London – Day 4 (Harrods, Hyde Park)

….day four was another busy day with lots of walking

Today my Andrea, Josie and I headed to Harrods and Hyde Park. We left Kevin at home to rest and agreed to meet up later in the afternoon.

Harrods is probably one of the most famous stores in London. It is not centrally located and is about a mile from Kensington in the area known as Knightsbridge. Knightsbridge is a very exclusive area, one of the wealthiest parts of London where some of London’s most expensive hotels are situated. Needless to say that we didn’t go there to shop but merely to look around. The food hall was most interesting and beautifully set up with gorgeous display cases of chocolates and pastries and the seafood was displayed on mounds of ice in the most  attractive way.

While we were there we were told about the Egyptian escalators that were built in 1998 to reflect the Edwardian style of the building. Harrods built the first ever escalator in the UK in 1898. Nervous customers using the contraption were offered brandy when they reached the top to help them recover from their “ordeal”.

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From Harrods we walked over to Hyde Park and walked along the Serpentine Lake. People actually swim in this lake along with the local ducks, geese and swans.IMG-8686
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The installation art that you see in the lake is from the world famous artist, Christo, who unveiled his work The London Mastaba (2018) earlier in June. It is a 20-metre-high floating sculpture on London’s Serpentine Lake, constructed from 7,506 oil drums.

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Stay tuned for part 2…….

London – Day Three – Part 2

…..after Highgate Cemetery

Down the hill from Highgate Cemetery we were directed to look for a pub that came highly recommended. Unfortunately when we got there the pub was being completely renovated and wasn’t open for business. We didn’t have to walk far before we found another place with a lovely patio. It was a little chilly to be sitting outside so we opted to go inside The Vine. Only one other table was occupied but the bartender greeted us and directed us to a table for four and handed us menus.

Normally an empty pub doesn’t bode well for good service or food but in this case it was completely the opposite. Our waiter was delightful and the food was delicious.

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After a pint of larger or cider and a few sharing plates we headed off towards Camden Market.

With hundreds of stalls selling clothing, crafts, and food, Camden Market is one of Europe’s largest markets. It is divided into different markets. We started in the Camden Lock Market which is on the street level and next to the locks. There were lots of food vendors here and a variety of stalls selling anything from books, music and flowers to vintage clothes.IMG-8642
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At first glance I thought the market was actually quite small but then we walked through a hole in the brick wall and we experienced a whole new world. There are literally hundreds of vendors in the Stables Market.

The Stables Market is located in historic former stables and the Grade II horse hospital which served the horses pulling Pickford’s distribution vans and barges along the canal. Many of the stalls and shops are set in large arches in railway viaducts.IMG-8651
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It is very easy to get lost in this place. If you like this kind of market give yourself a couple of hours to really see this place and check out all the vendors.

London – Day 3 – Part One

…one of my favourite days

One of my colleagues from bread making suggested that while we were in London we might want to check out the Highgate Cemetery where numerous famous authors, actors and politicians were laid to rest. It sounded interesting and it was an opportunity to take our first double decker bus ride.

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We sat at the front of the bus for the best views of the neighbourhoods as we ascended the uphill climb to Waterlow Park.IMG-8238
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It was a short walk through the park along paved pathways and over small footbridges to get to Highgate Cemetery.IMG-8242
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Highgate Cemetery is divided into two separate areas: the East Cemetery is open daily to the public for a small entrance fee and one is able to roam through the grounds freely; the West Cemetery is only open to guided tours (unfortunately no tours were available on the day we went).

The eastern part of Highgate is a fascinating place to visit. The tombstones and gravesites along the paved pathways are very well cared for while deeper into the woods many stones are overgrown with ivy and falling over. In some ways the latter sites are the more interesting ones to look at. Many of the inscriptions have been worn away with time but some are still legible and give some insight into the lives of the families buried there.P1070101
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One of the most famous ‘residents’ of Highgate is Karl Marx and most visitors who go there specifically look for his tombstone. He was originally buried in his wife’s grave on a small side path, but in 1956 a new monument featuring a gigantic bust by the socialist sculptor Laurence Bradshaw was installed in a more prominent location. Funds were raised by the Marx Memorial Fund, set up by the Communist Party in 1955.P1070089
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It would take me too long to list all the famous people who are buried at Highgate. Many soldiers who died in both world wars are also buried here and the cemetery continues to serve the residents of north London to this day. George Michael, the English singer and songwriter who died in 2016 is buried in the west cemetery at Highgate.

Here are a few more gravesites that you may or may not recognize.P1070098
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….to be continued.

London-Day 2 -(Part 1)

….from Buckingham Palace to Soho

Sunday and Monday were hugh walking days – 21 000 steps and 20 000 steps respectively.

On Sunday we had prebooked tickets for a tour of Buckingham Palace. We weren’t allowed to take photos inside but the audio tour was excellent and I think trying to take photos would have spoiled the experience. Once we were in the gardens we were allowed to take out our cameras out and shoot as many photos as we wanted. I would highly recommend the tour. I thought it was well worth the money.DE191700_3_CDE_4063_93_D4_2_A79_B8_E38899
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From Buckingham Palace we walked along The Mall and through St. James Park. Near the end of the mall we went into the Institute of Contemporary Art and enjoyed a light lunch.BE7157_D4_F226_4858_AE43_5_AE4_C96_AE389
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From there we went to Trafalger Square, Soho and China Town.9_ECC2542_80_A8_4_CAC_A033_B3233_BE0_E65_B
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Which Way Photo Challenge – Sept 7, 2018

…thanks to Son of a Beach for continuing the Which Way Photo Challenge

Walking from one volunteer job in the west end of Toronto to another in the downtown area (I took the subway in between).
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