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Tom Weber: Central London

Saturday in the Park
Story and photos by Tom Weber

flowers on the side of a central London street
I know 10 Downing Street is around here somewhere.

f you’re reading this post and on that side of The Pond attending the London 2012 Olympics, lucky you and your turf accountant, too; or as the MPs inside Westminster Hall would exclaim, “Brilliant!” If, however, you’re one of the 6.5 billion or so not in attendance, hang with me anyway and file this note away for future reference.

daisies
Is it ‘look left’ or ‘look right’? I guess I’ll know the answer
IF I make it across the street.

Here’s an inexpensive tourist idea to keep you “focused” in between relays – on the track and in the water. I’m talking about a self-designed photo shoot to the largest grass area in Central London, not too far from the winners of gold, silver and bronze; and those now agonizing, or soon to be, with defeat.

The Royal Parks

walkway at The Regent's Park, London
Now, why is everyone calling me ‘gov’nor’? I’ve never run for office before.

Our photo-shoot destination is The Regent’s Park (TRP) – actually Londoners drop the “The” and just call it Regent’s Park – the greenest spot in all of Central London and one of The Royal Parks.

It was King Henry VIII who appropriated TRP for his personal hunting ground – beasts, not women – and a place for his horses to stretch their legs. If the "Hankster" were around today, he wouldn’t even recognize it – the stylish and well-manicured gardens, parents and their kids taking a leisurely stroll, joggers of all speeds racing by, loads of sports fields at The Hub waiting to be booked, restaurants, cafes, an open-air theatre and the world-class London Zoo.

left: winged lion figure at the English Garden; right: red tea rose, The Regent's Park, London
L – Mind the gap, I mean grass. R – Is that a tea rose?

It’s summertime. A Saturday in the park. Just a bit more than a fortnight past the colonialists’ Fourth of July.

Flowers of every color are in full bloom. Fountains have all been buffed, polished and pigeon residue removed. Ducks and swans have landed safely and quack and splash in the small lakes and ponds that dot the landscape. And, best of all, most of the gray gloom has lifted, at least for a while.

left: a swan with a group of Canada geese in the background; right: a fountain at The Regent's Park
L – Look, that’s one of the swans the bloke’s writing about. R – Not much in there, just a few bob.

What do you say we (me, virtually because I’M NOT THERE) take off the lens cap, meander around and take a few shots? Okay then. Tallyho!

…Five hours later -- which is way more than twice the time it’ll take to run the Olympic marathon -- and included consuming a large plate of “bangers and mash” along with a few pints of Fuller’s London Pride, here’s some of what we shot:

flowers at The Regent's Park, central London, picture 1

flowers at The Regent's Park, central London, picture 2

pond and flowers at The Regent's Park, central London, picture 3

flowers at The Regent's Park, central London, picture 3

flowers at The Regent's Park, central London, picture 4

(The) Regent’s Park – Everything you need to know is just one click away at: http://www.royalparks.org.uk/parks/the-regents-park.

Related Articles:
Trains, Trips and Tennis, London; A London You Probably Never Knew Existed; Duxford Aviation Museum; The Ritz, London; Buckingham Palace; A 700-Year Old Ceremony


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Let Tom know what you think about his traveling adventure.

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Feedback for Destination Bosnia: Inside Sarajevo's Tunnel of Hope

Spent time in Sarajevo in the fall of 1973…beer was excellent!

--- David

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Hi Tom,

I must say, you're photographs are always amazing. They are top notch. You bring so much class to Traveling Boy. It's photographs like yours that make me want to go out and do my own traveling. Please don't get tired of sending us your amazing adventures. It's such a delight for the soul.

--- Raoul, Whittier, CA

* * * *

Hi Tom:

I'm also an American living in Italy. I've read with interest your blog and articles. I'd like to speak with you regarding residency and citizenship for Americans in Italy as you do seem to have a great deal of knowledge on all of these subjects. Would it be possible to give you a call on the phone? If so, please let me know how to reach you. If not, I can ask my questions via email.

Thank you!

--- David

* * * *

Hey Tom – Wow! Love those photos – they are so super that they make me A) Want to start eating NOW. B) Go there myself. C) See all that pristine beauty that looks so restful and peaceful. Great story, superb pix!!! Bravo!!

--- John, Los Angeles, CA

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Feedback for Destination Southwestern France: Saint-Émilion

Good job, Tom, and timely info. St. Émilion is in the list of places Jim Hayes and I will visit in September 2014. If we get the chance, we will exploit your experience to enhance the trip!

--- Bobby Harper, Dameron, MD

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Feedback for Vicenza Walks – Monte Berico

I lived in Vicenza for 4 years in the U.S. ARMY from 1963 to 1967. A wonderful place to explore. Palladio’s works are amazing. Have been back twice since and find new places to visit. My favorite is MONTE BERICO where I have some wonderful photos of my family.

--- Dr. Albert Pizzi, Hanover, MA

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I liked the new TB particularly the Vicenza article that took me back as a youth when we lived in Naples and travelled up there for a baseball tourney (U.S. Military Bases dependent schools played each other.)

Took me back to the plaza.

--- Bill

Feedback for A Canterbury Trail (Sutri)

Very interesting note. I have wedroned which route the early pre-Christian and Christian pilgrims travelled to Rome from England. Is it still possible to travel the Francigena trail?

--- Pawel

You can find out more info on walking tours of Via Francigena at this site: http://www.compagniadeicammini.it/en/. Thanks for stopping by and commenting..

Tom

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Good article, enjoyed reading it. Saved your recommended sights for future use.

--- Dardenne Prairie, MO

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You're going to be great at this Tom. Congrats.

--- Donna Vissa -Montreal


John Clayton's travel blog/review
Buckingham Palace – It's THE Most Popular Tour in Great Britain (Part 2 of a 2-Part Series)

Buckingham Palace exit
Is it more momentous for a Brit to do the Buckingham Palace tour than say an American or indeed any other nationality? Yes, I know that's an odd question, but if you grow up – as I did – in London back in the 1950s, getting inside Buckingham Palace was the stuff of dreams. Hence my surprise at touring BP in 2005.

Ringo Boitano's travel blog/review
Paradise on Earth: The Romance of Tahiti and Her Islands

aurora borealis lights up the night sky near Fairbanks
The first thing you notice is the fragrance. The intoxicating perfume of the tiare flower announces to your senses that you are in a magical place, overflowing with tropical vegetation and soothing trade winds. It is the same fragrance that the English seamen on the HMS Bounty also first encountered; but they came, not for flowers, but for breadfruit, intended as a new food staple for their slaves in the West Indies.

Eric Anderson's travel blog/review
Provence: As Much a Mood, a Spirit as a Destination

Christmas card
"On a Clear Day You Can See Forever" goes the song. Robert Goulet sang it and Barbra Streisand and Johnny Mathis, too, and it surely comes to mind when you stand on a bluff in the Luberon of Provence and stare across at the little hill village of Gordes. The view is the best part; the village's interior itself is not dramatic and stands as a warning of what contemporary popularity can do to the simple homes of 12th century working people.

go there

Fyllis Hockman's travel blog/review
Exploring Venice: Lost and Found. And Special Finds. Repeat.

Venice street musicians
Walking home to our apartment in Venice, we share a wave through the window with the owner of Baba, our local osteria. Leaving for a day of sightseeing, a cup of my favorite pistachio gelato awaits me despite the early hour. At the Bar Dugole, we relax after a day of sightseeing and order the regular: vodka for my husband and Amaretto for me.

Go There

Greg Aragon's travel blog/review
Traveling with Beautiful Boots and a Bison Backpack

Bison Redwood Backpack

People often asked about my favorite travel apparel and gear. This happened to me at the airport recently. One question came as I was putting back on my clothes after going through the TSA checkpoint striptease. Before leaving the area, I heard a soft voice say, "hey, I really like your boots. Where did you get them?" Looking up, I found a uniformed employee staring at my feet.

Go There

Bev Cohn's travel blog
Film Review: "My Hero Brother" – A Tribute to the Human Spirit

a scene from the documentary 'My Hero Brother'

I just spent five days attending the Santa Barbara Film Festival and for the most part, the features, animated shorts, and documentaries were quite professional and compelling. That said, "My Hero Brother," a documentary that was particularly outstanding, told the remarkable and inspiring story about a group of Down syndrome young men and women who go on a two-week trek through the Himalayas with their non-Down syndrome siblings.

Go There


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