Thursday, August 15, 2019

Buck Palace

Before we left our hotel Marie, messaged me. We had met when we were last in London and she took us roaming a London docks area we would not have dreamed of visiting, then the chairlift across The Thames and seeing the O2 and it was a great time with her. While we had planned to meet her the next day and travel to Brighton, she said she had to come into London today and would we like to meet for coffee or lunch. As there was not an invitation from Her Maj, we decided lunch would fit perfectly with our visit to Buckingham Palace.

We caught the bus to North Greenwich and the Jubilee Line to Green Park and walked through St James's Park Green Park. Here is a language quirk and I don't think it is a matter of being right or wrong. I would say St James Park. I might be wrong to do so, but I would write it as St James' Park. Marie pronounced it as St Jameses Park and I heard someone else do the same. Interesting to me and I am probably wrong on both counts.

The gates have to been seen to be believed. I did not catch the gold, being on the wrong side and facing the sun.




As you can see by the flag, Her Maj was at home but did not invite the colonials in for a cuppa.


Tourists were coming from all directions and gathering to see the Changing of the Queens Guard.


There were more police than you could shake a stick at and moving people along from walkways where they were inclined to linger. We found a good vantage point but we had forty minutes to wait. While hatted, it was very hot in the sun. As soon as R said we can't stay here standing in the sun for the next hour we quickly moved on. 


S'pose I should do some research. Right, Queen Victoria Memorial. There must be more statues of Queen Vic than anyone else in the world.


We found a seat in the shade after shoving a couple of old ladies off a bench and watched the passing parade and the soothing fountain.


We had decided to see what we could see from The Mall, the wide ceremonial avenue leading to the palace. 


Isn't it just stunning.




Various people involved in Changing of Guard came and went, some on foot and some on horseback. Police yelled at people who tried to cross from one side of The Mall to the other at inappropriate times.




It was really quite good standing under the shade of trees in The Mall.


I took this 20 second video. Turn up your speakers. Great fun and I wish I had recorded for a little longer.



We were to meet Marie at the Police Memorial further along The Mall at a certain time so we wandered along and greeted Marie and came across the Changing of the Horse Guard behind Whitehall.


We decided to lunch in one of the various terrific pubs in Whitehall. We are close to Big Ben, to Westminster, Charing Cross, Trafalgar Square but there are just normal pubs in Whitehall. We had a window seat. 


I only realised later that the last time we were in London we lunched next door at The Old Shades. This time it was The Silver Cross. Also the last time we lunched in Whitehall, god botherers shut down Whitehall as they demonstrated. This time it was a demonstration in support Tommy Robinson who was gaoled for breaching the peace. Briefly, he filmed Muslim men in an English town as they attended court charged with grooming underage girls for sex. While I have sympathy for the cause, let the courts decide without interference. It was as much an anti Muslim protest as much as anything.


I am not sure what this spire is.


Charing Cross Station but it is not The Tube Charing Cross Station, as we learnt.


Marie walked us on towards Covent Garden.



The dark woman had been singing opera and and a donation collection was underway.


Marie took us on to the Royal Opera House. It's a stunning building.




My shoelace had become undone. As we descended the Opera House stairs, I sat down to tie my shoelace. After doing that I looked up and a stern looking guard was just behind me. I expected to be told off for sitting on the steps, but instead as Marie told me, and he asked, he was just concerned that I was ok. Nice.View over Covent Garden.


We had to backtrack on the Piccadilly Line to Green Park to catch a Jubilee Line train to London Bridge where we bought a couple of things including our train tickets to Brighton for the following day. This is iconic building The Shard, better viewed from a distance.


The plaza between London Bridge underground and the regional trains? I didn't notice the colourful people at the time.


Back at North Greenwich and the 422 back to our hotel.


We caught the 188 bus to Greenwich and had a drink in The Mitre but did not fancy it as a place to eat. This was an impressive beast parked illegally in Greenwich.


We had dinner at the Rose and Crown, which I think is a gay pub. We were urged to participate in karaoke, but nah. Amazingly the menu was exactly the same as that at the pub in Whitehall where we lunched. Whitehall had run out of hummus for the nibble platter, but the Rose and Crown had not. I am sure the pub kicks off at some time, but it was very quiet when we were there. We caught the 188 bus back to our hotel.


An outrage. We didn't have glasses in our hotel room, only these plastic things wrapped in plastic which we chucked in the bin each day and they were replaced. Absurd.


Next post, a day train trip to Brighton with Marie and R becomes very unwell.

37 comments:

  1. It looks like a truly wonderful day. You may have been hot, but oh those uniforms must have been almost unendurable.
    And hooray for the stern looking guard with the soft heart and kind nature.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. EC, yes, I felt for those marching in such heavy attire, and it was not that hot.

      Sorry, I don't get your reference to the stern but kind guard.

      Delete
    2. The one who nicely asked if you were ok when you were tying shoelaces and expected him to tell you off.

      Delete
  2. I love these places I always visit them when I am at London

    ReplyDelete
  3. We went to Buckingham Palace too. Also didn't get invited to tea. Heh. I love London. I'd like to spend more time there and also get out and see the countryside.
    Good post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sandra, well she is not your queen so why should you be invited in. Thanks.

      Delete
  4. What a fabulous day you had. Ah, I so enjoyed London when I visited there.We also dislike plastic cups that they put in hotel rooms. Usually when we travel we bring two inexpensive glasses and wrap them well in socks. Nothing tastes better than a cocktail or wine in a real glass!
    Splendid pictures!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maribeth, we took two glasses from the bar to our hotel room and hid them during the day. Thank you.

      Delete
  5. Andrew, Marie is right about the park, as you would expect, being local. You may recall this excerpt from Gilbert & Sullivan's "Iolanthe".

    Strephon is talking to his mother, Iolanthe. His beloved, Phyllis, is eavesdropping with Lord T and a chorus of peers. Lord T is Strephon's rival, and maliciously mishears/misreports to Phyllis what he hears. (Phyllis is understandably suspicious because Iolanthe is a fairy and rather younger looking than Strephon's mother ought to look.)

    IOLANTHE
    [to Strephon]
    When tempests wreck thy bark,
    And all is drear and dark,
    If thou shouldst need an Ark,
    I'll give thee one!
    PHYLLIS
    [aside to Lord Tolloller]
    What was that?
    LORD T.
    [aside to Phyllis]
    I heard the minx remark,
    She'd meet him after dark,
    Inside St James's Park,
    And give him one!

    Incidentally, it is sometimes claimed that "Iolanthe" features an early example of gay-related double entendre because at the end the Queen of the Fairies chooses Private Willis, of the Grenadier Guards,to be her partner, announcing (because mixed liaisons are forbidden): "You shall be a FAIRY guardsman!" It is thought that even then the availability of guardsmen as uniformed "trade" was a phenomenon to those "in the know."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marcellous, while I know some G&S, I don't know that one. Reading what you wrote amused me no end. I think we make assumptions about guardsmen and are probably wrong in some cases, but generally right. I wonder if any resident of Buck Palace ever had a liaison in St James's Park.

      Delete
  6. No cuppa with Her Maj? Tsk. I bet you forgot to let her know you'd be in town. Those little plastic wrapped cups-if you didn't throw them away, just left them, unused, they wouldn't have to be replaced and you would have saved so much plastic going into landfill or recycling.
    your photos are great, I've seen more of London now than I ever hoped to. I wish you'd videoed more of the band too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. River, only if we did not unwrap them would they have been left. Otherwise the plastic glasses would be replaced. I thought the band would be good to video but I didn't know how it would turn out and I wish I had filmed more.

      Delete
  7. I can confirm, it is definitely St James's Park. I presume that St James actually owned it. Nice trip!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Cro, a saint owned a London Park. Never thought about it. How odd.

      Delete
  8. Love the bit of marching band and the colours. Thanks for us tagging along. Great shots.

    XO
    WWW

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. WWW, I written about our holidays over the last 15 years, but everything old is new again and so pleased that your liked my post.

      Delete
  9. How wonderful to see your photos and read about your trip to Buckingham Palace, those gates do look awesome. Welcome back home. Sorry to read about your illness in earlier post, not much fun.
    We are in Rockhampton for a few days then heading further north..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Margaret. So nice to hear from you when you are up north. Is there anything north of Rocky? I would have to check a map.

      Delete
    2. Mackay, Bowen, Ayr, Townsville, Cairns, Port Douglas.. currently in Mackay for 1 week then heading north..

      Delete
    3. You will be getting hot and sweaty. I guess you know what you have been missing down south.

      Delete
  10. So enjoyed this post and the video Andrew. We've been many times and always enjoy the pomp and ceremony of the Changing of the Guards. I'm really happy I've been everywhere I've wanted to see before the fear set in 😊 Now I'm happy to travel vicariously through the journeys of others.. keep it up you guys 😉

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dearest Grace, sit comfortably in your armchair while we do the the hard yards for you.

      Delete
  11. We travel with glasses since John abhors his Scotch in a plastic glass! Worse are the paper cups as your drink leaks through!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jackie, day two we nicked some glasses from the bar and hid them each day. Of course we left them behind and it was mostly glasses from then on. My Scotch leaks through a glass, I am sure.

      Delete
  12. The contrast between that line of casually-dressed tourists and the grandeur of Buckingham Palace is striking, but I imagine these days its the casually-dressed tourists that keeps the place on sound financial footing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kirk, interesting point and we certainly didn't dress for the occasion. While the event does not bring direct money to the Palace or government coffers, it is one large reason why people visit London.

      Delete
  13. I wonder if you realised that the soothing fountain you were looking at in Green Park is actually the Canada Memorial. It is so quiet there yet just a stone's throw from the busy Mall.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Marie I was going to check. Ok, for both world wars. There was much fundraising in Canada, including by media tycoon Conrad Black, known to us here in Australia too. You are right about it being so quiet. It was very restful sitting in the shade of the trees. Haha, exhausted after a train ride and a walk through the park.

      Delete
  14. "We found a seat in the shade after shoving a couple of old ladies off a bench" - made me smile :)

    Looks like a full day, with lots of bright colours and sunshine!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jenny, it was a lovely day, as was the next with a trip with Marie to Brighton.

      Delete
  15. Those palace gates are fabulous.
    Great day spent with blogger Marie and I enjoyed your photos and short video.
    Have a lovely weekend Andrew

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Sami. I agree, the gates are fabulous.

      Delete
  16. Aww the good old Buckhingham palace ! I have managed two years ago to visit it from inside and was rather disappointed, very poor decoration ! Our King's palace inside is a more beautiful ! I loved the Buckhingam gardens very beautiful and there was a tent for the visitors and you could get tea and cake ! Here is the link if you wish https://gattinawritercramps.blogspot.com/2016/08/buckingham-palace_22.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course I read it at the time and commented, but I had forgotten. The gardens do look wonderful.

      Delete
  17. Love your royal guards video. This is one of my favourite Swedish royal guards videos - playing "Dancing Queen" at the changing of the guard!!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pru_X0BXqbg

    ReplyDelete