Continued where we left off in the first half.
I had arrived back at my hotel and had a shower and rest before embarking on a walk to “Little Venice” in Paddington. The Paddington Basin is now surrounded by yuppie pads and no longer by warehouses or working areas. It has literally become a trendy neighbourhood.
Don’t get me wrong, it is quite a pretty area if you ignore the chrome and glass, the banker clones and PYT’s as well as the swish of cyclists hurtling past you. Narrow boats abound, and some are real oldies too.
A handy map shows whether the Grand Union Canal Paddington Arm meets up with Regent’s Canal.
Paddington Station is on the doorstep so it was a perfect place to move materials to and from trains and canal boats. Today trucks do that job and the barges are now replaced by the leisure boating trade instead.
My exploration completed it was time to head home to prepare for my next day’s adventures.
I was not going down to the Thames today but wanted to take in some culture for a change and headed towards Kensington Gardens where I was hoping to find the Pet Cemetery that had evaded me in 2013. I had probably not found it because I was looking in Hyde Park whereas it is really in Kensington Gardens. Some quick questioning and I had my goal. The Cemetery is situated in the back garden of the lodge and is only viewable by appointment. Trying to take pics through the hedge was a waste of time, but at least now I know where it is if ever I am here again.
Kensington Gardens is quite large and I entered through the Marlborough Gate by the Italian Gardens.
I headed South towards the Albert Memorial and Royal Albert Hall and onwards to the Victoria and Albert Museum as well as the Science Museum.
This area has some amazing buildings in it, and one I found quite modest in comparison to the rest. The Royal Geographic Society building was quite interesting because of the influence that this society had on exploration, especially in the days of “for Queen and Empire”.
The Victoria and Albert Museum is situated a bit further down from the Science Museum and it was here that I started my culture jag. The building is huge, and trying to photograph it all is impossible. To make matters worse, there is more than one building associated with the museum.
This building is only part of it, the rest is still to come.
This is the entrance on Cromwell Street, and it opened at 10am. Which gave me just enough time to rally my strength to tackle this formidable place.
I will be honest, from the moment I walked into it I was dumbstruck. Words do not do the museum justice, and frankly it made the much vaunted British Museum look like nothing. I cannot even begin to describe what I saw, and my pics could never do it justice. There is a lot to see, and the 90 minutes I had allocated came nowhere even close to being enough time to see everything.
Even I had to admit that I was impressed.
Then it was time to hit the Science Museum. My time was short though and I was really afraid that Munchkins would abound at the museum, and my fears were indeed confirmed when I got there.
I believe this is the Natural History Museum. although whether this is the front or back I cannot say.
And of course there was one of those uniquely London moments when time stands still and cars give way.
I had heard great things about this museum too. and they are all true; it is an amazing place, although I did find the Munchkins crowded me out. However, they were having a blast and I hope that someday they will become great scientists instead of bankers and accountants or “something in the city.”
Again there was just too much to see and I did not see a third of it. But, there were a lot of exhibits that tied into my interests.
Now who says Science is not fun? Oh, and by the way, the basement has a really interesting exhibition in it called “The Secret Life of the Home”, and that is reason enough for me to put this Science Museum on my list if ever I am in London again.
It was time to head back to the station and catch my train. I was exhausted and still had a long train trip as well as at least 1 bus ride and a long walk back to my flat. I had aches in pains in places I had forgotten I had. There were over 1400 images in my camera, and who knows how many blog posts still to do. My mini vacation had ended much too soon, and next week would be back to the old grindstone. But, I had lots of pics to keep me amused for a very long time, who knows, just maybe more images will appear in these blogs, for now though I was done. Paddington here I come!
Reality time had come once again.
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