[R and B] Harrods, Hyde Park and Notting Hill

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July 15th 2007
Published: August 7th 2007
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On Saturday morning we braved the crowds and headed off to Knightsbridge to go to Harrods. They were apparently having their once a year sale, but things were still pricey! We had a look around, and saw all the designer labels. I brought some perfume, then we found some food in the food hall that wasn't too over priced, and headed over to Hyde Park to enjoy the sun. It was really nice as there were squirrels running around everywhere, and they would come right up to us, standing up on their back legs to beg for food. We were also right by Lake Serpentine so we went to a cafe overooking the water and watched people paddling around in pedal boats for a while. I left Brandt in the park reading a book while I went back and did a bit more shopping. I had a quick look at Harvey Nichols - they were having a 'sale' and the cheapest thing I saw was a dress going for an incredibly low 1500 pounds! I went to the bathrooms there, and they were very fancy. There was even an attendant directing you and spraying you with perfume. People were leaving tips for her!

On Sunday we headed to Notting Hill. The day started off really nice and warm, and we looked along the market stalls on Portobello Road and had a nice coffee in the sun. After finishing at the stalls we walked to Notting Hill itself - there wasn't much to see, but there were some nice houses (see photos) and it was a very pretty neighbourhood to explore. Apparently, Sunday was the first day of the summer where sunshine was both forecast and actually happened, but unfortunately it didn't last. Just as we had finished our lunch the rain started and it bucketed down for about half an hour. We waited for it to let up before hopping on the tube and heading to the London Science Museum back in Knightsbridge.

The museum was pretty cool, we saw an exhibition on flight and space flight, a spitfire exhibition, an exhibition on the history of the steam engine, the Australian laptop that was used for euthanasia and then banned, a crashed formula one car, and an exceptional exhibit on mathematics and computers which started with the first mechanical calculators and included one of the first computers ever made. I never realised how much of a revolution in thinking it was in making mathematics the domain of the common man rather than just the trained elite. The exhibit included a huge recently built replica of Charles Babbage's Difference Engine, a mechanical calculator designed in the 1800s but never built due to cost overruns. Apparently it can perform complex polynomial calculations to an accuracy of one trillion trillionth! Unfortunately we got there towards the end of the day and had to leave before closing, so we only saw about half of the exhibitions. Hopefully we will make it back there before we leave London and check out the Natural History museum (which is virtually next door to the Science Museum) at the same time.

This weekend we are off to Lille (France) on the Eurostar.

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