Friday, May 27, 2011

Gardens, Museums, and Boats Oh My!

After class on Thursday, everyone was free to go out on their own and do their own things for the weekend. I decided that I was interesting to going to Kensington Gardens to have a look around. Jen and Alex decided to accompany me, and we set off on Friday morning to find the park and gardens. The day was cool, with patches of sunshine in the morning, which sadly disappeared later in the afternoon. However, the gardens were beautiful, even without some sunshine. I loved the opportunity to get away from Camden Town and out where there was more open space.

Not all the pictures have a story or meaning behind them, since most pictures were taken to capture the atmosphere of the park. So, this post is more of a slide show, although I'll add little comments here and there. Please, enjoy the trip through Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens. 

This amazing tree is a child's (and some adults) favorite in the park, since the branches create an amazing little cave.
Many people carve their names into the trunk of the tree, and the signatures stretch towards that top fo the tree.

Hundreds of flower gardens decorate the park
Circular rose garden  - the scent was awesome!
Me in front of the Serpentine


Alex feeding a squirrel, only to be freaked out after he touched the squirrel.

Peter Pan sculpture. The author of Peter Pan, J.M. Barre, lived near Kensington Gardens and it was in these Gardens that he met the Llewelyn Davies family, who inspired him to write about Peter Pan.
I loved the chance to regress to childhood a little! Jen and I decided that once we got back to the apartment, we would watch Finding Neverland, a movie based on the creation of Peter Pan. If you haven't seen it, you should watch it. It's not groundbreaking by any means, but the imagination and youthfulness that permeates the entire film is quite fun. (Same as the movie Miss Potter, about the author Beatrice Potter, but that's a tangent)
The Italian Gardens, far end of Kensington Gardens

Overall, the park was beautiful! I'm hoping to visit next weekend as well, with hopes that it's sunnier and a bit warmer. There are lawn chairs throughout Hyde Park that visitors can use for a small fee, and I think it would be perfectly lovely to sit and read a book along the Serpentine. 

After visiting the park and gardens, we walked a short way over to the Science Museum and had a look around. My favorite floor was one featuring flight. The picture is dark, but the entire room is hung with old aircrafts. It was incredibly interesting!
There was also a display of clocks spanning over 600 years. This was one of my favorites. The seconds are counted by a ball rolling down the incline.
After a quick look through the museum (we might go back this weekend), Jen, Alex, and I headed down to the Thames to meet up with some more of the group for supper. Here's my supper. Whatever sauce was on the chicken was delicious, and as always, the bread was amazing!
The restaurant is completely wonderful. It's an old boat that permanently docked. So, while you never float off, the boat does rock a little bit, especially after a boat has passed by. The atmosphere is fun and laid back, with seating both on the open, upper deck, and below decks. Music plays in the background, a more upbeat/hip-hop sound, and many people seem to come from work to meet their friends for a drink. The prices are reasonable, which is also a plus
Needless to say, we had a good time!
To top off an already long day, some of the group went for a little walk along the Thames, and looked at Cleopatra's needle. Notice the marks beneath the sculpture.
All the marks were caused by bombs dropped in the war.
I was amazed by the size of some of these marks. The strength of the bombs astounds me, and adds a bit more meaning to this site of London.
Gilchrist was quite jolly after supper, and decided to baptize himself in the Thames. We all enjoyed laughing at his antics.
After our walk, we caught the tube and headed home to our flat. I really appreciate the tube system in London. It's not too difficult to use, and it's very convenient.

Tomorrow, we're planning on going to Buckingham Palace to see the changing of the guard. Look forward to some more pictures!

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