Sunday, May 11, 2008

London in May

Lancaster Walk, Kensington Gardens

London is glorious in May! During the whole of April I was checking the weather reports for London: it was cold and rainy day after day after day, and I left Melbourne drowning under sweater, fleece jacket, and rain jacket all piled on to avoid excess baggage charges. I arrived on the 1st of May clearly bringing the down under climate with me - we've had nothing but wonderful warmth and blue skies since I set foot again on British soil.

Notting Hill window ledge

For my first week in London I stayed with an old school friend, Helen, in Notting Hill. If you've seen the Hugh Grant/Julia Roberts film, yes, that's where I was staying! The book store from the film does actually exist, just a couple of streets away - and when I walked past on Saturday morning tourists were busy taking photos of each other outside the entrance.

Enjoying the sun in Kensington Gardens - Kensington Palace, former home of Princess Diana, is in the background.

I met up with a friend from Bukavu, Natalie, who has also finished up her contract, and is visiting Britain before returning to the USA. We picked up a salad lunch at the Whole Food Supermarket in Kensington High Street and ate on the grass in Kensington Gardens, enjoying the fabulous weather along with many others. I spotted some people on the palace roof and quickly snapped them; I had no idea why they were up there, but the photo shows some interesting gold ornaments on the roof:

Kensington Palace - roof detail

Later we walked through Kensington Gardens and found it quite appropriate to come upon the Speke memorial, having followed in his footsteps, more or less!

Speke Memorial, Kensington Gardens

The wisteria is in bloom, along with many other flowering trees and plants, and looks divinely extravagant!

Wisteria-covered house, Kensington

Churchill Arms (a pub, flying the Irish flag!), Kensington

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