London, Baby!

{Anyone catch the Friends’ reference?!}

I’m so excited to share some of my favorite pictures from the trip!  Without further ado…

We stayed at the Ramada Jarvis Hyde Park in London, which was located on Notting Hill Road, directly across the street from Kensington Gardens.  {The picture above is actually the building next door because it’s cuter.}

This picture is for my sister who loves telephone booths.  These things are like Starbucks.  You can literally see one at all times from wherever you happen to be standing.

I thought their mailboxes were adorable, too!

Kensington Garden is one of the Royal Parks of London.  We walked through at mid-morning on a Wednesday and there were hundreds and hundreds of people there.  They were having picnics, sunbathing, studying, walking dogs, pushing strollers, rollerblading, biking, feeding ducks, riding horses – you name it.  This lake is called “The Round Pond”… very creative!

Off to the side is Kensington Palace, which has breathtaking fountains and gardens in front.

I loved all the quirky details on the surrounding gates.

{I’m looking a little sunburned already, and we’d only been there a few hours!}

Looking past the gardens is The Orangery, a place to dine in or partake in a Royalty style afternoon tea.  If I enjoyed tea, I probably would have done this…

Near the palace, there is a memorial fountain for Princess Diana, which I unfortunately do not have a good picture of… It’s definitely worth checking out, though!

There was an awesome area to sit on the benches and people watch at the Italian Garden Fountains, which are also part of Kensington Gardens.

At the far end of the fountains, you can walk right up to the river.  {I’m pretty sure the river was the dividing line between Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens, which are right next to eachother.}

Just on the other side of Kensington Gardens is Royal Albert Hall, which was built in 1871 to fulfill the vision of Prince Albert of a ‘Central Hall’ that would be used to promote understanding and appreciation of the Arts and Sciences and would stand at the heart of the South Kensington estate.  It has seen performances from The Beatles, The Who, Led Zeppelin, and many more.

It had really great detailing all around the top.  {I challenge you to find an ugly building in London.  It is just not possible.}

We visited Camden Town, which is a very young, hip area of London.  It’s filled with street vendors, unique shops, walk up food stalls, etc.  It was very uniquely decorated, almost creepy, and most of the place was along winding roads that felt like they were underground.

We were warned to beware of pickpockets there right before we got out of the cab, and I could definitely see that it could be a potential threat; I just made sure to put the mister’s wallet in my purse and we ran in to no issues.  I thought it was worth going to just to see the completely different atmosphere, but it’s probably not everyone’s cup of tea; I can see my mom freaking out in a place like that! :-p

I did a little research on Camden Town upon returning home… Singer Morrissey lived in Camden Town in the 90’s, and singer Amy Winehouse was born and raised there.  {That does not surprise me.}  Also, writer Charles Dickens was a one time resident and placed various characters and stories there; most notably, perhaps, Bob Cratchit’s family was set there in A Christmas Carol.

We also went to see the “London Eye” which is essentially a giant Ferris Wheel that you can ride to see great views of the city.  The beautiful building in the picture above is the Aquarium.

The sky was just perfect!

There were some great views of the city, but if you are pressed for time, I would recommend skipping the ride on the London Eye and instead going on the river boat tours which board right next to it.  The tour we took was about 45 minutes, was cheaper than the London Eye, and was more enjoyable in our opinions.  You get to see many of the buildings that you do not have time to visit by land, and you get the history behind it.

This was a statue on the Aquarium building that we saw from up in the London Eye.  Really? Who designed that and thought it looked good?

We got to go under all of the famous bridges on the river boat tour… Luckily, London Bridge did not come falling down on us.

Interesting fact regarding nursery rhymes: Many of the nursery rhyme lyrics were used to parody the royal and political events of the day.  Direct dissent against royalty or government were punishable by death, so they made up children’s songs to spread the word.

That’s all for now; TONS more to come!

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One Response to London, Baby!

  1. Krysten says:

    You took some great shots Amanda!! Can’t wait to see the rest and hear all about it!!

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