Sunday, May 17, 2015

A Parkland walk

Well today I did something else on "the list".  A few months ago while still at home I read about the Parkland Walk which is a rails to trails path in North London. I thought it sounded like something I would enjoy walking. It was a logical day to do the walk - a warm day and the start point was a few stops on the same tube line as my airbnb place.

I had taken along a copy of a club walk that started in the same area...so on a last minute whim I jumped off the train at an earlier tube stop.  I walked to Alexandra Palace.....not a royal palace but a "people's palace".  It was built in 1873 as an education, recreation and entertainment centre and nicknamed "Ally Pally".  In 1936 the BBC broadcast its first high definition signal from here.  The palace is still used for exhibitions, music concerts and conferences. 



Alexandra Palace sits on one of the highest spots in London...



I then got onto the South part of the Parkland walk...I may or may not have stopped at this cafe....I've gone there other years and love it. 



Then into Highgate wood...


 
I got a bit misplaced in between sections of the Parkland walk....we'll just leave it at that okay?



Note the platforms on each side of the path...a former station...

Lots of graffiti but this was my favourite


Finsbury park


I walked as far as Finsbury Park - probably about five miles or so.  Such an enjoyable walk and what a beautiful day.  There were lots of people out on the trail enjoying the day which is why I chose the weekend - always like to have people around when I do a walk a bit off the beaten path.

I then took a tube to Wood Green and saw the Spooks (MI-5) film - very enjoyable.  Then back here to enjoy one of my last Marks and Spencers ready meals....at the end of the week I move to a hotel and then a bed and breakfast so no kitchen to do my own cooking...er...or I should say nuking...:)

Lots of plans for this week!! 

Friday, May 15, 2015

Ticking things off my London bucket list

I've been keeping busy working away on my "list".  I  have a written list of things I must do before I leave London...I made this list before I left home but with less than three weeks less in London (eek!) the pressure is on!  Windsor was on "the list" so that's crossed off.  I have waited for the "good weather" for most of it. 

The other day I visited Holland Park...as you might recall I visited it in the winter...but wanted to see it in the Spring.check it out now....



 



 
These photos were taken in the Kyoto garden which is so very beautiful.  Holland Park Mews in the photo above...how the other half lives! 
 
Another thing on the bucket list?  Walk along more of the Regents Canal...so that I did....from Lime End where I was staying to Haggerston...
 
 



I stopped at Victoria Park for a much needed coffee

A coot and her babies - was fun watching them. 

Pagoda in Victoria Park

Back on the towpath - loved this Irish wolfhound who obviously lived in a barge with its owner and would not move for anyone including the aggressive cyclists on the path - way to go!  This is MY path!  :).

 
After this walk I took the overground to Wapping where I walked a bit of the Thames path and had lunch at the oldest riverside pub in London, the Prospect of Whitby...
 
 


My view while I was having lunch (just a sandwich..)


As the tide was out I walked down the steps and onto the "beach" of the Thames...after all we are pretty good friends by now! 
I carried on walking to Canary Wharf....then I got the DLR to Mudchute farm - something else on the list.  I had my heart set on a cuppa and a cake in their cafe but it was closed...ah well I had a raspberry magnum bar instead.  Oh yeah..I did see some animals too!!!  It's a lovely oasis in the docklands...



Yes I indulged my sheep obsession

The lamb in the foreground with the black legs was a real character and a  bit naughty. 

Today I went to tour Bletchley Park which is where encrypted German messages were decoded during the second world war.  So very interesting. Being able to decode these messages reduced the length of the war by approximately two years.  I didn't realize what an important part carrier pigeons played in the war. MI14!!  I spent four hours there.
 
I am now living in the north of London in an area called Southgate...in a two bedroom cottage.  I do like this area more than the Limehouse area I was in previously.  Ann, the host is great fun.  Speaking of airbnb hosts my Paul ticket arrived at Claudia's so I went over on Wednesday and we had Chinese take out in the back garden as it was such a lovely day.  Yesterday was pouring so once I arrived here I stayed in for the rest of the day (except for an afternoon cooked breakfast that was delicious in the cafe opposite)and called it a rest day.  Ann generously said I could use her washing machine so now I have clean clothes again .  Yay!   
 
So I wonder what tomorrow will bring - how many things will I tick off my list?  Stay tuned!!
 
 
 
 
 


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A day out in Windsor

I have quite a list of things I still need to do here in England....these are the things I have left for "better weather" which means now.  London has been having glorious weather this week...rain predicted for tomorrow however so it's a rest day.  If you can count a day of changing airbnb homes and doing laundry as a "rest day".  I do!

Anyway yesterday I ticked one more off the list...Windsor Castle.  I last toured Windsor Castle in 1975...the first time I ever came over to this side of the pond.  I revisited Windsor back in 1980 but for some reason I didn't visit the castle...well it had only been five years and that was the year of the pound being 2.80 Canadian or something crazy.  I remember shooting b/w film in my camera as well...and having a cream tea in a tea shop but not much else...visiting yesterday was like visiting for the very first time. 

Yesterday was a glorious day so off I went.  Let's not talk about the trip to Paddington station and back during rush hour and picking the wrong stations to transfer in...as in very busy ones..I know better...oh well.

I got a return rail journey for 10.80 so that seemed fair to me - very fair.  Then I got into the castle for 17 pounds.  Steep but it will be the last time I visit I am sure and so worth it - and yay for being over 60 and getting a couple of pounds off.

Windsor Castle is the longest occupied castle in Europe; it was built by William the Conqueror in the 11th century and used by every British monarch since King Henry I. 



My first stop was St George's Chapel where several monarchs and their families are buried or entombed...such as Henry VIII,  his third wife Jane Seymour and their infant son,  Charles I, George VI and Elizabeth (the Queen's parents)...well you name it and they are probably there.  No photography was allowed in the chapel or the state apartments...

 
 
Just as I was leaving the chapel I heard music and I realized it was the changing of the guard...


 
 
Then I toured the State apartments which were beautiful....of course some had been destroyed during the fire in 1992 so it had been refurbished but with an eye to preserving how it was..no photos allowed there either! 
 

 
The doll's house was exquisite...I had to cave and get a guidebook just so I could have pictures of the rooms and furniture....it wasn't expensive; it's just hauling it home.....anyway here are some more photos of the castle buildings...
 
From there I walked around the town and had a spot of lunch at a pub....then I wandered down to the river...oh my..I may have to reconsider my decision to end my Thames path walk at Hampton Court ....beautiful!  I then walked across the bridge to Eton.  Between looking in shops I kept busy until I got the 6 p.m. train back to London...what a fabulous day it was!!!