Wednesday, August 16, 2017

More London

Having more than three whole days before our flight to Greece, we spent it moving around London.  Utilizing an Oyster Card to ride the London Underground (the Tube), we met daughter #2 near St. Paul's Cathedral and walked to the Tate Modern, the large modern art gallery.


From the "Wobbly Bridge", you can see two newer buildings since we were here last in 2010:  the Walkie Talkie in 2014 and the Shard in 2013. 


Looking from the Tate Modern Museum Restaurant, the Millenium Bridge is used by many, many walkers.


After a wonderful lunch on the top floor of the Tate Modern, we walked along the south side of the Thames looking for the Design Museum.  These silver birch trees are planted bankside of the Tate Modern, a most unusual planting in the midst of London.


It was Friday afternoon and people were starting to gather for their after work pint of ale.


Borough Market is virtually under the south end of London Bridge...the one that was terrorized most recently and just two weeks after we had passed through.


I could not believe how close we were to the water.


Looking back at Tower Bridge, the mix of architecture styles is quirky at best.  Besides the Walkie Talkie building you can see the Cheesegrater and the Gherkin.  What about those paddle wheel boats?


On Saturday morning we went to an Affordable Art Faire near Hampstead Heath.  The view from the park outside the art pavilion seemed so typically English.




We walked up the hill to the top of Hampstead Heath to gaze on surrounding London.


On our way to lunch, we passed a doorway that led to George Orwell's former lodgings.


Saturday, August 12, 2017

Layover in London

Our hotel was near the Speaker's Corner of Hyde Park, so after settling in from our long flight, we began our walk through the park.  It was a delightful, sunny afternoon with many Londoners enjoying the warmth and peace of the day.  Spring was definitely in the air with many flowers blooming.




Continuing through Mayfair, we saw a milliner's display.  This shoppe will probably provide many of the ladies' accessories for the upcoming Royal Ascot Races later in June.


Although this was my third trip into London, the British Museum is always on my list of places to visit.  You cannot walk in directly anymore, of course.  Any bag you bring with you must be investigated, but this fount of antiquities is still free to visit.


As a sixth grade teacher who taught early civilizations, the Rosetta Stone was the one antiquity I always had to see again and again.  Having been to Egypt to view the pyramids and tombs, I have had misgivings about advanced cultures finding, taking, and shipping home the bountiful discoveries of early explorers and archaeologists.  But due to all the unrest and wanton destruction of irreplaceable buildings, statuary, and artifacts of the world's earliest civilizations, I am more comfortable with and thankful for their actions.


The Old Red Lion on High Holborn became a favorite pub of ours.  These steep stairs led up to the restaurant and the ladies' room.


I had never been to Covent Garden.  We just passed by this tourist highlight on our walk through various neighborhoods.


Jim's youngest daughter took us for an afternoon glass of wine to one of her favorite spots, Neal's Yard.  It is out of the way, small, quiet, and restful.




Window dressing...?  Selfridges would be aghast!


After attending an evening play near Leicester Square, we walked back to our hotel along Regent Street.


Thursday, August 10, 2017

Would You Rather...

Would you rather see the Vermillion Cliffs or raft the Colorado River?  We have friends that swear by the Vermillion Cliffs.  On our way home to California, we followed US89A to see the cliffs.  Our first stop was at the Navajo Bridge Interpretive Center.  You can walk to the bridge(s) and view the Colorado River in both directions.









Since we were driving a little rental Toyota car, we chose to go to Lees Ferry which was one of the very few places to cross the Colorado River before any bridge was built.






Lees Ferry is where you might start your rafting trip downriver through the Grand Canyon.


We walked the Spencer Trail upriver from the raft landing and saw four beautiful horses.


A motorboat headed north towards Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell near Page, Arizona.



Driving back out to the highway then west along the southern edge of Vermillion Cliffs, we saw unusual rocks carved from wind erosion.


Our limited views only hint at what one could possibly see wandering onto the dirt roads and trails into this national monument.  Online there are photos of amazing views that await the off-road adventurer.








Thursday, August 3, 2017

Monument Valley

Jim has always wanted to see Monument Valley.  We finally got there this past April.  Actually, there are many magnificent sights as you drive to the Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park.  Vistas are virtual rainbows of color.










Once in the park, you follow a one-way 17 mile dirt road passing amazing rock formations with very apt names such as Elephant Butte, Totem Pole, and Three Sisters.  There are many parking areas for taking photos.












Monument Valley is famous for many westerns that were filmed there.  Maybe that is why it looks familiar.