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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
Would You Believe She Can Carry 800 (Yes, 800!) People!

Emirates Airbus A-380
As she came around the corner we could not believe how big she was. Massive, and yet incredibly beautiful – almost elegant in fact. Her lines were so symmetrical she seemed to blend into a classic example of astonishing good looks. The other fact that amazed all of us was how quiet she was. We felt sure that with the obvious overwhelming power she evidenced, she'd be extra loud. It's a cliché, but she was as quiet as a church mouse – or "as quiet as dreaming trees."

go there

Ringo Boitano's travel blog/review
Highway 49 Revisited: Exploring California's Gold Country

aurora borealis lights up the night sky near Fairbanks
In the 1840s, the population of California was only 14,000, but by 1850 more than 100,000 settlers and adventurers had arrived from all over the world – and they came for one reason: gold. James Marshall had discovered the first gold nugget at Sutter’s Mill in El Dorado County, creating the largest gold rush in history.

go there

Eric Anderson's travel blog/review
Lake Charles’ Family-Size Low-Key Mardi Gras

dressed-up for the Mardi Gras
The Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras in Lake Charles, the second largest in Louisiana, does not need parents there to avert their children’s eyes. This is family entertainment and children are very much part of it. The main office of the Lake Charles CVB has costumes from last year’s Mardi Gras but it also has figures to fascinate little ones from country boys fishing for their dinner to alligators who have already fed and are rubbing their stomachs.

go there

Fyllis Hockman's travel blog/review
Cedar Hill: Frederick Douglass' Home is as Imposing as the Man who Lived There

Cedar Hill, Washington DC
Having recently received a misguided shout-out from the president during Black History Month – Frederick Douglass has done an amazing job... – it seems a good time to revisit the cultural icon's legitimate place in history. And a visit to his home in Washington, DC – surely a place the current president might want to consider visiting himself – would be a good place to start.

Go There

Greg Aragon's travel blog/review
Hanging Out in Huntington Beach, California

Greg at Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach is legendary around the world as one of the best surfing spots. Its waves and beaches are so great, it is also officially known as "Surf City." But as I learned on a recent getaway, the town is more than just tasty swells and beautiful white sand; it also boasts gourmet restaurants, luxury, ocean-front hotels, great shopping, and tons of California coastal charm.

Go There

Bev Cohn's travel blog
Richard Gere and Joseph Cedar Discuss "The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer"

a scene from the documentary 'My Hero Brother'

Richard Gere is one of America's acting treasures. He has an uncanny knack for selecting scripts with the most interesting characters. Included in some of his vast body of films are "American Gigolo, "An Officer and a Gentleman," "The Cotton Club," "Internal Affairs," "Pretty Woman," "Primal Fear," "Unfaithful," and "Chicago." Joseph Cedar, writer and director of the critically acclaimed "The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer," was born in New York City but when he was five, his family moved to Israel where he was raised.

Go There


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