24 September, 2015

Cruising the day away

Well this is going to be a most interesting post.  I had some issues loading the photos last night so I dumped them all into a blank post this morning.  Now I'm on the train to Bath trying to put this together on my phone.  So forgive me if things are a bit off. 

Today I was able to meet up with my friend Ness who I met in Egypt.  We had a few things on the agenda.  First we headed towards the London Eye.

We thought since the weather was so beautiful, we'd take a cruise down the Thames.  It was such a treat.  The weather indeed was perfect and as we caught the first boat of the morning, it wasn't too crowded at all.

You can see we cruised past the Houses of Parliament and the clock tower.  Fun fact...only the bell inside is actually called Big Ben.  Though the name has been transmuted now to mean the tower as well.

Above is St. Paul's and the millennium bridge.  Which was apparently so wibbly wobbly when it opened in 2000 they had to close it down for 18 months to fix it.  

Ah yes, the Tower of London.  As well as some stunning views of Tower Bridge.  I may have taken a few too many photos of it.

I'll have to see if I have time to go back and investigate more but here along the banks of the Thames is a small monument to the Doctor's TARDIS. Hoping I have time tomorrow to go back and take a look.

Done with the cruise, Ness and I decided to be a bit silly and went for the very touristy museum about the Clink prison.  

It really is quite silly, but we had lots of fun.  Learned all about the prison and torture of course.  Then we headed off to the Petrie Museum.

It has quite a great collection of Egyptian artifacts.  Lots of pottery and beads.  And best of all, it too had escaped the crowds.   Here are a few samples of some of the great things on display.

This is apparently the oldest linen garment found in Egypt.  I can't even imagine the restoration that went in to this.  When it was found originally, it was just wadded up balls of fiber.

And because we're both book lovers, we couldn't help but stop at the huge Waterstones bookstore across the street.

Ness had to catch her train, but I decided it was far too early to head home.  So I checked a few small sights off my list.  The first required me to head for Hyde Park/Kennsington Gardens.  As I couldn't find what I was looking for at first, I snapped a few photos of the Italian gardens.

Then at last I found it.  A small Victorian pet cemetery hidden behind a fence and some shrubs.  You can't see it from inside Hyde Park, but along the road, if you're looking closely, you'll see it. You can apply for entry, but you have to ask three weeks in advance and the cost is £50.  Clearly I didn't ask in enough time, but maybe someday.  But now, do take a look at the photos I was able to get through the fence and the bush.  I know some are hard to make out, but I think you can see the sheer number of pet graves that line this space. 

I have to say, I was quite pleased with myself at finding the cemetery, though I'm sure I looked a bit mad taking photos of a hedge.

Then it was back across London to Leadenhall Market.  Though of course I managed to hit it just at rush hour. I don't think I've ever seen the tube quite so crowded.  It was a bit uncomfortable there for a bit.  I wasn't sure I was going to get out in one piece.  Of course I did and made it into the market.

I'm actually rather glad I got to see it all lit up at night, it's a lovely Victorian shopping center.  With a pub at either end, it was crowded, but I stopped in at a restaurant fir some dinner and people watching.  Now supposedly, this market was another inspiration for Diagon Alley in Harry Potter.  So yes, I'm keeping up the theme of the trip.   

With that, I will leave you with a few of #TravelingDean's adventures for the day.

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