Day 3 – King Henry Ate The Dinosaurs

So since I was so tight and didn’t want to pay the extra they were now charging for flights I ended up having an extra day in London. Which I didn’t mind actually. Last time I was here I thought it was alright but wasn’t totally taken by the place. This though I was really enjoying myself. I got around to see a whole lot of things that I didn’t see last time, like the museums and the day trip, and this time around I just really enjoyed wandering and discovering things. I think it also help that this time it wasn’t cold and rainy all the time and I wasn’t about to fall over from infected sinuses. 🙂

The lady that I sat next to on the plane over from KL recommended seeing Hampton Court. It was the residence of King Henry VIII (the one with all the wives) plus a few others along the way. So I looked it up online and found out how to get there. Its about 30 min from London by train leaving from Waterloo station. i got to the station just as one was about to leave. With the Bank holiday on they took the opportunity to do some work on the lines so getting around London on Sunday was a little difficult. Doing these above ground extended train rides is a good way to see a bit more of London general. Lots of packed in houses.

Hampton Court was entirely different to Windsor Castle. Its still grand but Windsor has a good deal of opulence thrown in for good measure. I kind of felt sorry for the monarchs who lived here almost peasants compared to the lavishness of the current residencies of the monarch.

Anyway the focus was more on how the palace functioned in the time it was in operation. King Henry lived there in the 1500s so there were demonstrations of how the kitchen functioned and much information on how one would worm their way into the presence of the king.

The later Kings and Queens who lived at Hampton Court spruced up the place a bit more. There were some very impressive stairways with painted walls and ceilings depicting various battles through history. Most of which were an allegory for how much the current king thought he compared to the conquerors of the past.

The palace gardens were also impressive. I’d hate to be the one that had to maintain them. One area of the garden stretched out of sight.

It was bitterly cold and raining while at Hampton Court so once I’d decided I’d seen pretty much everything I headed back into town. Since I had some spare time I decided to make use of the underground ticket I’d bought and proceeded to tick off a few places that I wanted to see and revisit.

I headed to London Bridge and walked across it to take in the view of the Tower Bridge and St Paul’s, then hopped the underground again to get over to St Paul’s for a closer look. I found a Tesco and grabbed something to snack on (junk food is so cheap in London. At least half the price of what we pay even with the conversion of currency) and walked around to take some photos. I then headed back to the underground to go and see the Wellington Arch and then onto the National History Museum. Conveniently all the sights I wanted to see were on the same line.

The Wellington Arch was to commemorate the Duke of Wellington who defeated Napoleon in the battle of Waterloo (refer to the ABBA song for those that don’t know the story). It was a good photo opportunity and reminded me of a smaller version of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.

My last stop was the National History Museum. I think the building actually outshines the contents. Why don’t they build them like this anymore. I arrived fairly late in the day with not a whole lot of time to look through. I thought if I was going to see anything in there I would see the dinosaur exhibit first. Unfortunately so did everyone else. It took most of the time I had in there to go through the exhibit which was actually pretty small. The hold up was people slowing down to look at the T-Rex. It was a real let down when I finally got to it though. It was a fairly non believable animatronic display. I thought it would have been a complete skeleton which would have been a lot more interesting.

After that I headed back to the hostel to pick up my bag and then walked back up to Victoria Station to wait for my bus to Paris. Its a long trip so hopefully I’ll be able to get some sleep and wake up in Paris before I know it.

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2 Responses to Day 3 – King Henry Ate The Dinosaurs

  1. Katrina says:

    Hey Matt

    I hope that you are having a great time away. I asked Matt Bowden for your work email during the week so that i could say hi and he informed me that you are overseas at the moment. Last time I spoke to you on facebook you mentioned that you were going but I wasn’t sure when. I will keep reading your bolgs while you are away but flick me an email when you get back. I am coming to melbourne soon but I am guessing you probably won’t be there. Thought that i might have delivered some cookies but I guess it will have to be next time.

    Talk soon 🙂

    • Mat says:

      Cookies? Can you leave them at the door?? 😀 When are you coming down anyway? I’ll be back on the 5th of June!

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