21 June 2015

Summers in London

I wonder if I will ever fall out of love with London. I'm worried I will, because I'm going to be spending most of my time there as of September. Yet even that knowledge won't stop me from spending as many summer days as possible out there this year, because truly nothing defeats the spirit of summer in London.

One of the most brilliant experiences is driving on a double decker bus through night-time London, at the very front. That feeling is truly equal to having the world at your fingertips. That Peter Pan flight scene instantly comes to mind. There's also nothing greater than staying in Kensington Gardens or Hyde Park until twilight, or even complete darkness, and then having a solitary moonlit walk (though you'll have to climb over a gate or two if you're strolling about after hours). In the dusk/dark, when there's no one around, the boundary between reality and fantasy is so easily bridged. There's this gigantic larger-than-life stone statue of a horse in Kensington Gardens, and in the dark from a distance it seems plausible that it's about to come to life and charge at you...

Hamsptead Heath is another favorite park. It's got this huge felled tree (several in fact) and if you're as adventurous as my sister you'll probably want to climb up onto it and have your picture taken. The photo with the pineapple, incidentally, is also of her, in a place called Ham House in the Richmond area. As part of a special event, visitors to Ham House got free pineapples; apparently, they are often seen as a sign of welcome, which is why you may find stone pineapples at the gates/entrance of stately homes in England and elsewhere.

So... I guess the point I'm trying to make is that London is wonderful, and even more so when you stray off the beaten track and find places that are a little away from the general touristic hubbub. Now I'll let the pictures do the talking:

Hampstead Heath
Ham House, Richmond
Marble Hill House, across the Thames River
Kensington Gardens
Hyde Park during BST festival