Wednesday, June 2, 2010

My London Trip - The Final Chapter

After we got back from Paris, we took a day off to rest and shop and for Katie to get ready to fly to Houston to be with Niall.  We saw Mama Mia in the West End the night before she left.  Being a big time Abba fan and so in love with the movie, I really enjoyed it.  I practically danced all the way back to the flat!

Elizabeth and I had the flat to ourselves for the last 3 days of the trip.  I had picked up some sort of bug in Paris, so I slept a lot while she enjoyed a relaxing vacation.  We did get out and do a few things, one of which was to tour St. Paul's Cathedral and climb all those steps to the top of the dome.  The view was amazing (once I caught my breath, that is).

After a quick bite to eat, we set off for the Barbicon Centre to see the Céleste Boursier-Mougenot work in the Curve Gallery.  The exhibit is a fabulous walk through aviary for a group of zebra finches which contains electric guitars and other instruments.  As the finches go about their ordinary lives, they create an interesting random soundscape.  There are only 25 people allowed in the aviary at one time, so we had to stand in line.  The viewers are all very respectful of the finches and I had a pair land on my shoulder for a grooming session!  Here's a great video about the exhibit.

On the way there, we accidentaly came upon Aldersgate and some ruins of the London Wall.

Our last day was spent at Hampton Court Palace and what a beautiful day it was.  The weather was abolutely perfect! We toured the kitchens as well as the private apartments of King Henry VIII, and William and Mary.

Elizabeth walked the palace gardens while I spent some time in the Royal School of Needlework.  There were no pictures allowed in the school and I don't even have a picture of the outside, since the back area of the palace is under construction.  Many beautiful embroidery pieces of all sorts have been donated to the school.  I was able to participate in a private tour of part of the collection.  The school's curator did a fabulous job telling about the pieces and their stories.  We also got to view and discuss in detail the quilts in the school's collection.  Generally, quilts don't fall under the category of embroidery, so these pieces will eventually be sold to raise money for conservation of the embroidery pieces.  Some of the quilts had not been finished, so we could look at the piece work of the tops.  It was fascinating! 

By then the it was late in the afternoon, so Liz gave me the "executive summary" tour of the gardens.  I made this collage of some of the pictures I took:

I took a bunch of pictures around the castle, too.  If you're interested, click here to see my London - Final Chapter photo album.

All in all, this was a trip worth remembering!  Many thanks to all my readers who "traveled" with me on this blog and left such fun comments!

Now I'm off to the mountains of North Carolina for an EGA region seminar.  I'm looking forward to seeing old friends and having 3 whole days to just stitch.  Take care!


April Mechelle said...

I have loved looking at all your pictures and reading the blog about your trip !!! Thanks so much for sharing !!!

Margaret said...

That's so cool! I'd love to see the view from St Paul's dome! It's funny -- one rarely sees what modern London looks like. Nice to see some pics of it! The rest of your trip sounds wonderful too. The Royal School of Embroidery -- lucky you! Sorry you got a bug in there, real bummer! Thanks so much for sharing your trip with us. I'm a real Anglophile so I really enjoyed it!

Siobhan said...

How fun!! Thanks for sharing the pics. Enjoy your trip over in the US, too!

Gina E. said...

I haven't left any comments so far, but I've greatly enjoyed your photos and story about your trip. What bad luck that you got sick - nothing like illness to spoil a holiday! I SOOOO envy you being able to go into the Royal School of Needlework - that would have been sensational.
The zebra finch project was quite weird...why on earth would anybody set up something like that??