We awoke to rain on the roof which meant we left a little later on our wanderings than we had originally planned. We used the time to help our neighbours cast off as they were heading to Limehouse and moor our boat next to the floating jetty.
We walked over to Hyde Park which is only three blocks from here. There was quite the loud music coming from the park as there were rehearsals for tonight’s Concert in the Park. The quality of the sound and music being played was superb. They were belting out Land of Hope and Glory and it was very stirring.
We went via the Serpentine down to Hyde Park looking for the magnificent gates that the Queen had made for her mother back in the 1990’s.
The photo doesn’t quite do them justice but they are very ornate with lots of fine detail.
We followed along the edge of Green Park heading towards Buck House. As we got closer we realized that there was a rather large crowd down near the front of the palace and then it dawned on us that we had stumbled onto the changing of the guards that occurs at 11.30am each day.
The Queen is currently in residence at Buck House due to the change out in Prime Minister which will be announced on the 20th July. She has to stay to give the approval of the appointed person and let us hope it is not the idiot Boris. Normally she is up at her summer retreat in Scotland at Balmoral Castle. This means that the changing of the guard is still being carried out in full regalia so in the end we did rather well.
Had to get a photo of our Travelocity Gnome Toque who was hoping for a play date with the Corgis but apparently they were otherwise engaged.
The palace is currently undergoing extensive renovations as is Big Ben. We are going to the Buck House State Rooms next Sunday which hopefully will not be in renovation mode.
We found these magnificent gates just across the road from Buck House on the edge of Green Park and discovered that they were a gift from Canada. There were Bison, Maple Leaves, Bears, Beavers and all sorts of Canadiana intricately woven into the gates
A good thing to note if you are planning a trip to London is that on Sundays they close The Mall to traffic so you can walk all the way down to Trafalgar Square and pretend you are in a golden carriage.
We got to Trafalgar Square and it was jam packed because of the one day World Cricket final that was on between New Zealand and England. At this point we were keeping a close eye on this game plus the Wimbledon men’s final. Our desire was that Federer would win as would New Zealand.
We caught an old Route Master #15 from Trafalgar Square to Tower Hill where the Tower of London is. They are certainly rattly old things but are part of the historic nature of London. It does appear though that they are going to remove even these ones from service. Whilst waiting to return to Trafalgar Square a girl came over to pat Toque and we got talking and couldn’t believe that she was from Calgary, and no, we did not know her.
We came back via St Paul’s which is certainly looking a lot cleaner than it use to.
Found the ubiquitous phone boxes and now just on the look out for an old mail box.
On our return to the boat via the Bakerloo Underground line we settled in for what we thought would be a couple of hours of tennis and cricket. We have already mentioned that we thought how it was crazy that both these finals were on the same day but the dramatic circumstances that developed at Lords and Wimbledon was just unreal. We were flicking between the two BBC channels as they were both coming to unbelievable conclusions at the same time.
Alas, Federer lost but it really was two very even champions playing their best tennis. As to the cricket!!! Well, what a farce. The superover carry on was just plain ridiculous. Why could they just not have had a tie and make history that way. New Zealand made exactly the same number of runs but England won the cup because they had 24 boundaries as opposed to New Zealand’s 17 boundaries. Go fathom!! If it wasn’t a tie it should have been on how many wickets were lost in which case the Black Caps would have been the winners. Yeah, Di is pretty dirty about it as you could imagine. Oh well, the All Blacks will just whip the pommes at rugby in the World Cup in September.