Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Hyde Park, Trafalgar Square

 We landed in London at noon on December 20th.  I was so excited to get there...and was excited for Ron's first trip overseas!  Joshua met us at Heathrow...and we rode the train to the station close to his flat...
Paddington Station.

Blu was excited to see us (I'm sure he didn't remember us) but our first excursion was going with Thalia to take Blu for a 'walk' in Hyde Park.  Typical London weather, but that was to be expected!
 Sorry, Blu...keeping it real here.
As you may notice, Thalia was armed with little blue bags.

Hyde Park has been a Royal Park since 1536...Henry VIII used it for hunting and then James I opened it to the public in the late 17th century. 

 Back at home, Blu got dried off before coming inside.
 A little later, we took off with our first stop Trafalgar Square. This is a place where people fed the pigeons...or at least that's what I remember.  Now there's a sign there saying not to feed them.  Being there on a rainy December, there weren't any pigeons anyway.
Trafalgar Square has a huge column in the center that's in honor of Lord Nelson...He died as a hero at the Battle of Trafalgar against Napoleon in 1805. 
This Christmas tree is supposedly the largest one in London...
Honestly, it wasn't very impressive ...
It was a gift from...I think it was Norway? 
Here, you can see the bottom of Lord Nelson's column.  There are 4 lions that were added to Trafalgar Square in about 1867....I think they are there to 'guard' Lord Nelson's column. 
Standing in the Square, these photos were taken of Big Ben.

On the north side of Trafalgar Square is the National Gallery.  Ron loved it...Joshua and Thalia..well, it probably wasn't their #1 attraction!

This is the "Leonardo Cartoon."  It was drawn in 1510!  It's actually a chalk drawing Leonardo de Vinci did in 1510 of the Virgin and Child. 
I thought it was odd that it's called a 'cartoon.'
There was an unimpressive choir singing in front of the tree from Norway... We listened for about 45 seconds and then took off walking around.

Look at this!  I just loved how the streets were decorated for the holidays!
This is called the 4th Plinth.  
It's an area where different artists put their sculptures...

 This area is Picadilly Circus.  It was definitely crowded...but the full moon was beautiful! 

 This Papa was window shopping with his baby granddaughter...Ok, she may be 16, but she's still our baby!
I'm not sure how excited she was by the orange coat.
 This was a chocolate shop window!

Back at home, Joshua was making his 'famous chicken.'  It was definitely DELICIOUS!  What a great first day in London!

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