Norway (Days 18 & 19)

July 5 & 6

London (Greenwich), England

Wrapping up our 19-day cruise (15 days aboard ship) that began June 18 and ended July 6.  It subsequently took me 216 days to blog the whole damn trip . . .  

[Exiting the British Museum, which had featured . . . ]

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[An object of our Norwegian cruise . . . ]

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[What it feels like to be behind bars . . . ]

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[Oh, it was a garden . . . ]

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[Green plant matter, which the Super says are, “Oh cripes, I can’t remember” . . . ]

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[The Kimpton Fitzroy London is a historic five-star hotel, located on Russell Square, Bllomsbury, in the Borough of Camden. From its opening in 1900 until 2018, it was known as the Hotel Russell (Wikipedia).]

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[This was a big year for suffragette movement . . . ]

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[The Kimpton, Bernard Street side . . . ]

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[What’s London without Fish & Chips?]

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[Woo-woo!]

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[So, I guess we did eat here.  Bill’s at the bar ordering drinks.  (An after the fact note from Honeywell VP emeritus, Bob Annen, “In the pub picture you will notice Honeywell electric air cleaners mounted in the ceiling.  We sold a ton of air cleaners to Pubs.”)]

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[And yes, fish & chips . . . ]

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[Mmmmm, good!]

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[Where else are you going to take your horse in a city of 14 million?]

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[It’s always good to know where you are – the far side of Russell Square from the British Museum . . . ]

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[And where we went – to the Whitehall Gardens . . . ]

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[Entering thusly . . . ]

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[Looks like garden . . . ]

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[From whence one can see the London Eye, or Millennium Wheel, a cantilevered observation wheel on the South Bank of the River Thames.  It is Europe’s tallest cantilevered observation wheel, and is the most popular paid tourist attraction in the United Kingdom with over 3.75 million visitors annually, and has made many appearances in popular culture.  The structure is 135 metres (443 ft) tall and the wheel has a diameter of 120 metres (394 ft).  When it opened to the public in 2000 it was the world’s tallest Ferris wheel.  The London Eye used to offer the highest public viewing point in London until it was superseded by the 245-metre-high (804 ft) observation deck on the 72nd floor of The Shard, which opened to the public on 1 February 2013.  The London Eye adjoins the western end of Jubilee Gardens (previously the site of the former Dome of Discovery), on the South Bank of the River Thames between Westminster Bridge and Hungerford Bridge beside County Hall, in the London Borough of Lambeth (Wikipedia).]

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[The White Hall Gardens are within walking distance from Trafalgar Square towards the River Thames (via Northumberland Ave) or the Hungerford or Jubilee Bridges that cross the River Thames.  It is just one of the gardens that form the Victoria Embankment Gardens created from 1864 following the embankment of the Thames by Sir Joseph Bazalgette.  The garden laid out in 1875 by George Vulliamy has a wonderful array of shrubbery, bedding displays, mature London plane trees, lime trees and trees of heaven. Three statues stand within grassed islands commemorate William Tyndale (1494-1536), Sir Henry Bartle Frere (1815-1885) and General Sir James Outram (1803-63).  Whitehall Gardens offers a hidden oasis enclosed within elaborate railings, reproductions of Bazalgette’s design of 1873.  It is also a designated Site of Importance for Natural Conservation for its contribution to wildlife guide (london.org.uk/blog/around-london/whitehall-gardens-in-london/).]

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[We gather around the first statue, of many, one encounters walking the gardens . . . ]

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[Sir James Outram . . . ]

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[Hi, Ruthie, who’s the next statue?]

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[We’re closing in on it . . . ]

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[Bartle Frere – we did not know the grass loungers . . . ]

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[Royal Horseguards Hotel . . . ]

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[William Tyndale . . . ]

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[Ditto . . . ]

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[Charles G. Gordon . . . ]

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[Lord Portal of Hungerford . . . ]

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[Hugh Trenchard . . . ]

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[Victoria Embankment Gardens . . . ]

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[Scotland Yard (officially New Scotland Yard) is a metonym for the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), and the Police Community Support Officers (PCSO), the territorial police force responsible for policing all 32 boroughs of London, excluding the City of London (Wikipedia).]

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[The Eye, which was about to open during our first trip to London.  We did not partake, some have noted it’s expensive and may be a tad boring? . . . ]

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[County Hall (sometimes called London County Hall) is a building in London that was the headquarters of London County Council (LCC) and later the Greater London Council (GLC).  The building is on the South Bank of the River Thames, with Westminster Bridge being next to it, heading south (Wikipedia).]

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[The Palace of Westminster Restoration and Renewal Programme has been established to tackle the significant work that needs to be done to protect and preserve the heritage of the Palace of Westminster and ensure it can continue to serve as home to the UK Parliament in the 21st century.  The 1,100-room Palace dates from the mid-1800s and is now one of the most iconic and significant buildings in the world.  The previous building was devastated by fire in 1834 but the oldest part of the Parliamentary Estate, Westminster Hall, built in 1099, survived and is still in use today.  The Palace is now a Grade I listed building and, with Westminster Abbey and St Margaret’s Church, forms part of the UNESCO Westminster World Heritage Site.  Following the debates in both Houses in early 2018, Parliament agreed that the ‘best and most cost-effective way’ to carry out the restoration and renewal of the Palace in one single phase is to temporarily move out of the building.  The collective decision by members of both Houses of Parliament means that work has now begun to establish a shadow Olympic-style Delivery Authority and Sponsor Board, subsequently to be set up through legislation as statutory bodies, to manage the work (restorationandrenewal.parliament.uk/).]

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[The tower “Big Ben” . . . ]

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[Parliament Square . . . ]

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[Westminster Bridge . . . ]

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[Big Bus London (lest you weren’t sure) . . . ]

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[The Eye from this end of the bridge (as opposed to the other side) . . . ]

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[With County Hall in the background . . . ]

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[The Tower of London, officially Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London, is a historic castle located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London.  It was founded towards the end of 1066 as part of the Norman Conquest of England.  The White Tower, which gives the entire castle its name, was built byWilliam the Conqueror in 1078 and was a resented symbol of oppression, inflicted upon London by the new ruling elite.  A grand palace early in its history, it served as a royal residence. As a whole, the Tower is a complex of several buildings set within two concentric rings of defensive walls and a moat.   Today, the Tower of London is one of the country’s most popular tourist attractions.  Under the ceremonial charge of the Constable of the Tower,  the property is cared for by the charity Historic Royal Palaces and is protected as a  World Heritage Site (Wikipedia).]

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[(We visited on our first trip here) . . . ]

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[The Shard, as we know now, taller than The Eye . . . ]

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[Back to the ship, not taller than The Eye, for our last night on board . . . ]

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[And our last evening shipboard dining . . . ]

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July 6

[The morning of departure . . . ]

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[Goodbye, Thames . . . ]

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[Packing again, after a 15-day reprieve . . . ]

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[A final lap around the ship for old time’s sake . . . ]

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[And breakfast, of course . . . ]

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[With Bill in Heathrow . . . ]

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[And our final beverage before boarding the plane for home . . . ]

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I’m leaving because the weather is too good. I hate London when it’s not raining.  ~ Groucho Marx

Up Next:  Regular Alex stuff . . .

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