Starting the post with a red double-decker - it doesn't get more London-ish, does it? As promised, here are some photos I managed to snap in London last week. There wasn't time for serious photography, it was mainly walking, pausing and clicking (when I got back home I was actually surprised to see how many photos I managed to take). As I said before the trip wasn't planned and this wasn't a going-to-the-theater & shopping trip. We had to visit the Icelandic Embassy in London and turned it into a fun road trip for the entire family.
We arrived in England by the Dunkirk-Dover ferry and as soon as we drove into London we felt that it was on high alert. The city is preparing for the Olympics and the security is already tight. This was the first time we drive in London - yes, on the left side - and we were amazed by the politeness. Not once did anyone honk the horn when we needed a moment to think. One friend said it was pure luck, another said it was always like that.
I divided the photos into a few sections and wrote short descriptions. Enjoy!
HYDE PARK & KENSINGTON GARDENSMany people use the name Hyde Park for both Hyde Park and the Kensington Gardens, but technically those two are divided by the Serpentine River/The Long Water. Walking in these royal parks is simply wonderful.
In the Kensington Gardens you will find Albert's Memorial and across the street, Kensington Gore, is the Royal Albert Hall. For those who don't know, Prince Albert was the beloved husband of Queen Victoria (r. 1837-1901). He died in 1861 when he was only 42 years old. The queen suffered from depression after his death and wore black for the rest of her reign.
KNIGHTSBRIDGE & CHELSEAThere is really no need to say much about these photos. The beautiful houses and buildings in this area of London are a treat for the eyes. You will find all the labels on Sloane Street and you won't miss the Harrods building on Brompton Road with all the British flags.
OUR LONDON COMFORT ZONEOur hotel, a small and cosy one, was situated on the west side of the Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park. We have been there before and love the location. It's a quiet area and it takes about five minutes to walk down the Kensington Church Street into the lively Kensington High Street. There I find my house of worship, the Whole Foods Market. I could live in there, seriously. (From the hotel it takes about five minutes to walk in the other direction, to the Notting Hill Gate station.) As we sat enjoying our last latte before going back home we talked about this area being our London comfort zone.
GOODBYE LONDON: THE WELLINGTON ARCH AT HYDE PARK CORNER
After filling the trunk of our car with goodies from Whole Foods we headed back home. We drove to the east, passing the Wellington Arch at Hyde Park Corner and found our way through and out of the city. Then we headed south and took the Euro Tunnel over to Calais in France and continued our journey home.
London was lovely and I plan to return later this year.