Thursday, June 25, 2009
London Day 3 (Thurs 10 June)
Given our transport problems of the Wednesday, we set out on foot on day 3, walking through Kensington Park (about 100 metres from our Hotel). It was a great day for a walk and we saw lots including several hundred squaddies on some sort of forced march through the park. We passed Kensington Palace, birthplace of Queen Victoria and the home of the late Princess Diana (photo is of a Queen Victoria Memorial in front of Kensington Palace). One of the highlights of the walk was the far end of the Serpentine, the artificial lake in Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park (the two are adjacent), where there were lots of birds but mostly white swans, geese and ducks. Then it was on to the massive Prince Albert Memorial which is just inside the Kensington Gardens opposite the Prince Albert Memorial Theatre in Kensington (the latter pictured). We visited the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain and had coffee at the Lido on the banks of the Serpentine.
From there we did the Prince Albert Theatre tour - what a magnificant building - going through the Royal passages, rooms and royal box (they were setting up for a performance of 'The King and I, at the time with some rehearsal activity. There is a memorial to the 1851 Crystal Palace Exhibition behind the theatre and we were amused to find that the Commonwealth contributors included the Falkland Islands, New South Wales, Van Dieman's Land, and Australia South (South Australia). At that time, Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia did not exist as sovereign entities and Australia the nation would not come into being until 1901.
Then it was on to nearby Harrods - a very impressive establishment where we had coffee. We then walked through Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens back to our Hotel seeing lots of squirrels and tourists and the occasional local on the way.