Tuesday, October 21, 2014

You go up the escalator, you go down the escalator. A multi-story escalator. In between, you catch some rays at Green Park. England Scotland Heritage Tour, 2014




I live with a fear of heights and motion sickness, plus a pair of 66-year-old knees. Guess where I went once I'd taken this photo, motion-sickness-acupressure-bracelets on each wrist? To the right to hold on for dear life so that this blessed escalator could take me up to street level. Our goal, to spend a few minutes in Green Park.


You see, when I got my first paying job after high school I bought a book with my first paycheck, a lovely, over-sized book filled with memorable photographs of London taken in the late 1960s. I lost that book somewhere, but I've always remembered a particular photo of Green Park. My photo is not a match for that one--it was in the trees, dappled sun and shadow. Mine, flooded with sunshine, shows you the Park Deckchairs, something I could have gotten in and out of back in the late 1960s.


There goes Juliet on the right, circling Diana of the Treetops, the combination sculpture and water fountain for people and dogs which was moved just outside the new Underground entrance in 2011. Originally installed elsewhere in Green Park in 1954 and sculpted by Estcourt James--Jim--Clack in 1951 after he won the competition to create a fountain  for the park, the gilding was added prior to the move to this location. The sculpture was commissioned by the Constance Fund, set up by Constance, widow of sculptor Sigismund C. H. Goetze. In his memory she wanted to "encourage and promote the art of sculpture in London parks."

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We didn't take time to walk out into the park since I was on a tight schedule--my solicitor friend Richard Taylor had invited me to be his guest at the Quit Rents Ceremony and I needed to meet him at 2:30 p.m. in front of the Royal Courts of Justice on The Strand which is within walking distance of our destination, Covent Garden. Now for the scariest part of the ride on London's world-famous Underground--the down escalator. Once again, I held on and concentrated on realizing that I would stay upright and make it to the bottom so we could jump on a train and make our way to Covent Garden.

Monday, October 20, 2014

What we experienced walking to the Earl's Court tube station Tuesday morning, October 7. England Scotland Heritage Tour, 2014, from Trafalgar



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Breakfast at the hotel. We made the decision to walk to Earl's Court tube station which would allow us to take a single line to Covent Garden, our destination for the day. Well, until I would have to split off in order to meet my friend Richard Taylor for our exciting time at the Royal Courts of Justice on The Strand. The whole walk, we kept saying, "Look at this sunshine. These blue skies. I am so glad we decided to walk because we got to see this lovely street." (I found Eardley Crescent on Google Maps. It's just as pretty to take that walk with the Google Street View man since Google shot it on a sunny day.) It had been pouring rain the day before when we rode in from Heathrow and still drizzling off and on when we went to visit Camden Market and then back to the hotel. Sunshine, on our second and last free day in London--brilliant!

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I dare you to walk by this entrance and not take a photo. Picturesque and appealing are just two words that come to mind when I look at my own photo of it.

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These steps fascinated me. I immediately asked Juliet to stand at the top for a photo, completely forgetting that someone inside might open the door at any moment. Thankfully that didn't happen because I got to take this pretty photo of her! I like how her sweater and slacks match the colors on the house, as does her purse. In fact, the angle of her bag matches the angle of the handrail. Serendipity! Oh, would you be able to walk up and down that design on a daily basis? I probably could without my motion sickness bracelets, once my brain was used to having it at my feet.

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Purple flowers on the window sill.

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Red flowers on the window sill of a house a few steps away from the one with the purple flowers.

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Now, that's a fancy way to display your address, isn't it? Right there on the pillar beside your front door. But it was the unique window that caught my eye--I didn't notice the address until I had uploaded the photo to Flickr.

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We turned left onto Warwick Road and could see the Earl's Court tube station down the block. See the white rectangular sign with the red circle that has a blue line through it? The blue line reads Underground in white letters. That marks the entrance to the station. Guess what? On the Google Map of that tube station, the sign in my photography had not yet been installed. I'm certainly glad it was there when we needed to see it! The locked bicycles caught my eye next. I ended up taking several photos of bicycles locked up like these in several locations on the tour. I don't remember seeing any bicycles on the underground trains, nor do I remember seeing any place to hang a bicycle by its front wheel like we have on the MAX Light Rail trains in Portland. I cannot imagine holding onto a bicycle on those multi-story escalators in many of the tube stations. More on those in tomorrow's post.