One of the things that hits me almost as soon as I arrive in the UK is the sense of history.....some of that history is positive, some less so. Whilst much is being done in London in a pre-Olympic scrub-up (reminds me of Auckland pre-RWC), there are also many ‘historical’ aspects to the city that are just at best, old, at worst worn out. Navigating the tube system, one experiences the full gamut of this. Unlike HK, the service industry is also a bit 'tired'!
However, those things aside it is still a wonderful city, with much to amaze and enjoy.
The Albert Memorial on the south side of Kensington Gardens opposite the Albert Hall is great example of the imposing and ornate; it has been re-gilded recently, and is all shiny! It does look a bit artificial however.
Spring is here, but as in New Zealand, the weather patterns are all over the place. Since we arrived, we have had typical spring days, mild with watery sunshine, interspersed with not quite tropical down pours. You can see behind the monument the cloudy sky is leaden, a North Easterly bringing rain down across the country. By mid afternoon, the quality of light suggests it is much later; evening seems to set in very early.
London museums have some of the best collections in the world, and it's easy to spend hours wandering around absorbing all manner of treasures gathered from all corners of the world. It's easy to forget exactly whats was seen.
I can’t recall the date or provenance of this tea-pot warmer, but it did catch my eye, as did the Dutch tulip holder from the 1800’s, which was a bit ‘po-mo’ in its eccentricity.
We'll start out on this trip with hotels, but then we progress to a camper van, and I think the logistics of adding to this blog on a regular basis will change. Certainly, WiFi is widely and easily available in the City, and for the price of a pint or a cup of coffee, communication is easy. Lets see how we go!
- Nick C