Friday, May 16, 2014

London: Day 10

As much as people talk about London weather, in all the days I've been here only a couple of them have been gloomy. Today it was even warm out, with a slight breeze that made it the perfect temperature, and the perfect day to visit Kew Gardens. 
Kew Gardens is about forty minutes out of Zone 1 by tube but well worth it. 
This is the little plaza that points you to the gardens.
Thats Victoria Gate, where I entered the gardens.
The place is huge. I didn't get to see it all, because we are talking about something like 400 acres, but I did get to see some of the best parts. 
The flowers were incredible. They are obviosuly meticulosuly cared for. The smell of them makes the walk out of this world. 
So many perfect spots for picnics.
An old archway that was used for carriages and coaches in Victorian days.
The Temperate glass house, which was closed for rennovations. 
That's the other side of it.
That's the bit of the inside that was visible. It must be gorgeous.
The Pagoda, which leads to the Japanese Gateway.
And the small Japanese garden. 
Some of those gravel circles had patterns on them, lines and concentric circles.
I'm so glad I got to see this in spring. 
They are so perfect!
A small pond, which had ducks on the other side.
This was heading toward Queen Charlotte's cottage. I only saw a few people on this side, making it feel so, well, woodsy and not at all like a typical park.
They're hard to see on the picture, but those are bluebells.
The Glasshouse.
It was full of tropical plants from all over the world.
Opposite the Glasshouse was this beautiful human-made lake.
One of the geese decided those scuptures were going to waste. I got right up to her and she didn't care.

The geese below her, though, were screaming their heads off.
It would have been so calm here if there hadn't been a horde of children running around.
That's inside the Glasshouse.
And this is the Water Lily House behind the Glasshouse.
Where you can see these beauties. 
Of course, to make sure the plants stay healthy, it was boiling hot in there. I felt like I was right back in Miami. 
More beauty. Everywhere you looked there was something even prettier to see.
Next, I headed to the Princess of Wales Conservatory, where there were all kinds of exotic plants. 
Lots of desert ones. 
It really was incredible how healthy they looked. Not a single brown leaf on any of them. 
These are carnivorous plants from very hot climates. It didn't say from where, specifically. 
Those are tiny Venus flytraps! I thought they also needed lots of heat, but they are found in cooler climaes than the other carnivorous ones. 
There was an entire collection of orchids. 
And some fish, too. 
Including piranahs. I love the way he's looking at me like "what you looking at? Never seen a fish before?"
I want roses like those. They had bright yellow ones, too, and white ones. 
As I was looking at these flowers, I heard an awful sound, a mixture of a bird and a cat mewling. I walked a bit and saw what was making it.
He was out there jsut showing off and doing his mating call. He preened himself for a while as a few people took pictures of him. Definitely enjoyed the attention.
He pecked the ground for a bit and then left. 

Onwards, to amaze other people.
I spent about four hours walking around, and not all of it on even ground, so I walked back to the station around find no empty seats. So I had to stand for about twenty more minutes, until I switched to another tube line. 
I hopped off the tube at Baker Street to see the Wallace Collection, which is supposed to be one of the best private collections in the city. 
There were all kinds of great paintings and sculptures, plus some amazing miniature portraits. They don't allow photos, though.
I spent a couple more hours there and then went to get some dinner. I have no idea how many miles I walked today, but they were quite a lot of them. 
In other news, I bought a suitcase to take everything I bought back home and it is bursting at the seams. I need to stop shopping...ater tomorrow's return trip to Portobello Road. 

No comments: