I have always enjoyed traveling, even if it meant sleeping in a tent when I was younger. I prefer hotels and cruise cabins now, but the motivation is the same...an adventure waiting to happen. Sometimes you will find me traveling with my husband and/or family. Sometimes I will travel alone, and sometimes I will travel with friends. I hope you find it entertaining to keep up to date with me as I explore the world around me. Warning...I like to take pictures of food so don't read if you're hungry. More adventures await...see ya soon...Amy.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

London: Cramming It Into a Day!

I don't think we could have seen one other thing today if we had tried. Our poor little legs and feet are beat! We started the day around 9:30 with a stop at Starbucks for a quick breakfast.

The Starbucks is located near the hotel and the tube station ( Earl's Court) which made it very convenient. Our hotel does not have a restaurant.

Earl's Court Tube Station

We took the tube to a stop near Kensington Gardens with the intention of walking through the park to the Serpentine Gallery, a modern art museum.

Something green sitting on a fence caught Maddie's eye and upon closer inspection we found it to be a rather large Parakeet eating an apple.

To be specific it was a Ringed Neck Parakeet and as we looked around there were a LOT of them and they were flying around people nearby. We went closer to see them and saw that they were landing on and eating something out of people's hands. A very nice man shared some birdseed with us and next thing we knew, they were eating out of OUR hands.

We had a great time giggling and photographing each other with the parakeets. We finally tore ourselves away and continued walking through the park.

Maddie was pretty brave to approach these swans. They can sometimes be rather aggressive!

This Peter Pan stature was donated by James Barrie, the man behind the creation of Peter Pan

Although we were on our way to the Serpentine Gallery, we stopped at the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain to check it out.

The fountain was opened in 2004. Built to reflect Diana's life, it was designed to express her spirit and also her love for children. It is a huge oval ring stone fountain made of granite but looks like a shallow stream bed with twists, turns and cascades, connecting in a quiet pool. The water is constantly being refreshed and comes from the chalk aquifer over 100 meters below ground.  People are encouraged to wade and play in it and we might have if we had come prepared with a towel.

The Serpentine Gallery 

We found the Serpentine Gallery which is a small modern art gallery located within the park. It was nice with some interesting artwork on display but what Maddie was really looking for was the Serpentine Sackler Gallery and we found it a short distance away.

This was also a modern art gallery but it was more 3d art instead of 2d art, which Maddie really enjoys and appreciates more.

We thoroughly enjoyed this gallery especially a light and music exhibit in the center of it.

We left the gallery and began making our way to the London Eye. Right outside of Kensington Gardens we stumbled upon the Albert Memorial. This memorial is too massive to miss and is absolutely beautiful.  It was commissioned by Queen Victoria in memory of her beloved husband Prince Albert, who died of typhoid in 1861, at the age of 42.

176 feet tall and took over 10 years to complete. Prince Albert is in the center.

The memorial is located across from Royal Albert Hall, a concert hall that opened in 1871.

Royal Albert Hall

After admiring the memorial we continued on to find the London Eye. 

The London Eye
The London Eye is a very very slow ferris wheel looking contraption that brings you slowly up and around in large, clear, egg shaped rooms.

You can see out over most of London and the views are amazing.

It takes 30 minutes to make the full round which feels agonizingly slow when you have so much you want to do in such a short period of time!

We were very hungry after our ride and Debbie had been hoping we would have some Fish and Chips.

We went to Tattersalls Tavern, which is near Harrods, for our Fish and Chips. We have eaten there several times before and it has always been really good.

Checking out the pictures I had just taken on the London Eye. We were also surprised to receive so much ice in our glasses. The water is served cold so I rarely have a need for ice in London and Paris. 
Maddie even ate the traditional side dish, green peas!

I have been watching the PBS show, Mr. Selfridge, and wanted a peak inside of Selfridges Department Store.

It was located on Oxford Street where the big TopShop was. We went one way down Oxford Street to find Selfridges and then the other way to the TopShop where Maddie did a little shopping for herself.

 It was getting later in the afternoon and we still had a few more stops. We went to Buckingham Palace to see where the Queen lives when she is in London and then walked down the Mall to the next tube station.

We then went to the Millennium Bridge so that I could find the artwork of Ben Wilson who paints on old chewing gum that is ground into the flooring or treads of the bridge.

These are tiny little paintings on the walkway of the bridge and we saw a bunch of them!

Many of them were commissioned for him to paint or ideas given by special request.

This was one of my favorite things we did today! I love to discover graffiti art! Before leaving the bridge we enjoyed the views and then walked on toward Tower Bridge.

This is London Bridge, not to be confused with Tower Bridge

The Shard in the distance.

Tower Bridge is well known by many and often confused with London Bridge which is a completely different bridge, as seen in the photo above.

Tower Bridge

We had planned on eating dinner near the Tower Bridge, but we were so tired and it was getting late at this point that we decided to eat dinner closer to our hotel at Byron Burger. I don't know if it was actually as delicious as we thought or if we were just so hungry that anything would have been yummy!

It was a long day but a full day and Maddie said she had no idea the Underground system was so huge! We have certainly gotten our money's worth out of our day passes today! Tomorrow morning early we leave for Paris on the Eurostar. Until then.....

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