Barges...Museums...Bricks...and stuff

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September 16th 2017
Published: September 16th 2017
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Three days that did not exactly go to plan.... the itinerary not being written in stone has suffered many pleasant adjustments.

Regent's Canal Towpath

On Thursday the 14 I did begin the walk along the Regent's Canal Towpath at 10.20 beginning at Little Venice near Paddington Station and heading east with LimeHouse the intended final destination. There are masses of flat river boats moored along the edges of the canal. The centre of the water is still open enough for other barges to pass. Unless one has permanent mooring rights at the price of what a regular flat would cost in the city, ones barge must move every two weeks heading in the same direction for at least 20km/mi cant remember which. Penalties for not moving come to 25GBP/da.Along the towpath as far as I went I encountered six tents set upo to house a homeless person. Three times the path had to be left because of construction or an impassable by foor tunnel. The way had to be found thru a maze of city streets past more constuction, thru housing projects, past shops and restaurants and thru major traffic.

A wonderful vegetarian restaurants was found by Chapel
PAssage under a roadPAssage under a roadPAssage under a road

.... bikes are many and go fast
MArket. After an all you can eat buffet for 6GBP a walk thru the market revealled a vendor selling REAL corn on the cob ... not that peaches and cream stuff. Since I have eaten alll my veggies I will be going to this market on Sunday. It is closed Monday.

One of the barges along the way has been fitted out to be a floating bookshop. Could have sat down in there and stayed for the rest of the day. Saw three books I would have bought had I not a backpack that is bursting the zippers. Spoke to three lock operators ..."The Regent's Canal runs from the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union Canal at Little Venice to Limehouse Basin, which joins on to the Tidal Thames and Limehouse Cut. It is 8.6 miles (13.8 km) long and has 13 locks" .... wikipedia. THe locks are operated by hand . Some days are busy but on Thursday there was much standing about and coffee drinking. Even though n umerous pubs and restaurants are open along the towpath the lock operators are not allowed to imbibe.

By 16.00 I had made it as far as Victoria Park ... and then the path and the water disappeared again. That was the final detour. Found an appropriate bus stop, and rode back to the beginning. THe sandwiches not eaten at lunch became the evening snack. My tortured toes received a cold cold spray It is always dangerous to lie down for a short rest after a soothing hot shower. There are days when only late in the evening or early in the morning is there a wake up call to the toilet and tooth brushing.

British Museum & ST. George Cathedral

The first order of the day on Sept. 14th was to send in the signed request to my car insurance to take off the coverage. The little puddle jumper is sitting under the carport at my sister's. This was a convoluted process. The insurance had sent a PDF. THen girl at reception here at Wilson Hose printed it out. She has no copier. I was on my way to such a facility. Stopped in at a local hotel because the copy place could not be found. When the explanation was made to the receptionist at this second hotel she volunteered to do me the
Gothic CathedralGothic CathedralGothic Cathedral comment... no dragon....
favour of copying and sending via email my signed suspension agreement. LUCKY DAY! The post office was just down the street and here the refund request for a 57GBP trainn ticket had to be sent to Edinburgh.

Finally ... off to the British Museum. Walked quite a distance but missed "The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology in London, part of University College London Museums and Collections. The museum contains over 80,000 objects and ranks among some of the world's leading collections of Egyptian and Sudanese material."

At the museum initially visited the current exhibition of Scythian gold, leather, wood and felt artifacts. The skills portrayed in these objects make one want to really explore the topic of Scythians much more fully. "Scythians were a large group of Iranian Eurasian nomads who were mentioned by nearby literate peoples as inhabiting large areas in the central Eurasian steppes from about the 9th century BC until about the 1st century BC. "Scythians kept herds of horses, cattle, and sheep, lived in tent-covered wagons, and fought with bows and arrows on horseback. They developed a rich culture characterized by opulent tombs, fine metalwork, and a brilliant art style". Most of the artifacts in the exhipit came fro St. Petersburg. The emphasis was on the gold and metal skills and the link with POeter he Great and the succession of finds since his time in the Siberian Steppe. It was a pleasant experience but not as exciting as the room in the basement of the Hermitage where the ode to the horse, that horse so important to the Scythians, is housed. That room is the most exciting for me in the Hermitage. The most important room at the British Museum is the room 27 where the Benin sculptures are displayed.
"Benin art is the art from the Kingdom of Benin or Edo Empire (1440–1897), a pre-colonial African state located in what is now known as the South-South region of Nigeria. › World › Benin, 12 Aug 2017 - The British Museum will take part in a European summit to discuss the return of art seized from the Benin kingdom, now part of southern Nigeria, by a British punitive expedition in 1897 as “reparations” after it defied the British empire by imposing customs duties." from the internet.

Am happy that I have visited. The african treasures here at the museum are just too sublime. After doing justice to this collection it was time to sit and have a coffee ... sat beside two women from Australia here for a five week trip. One of the women had broken her leg...poor thing... her friend had to push the wheelchair! They did a difficult hike....cannot remember the name. Hope Hadrian's is flat.

And then on to search for St. Gearge. One would think that a cathedral named after the patron saint of England would hold a statue of George and his dragon. Big disappointment. Cold unlovely church. waste of a subway ride. Oh well... had to see it to not find it ...;-)

Once back on track went grocery shopping. Waitrose is a lovely grocery store ...a cut above Tesco... so instead of buying a take out meal enough groceries were bought to cook up a nice all in one pot evening meal. Have enough for another meal another day. The meal was almost delicious... not enough spices ... the small rest before work on blog was deadly.

The body gave out and sleep over took the will to

...on the other side of the path some of the cages fron the London Zoo can be seen.
do anything. Oh well....tomorrow is another day.

Crystal Palace and V&A

The primary reason for this visit was to visit London for the Open House weekend. The best buildings require tickets. Since the booklet did not arrive until late in August by the time the list was perusaled the tickets were all ready gone.Not to be defeated after a LONG sleep the way was made directly to Crystal Palace where free entry was available. One only had to queue. I was third in line. Spent two hours sharing banter with a lovely couple who lived within walking distance of this venue. "The stunning Victorian Crystal Palace Subway, in south London, was built almost 150 years ago but has been closed to passengers since 1954. The station was originally built to bring passengers to the Crystal Palace, once the largest glass structure in the world, before it was destroyed by fire in 1936." internet

After viewing the glorious brickwork and hearing a short talk about the history of the site the couple and I went to have a coffee in a crowded restaurant. After going to Crystal Palace Park to look at the tiered
Camden MarketCamden MarketCamden Market

... all the usual stuff ... nothing one needs but it sure looks inviting
structure left from the 1860 and looking at many repainted sphinxies new aquaintences were bid goodbye. It was a most gratifying encounter.

Retourned to the inner city by train and went directly to the V&A ...Victoria and Albert. OMG.... what a lot of stuff! shelves and shelves of everyhing. The ceramics where inspiring ...the glass so so. It was just halls and halls of stuff. "The Victoria and Albert Museum, London, is the world's largest museum of decorative arts and design, housing a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects. It was founded in 1852 and named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert."wiki. As stated ....tooo much stuff. Thinking that it was Friday with sudden surprise the attendants were coralling visitors out of the exhibition halls. Instead of 22.00, because it was Saturday, the place closed at 17.30. No oidea why I thought it was friday. While speaking with a Londoner in the bookshop I knew it was Saturday because it was her day off from teaching. This was also a pleasant encounter. So far so Good... have met many nice people already and it is only day five. Have not visited St. Pauls,Kensington Palace, Museum of the Docklands,
Bookshop on a BargeBookshop on a BargeBookshop on a Barge

... the proprietor now has a permanent spot here.He has been on the canal for decades ....always moving
Tate Modern ... am I worried... no... have had five full days, speaking with intersting people, seeing unexpected sights and experiencing places off the beaten track. AND that's what an adventure is all about!

Additional photos below
Photos: 18, Displayed: 18


Diversion Diversion

... to get over the long tunnel it was necessary to walk thru residential area. Notice the aluminium shards protecting property.
Carnival SculptureCarnival Sculpture
Carnival Sculpture

...powerful....beautiful... amazing
Deadheaders HeavenDeadheaders Heaven
Deadheaders Heaven

....Geraniums in all colours ... all in need of many to be dealt with
A  Circle of BooksA  Circle of Books
A Circle of Books

There was no auxiliary support in this ring of books at the British Museum Bookshop.
For the PotterFor the Potter
For the Potter

...did not eat one ... pasty for the miners so they could eat lunch without washing hands...the pastry became the container....the thick edge was for fingers that were full of coal dust and other poisons
For the CollectorFor the Collector
For the Collector

...sorry could not get it for you
At the V&AAt the V&A
At the V&A

....must send my teapot...looking at these my work is ready to be exhibited.

17th September 2017

For the potter
I would have to live close by. And become fat or death by eating too many pasties.

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