Natural History Museum

The breakfast spread was nice but the service was typical of a London hotel. The toast didn’t arrive and had to be re-ordered.

Our first port of call for the day was the Natural History Museum.  We got there before the museum was open and there was already a queue to get in. When the gates opened we were able to jump the queue because we had paid for tickets to see the ‘Mammoths: Ice Age Giants’ exhibition in order to see baby Lyuba, the most complete woolly mammoth ever found. We got into the exhibition early which meant it was quiet and we were able to enjoy the display without people being in the way.  The exhibition was very well done. I was surprised to learn that there are three types of elephant not just two because there are two types of African elephant; plains and forest.

Blue Whale

It was obligatory to go and see the model of the blue whale which is stunning due to its size. Due to the school holidays there was a long queue to visit the dinosaurs so we gave them a miss.  There is always next time ;-) The other must visit part of the museum for me was the large escalator ascending into the giant earth sculpture.  This took us to the display on earthquakes and volcanoes and the moving plate that simulates the Kobe earthquake in Japan. By this time the museum was heaving and we decided it was time to leave and visit somewhere a little quieter.

Ascent Into Earth

Our destination was Foyles book shop. Earlier this year it moved locations to the shop next door to where it had previously been.  The sections I enjoy seem to have expanded and had larger selection of books to be tempted by. I was very restrained but someone next to me at the till clocked up a bill of £460!!!

After the days walking it was nice to get back to the hotel to put my feet up and have a nice relaxing bath before dinner. We dined in an Italian restaurant just of Sloane Square.  The food was delicious, the service was excellent and it was wonderful to sit outside in the warm English air enjoying the atmosphere. After our meal we caught the tube back to the hotel for a nightcap before retiring for some well earned sleep.

Fine Dining

No Comments CherryPie on Aug 20th 2014

Hotel Mercure Kensington

Our original plan was to travel to London by train, but due to engineering works taking place every weekend during August this proved to be impractical. Instead we traveled by car, stopping at the motorway services for lunch along the way.  The journey was painless. There was only one short delay due to a traffic accident blocking one of the lanes. When we arrived at the hotel Mr C tried to fathom out how the car pick up and parking service worked, which wasn’t obvious. It turned out that the phone calls he had received and not been able to answer whilst we were driving were from the company trying to find out when we were going to arrive at the hotel, so that they could be there when we arrived!

When the car park parking situation had been sorted and our bags unpacked we headed off the the Science Museum which was further away than advertised to me ;-) I was flagging and in need of a cool refreshing drink when we got there…

Apollo 10 Landing Capsule

After the welcome refreshment we picked out a few sections of the museum that we were interested in and set out to explore them.  There are many interesting things in the museum but I think that it is not laid out in the best possible way to showcase what they have on offer.  There is an excellent space section where part of the display is a full sized replica of the Apollo 11 lunar module. The museum also houses the Apollo 10 landing capsule but this is displayed in a different part of the museum. The dim lighting didn’t help to show the exhibits to their best advantage.

One of the things that I wanted to see was Foucault’s Pendulum. We struggled to find it and when we did we found it tucked away in a corner which is why is why we had missed it. We had walked past it a couple of times without noticing it.

After our brief visit we walked back to the hotel and by the time we got there my feet were complaining and I put my feet up before venturing out for dinner.  Luckily one of the restaurants I had spotted in the Dorling Kinderlsey guide book was just around the corner. The food (mostly fish) was excellent and we had a good banter and laugh with the owner who who served the guests at their tables. After the meal we called in at a pleasant pub for a nightcap before returning to the hotel.

10 Comments CherryPie on Aug 19th 2014

Behind the Gates

I am back from my travels to London to celebrate the birthday of a gentleman who has reached a certain age…

I spent this afternoon sorting out my photographs which are now ready for sharing along with my London adventures. Watch this space…

4 Comments CherryPie on Aug 18th 2014

The best things in life are the people we love, the places we have seen, and the memories we have made along the way.

Anonymous

Sunset Oak

20 Comments CherryPie on Aug 17th 2014

Celebrations

14 Comments CherryPie on Aug 16th 2014

…for Sean as promised.

Magnolia Walk

Magnolia Bloom

14 Comments CherryPie on Aug 15th 2014

The Wrekin from Viroconium

The Churches Concervation Trust guide book for St Andrew’s Church at Wroxeter provides and informative introduction to both the Wrekin and Wroxeter.

The name Wroxeter appears to mean ‘fort by the Wrekin’. This hill, which is prominent for miles around, has an Iron Age fort at its crest and the Celtic name for it is thought to have been Wreocen. When the Romans came they founded a large fortified town five miles (8km) away from the fort and close to where Watling Street crosses the River Severn. This ‘castrum’ supplies the second half of the name.

The Roman name for Wroxeter is Viroconium, also an echo of Wreocen. Their town was one of the largest they built in England, smaller only than London, St Albans and Cirencester, and became an important provincial capital. It extended to the Severn beyond the church and nearly as far in the other direction towards the present A5 road.

In his article in the June 2013 edition of the Wrekin News, George Evans refers to ‘The Wrekin’ as ‘The little mountain with many secrets’.  The article explains how he persuaded the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) that The Wrekin was worthy of being included in their 100 best walks in Britain.  His article mentions the local folk law, history and geology of the surrounding area. He explains that the hill still retains some of its secrets.

The Calendar stones are an enigma. They don’t look natural but I’m told no archaeologist has ever investigated them. Surely it’s not accidental that a shaft of light shows each equinox is it? The hill-fort was started about 3,500 years ago (we think), extended 2,500 years ago and disused after the Romans invaded. That’s 1,500 years. How was it built, who used it and for what purpose? There’s a nice little story to tell about the Magic Tree in the Druid’s Circles on the Little Hill and there are tales about the Devil’s Coach-house, where the four winds meet and King of the Wrekin.

The Wrekin from Viroconium

11 Comments CherryPie on Aug 14th 2014

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