store.

McDonald's was pretty unique...

There were lots of swans in town, and they all seemed to be plucking out feathers!

If I had a pillow to be stuffed, I could have done it here.

And we walked by the true "Shakespeare in the Park," a performance of "Much Ado About Nothing."

Next we moved on to the Cotswolds, a series of rolling hills and picturesque villages.

Some are small, and some are smaller.

The buildings are made of golden-colored Cotswolds stone, and the exterior cannot be updated.

Wow, that is one gigantic plant!

Next up was Oxford, best known for its University.

St Mary the Virgin Church, aka University Church was gorgeous!

The Bridge of Sighs, named after the one in Venice.

Walking on, we went by the Radcliffe Camera. No idea on how the name came to be...

My goal was to go to the Magdalen Bridge, were I went punting 30 years ago! And I found it! This is the picture from 1989 -

And this is from 2019.

And here's an embarrassing picture of me attempting to punt way back then...

Friday, August 16, 2019

British Museum, Parliament, and Much More!

I thought the British Museum was going to be about Britain. WRONG! It's about all the stuff that England got from other countries!

Including the Rosetta Stone!

Here's a close up of the Hieroglyphs.

There were lots of mummies here - including animals!

And one named Cleopatra, although it wasn't the real Cleopatra.

And this guy, who died over 5500 years ago!

There were lots of Greek statues too.

That night, we went to Part II of the "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" play. It was great! The story begins 19 years after the other books, when Harry, now 37, and Ginny, and Ron and Hermione watch as their children board the Hogwarts Express.

The next day, we began with a guided tour of Parliament.

Pictures were not allowed on most of the tour, just at the beginning and in this hallway.

After we left, we got serenaded by this guy. Are you sure we aren't in Scotland?

We then walked through the Leake Street Arches.

It's also known as Waterloo Graffiti Tunnel.

But, like the ones in San Miguel, Mexico, this is not graffiti, but true art.

We even got to see one in process.

After that, Barbara and I split off to do some shopping at the local markets. On the way, we admired Regent Street.

We finally arrived at Covent Garden Market, and shopped here -

And at Apple Market. After shopping, we headed home -

Where I met a new friend along the way.