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Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London July 19th 2021

Finally, we were free to go where we wanted, so what did we do first? The Harry Potter Museum. I’d already purchased tickets for the evening but the museum had 2 tickets available in the afternoon and since we didn’t have anything else scheduled I grabbed the tickets, hopped in an Uber and off we went. The Harry Potter Museum is actually the film studio, and the sets are the display. There are also displays of masks and how they are made, displays of costumes and how they are made. At each display there is a film on how the scene was filmed, giving away the secrets. It is actually quite interesting although, Zaya, was surprised to see that actors were shorter in real life, items smaller in person and the magic so simple. Still, Zaya ... read more
Hogwarts Express
Trying to bush the baggage cart thru the wall.
Butter Beer

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London » Greenwich July 18th 2021

When we planned this trip, the UK had announced that they would open to everyone on July 10th. Consequently, we purchased tickets for theater, Highclere Castle and the Globe for dates after that. After we left the US and were well underway in our travels, the UK announced that they would not open up until July 19th. Anyone arriving before July 19thwould need to quarantine for 10 days. We had lots of discussions on what to do, our options: 1. Go to the UK and take our chances that things would change, 2. Go to another location from Paris and wait for July 19th, 3. Go home. We decided quickly that we didn’t want to go home so we started thinking about where we might want to go for 10-days and how we’d spend the 5-days ... read more
View from the kitchen into the living room
Along the walk from the test back to the apt.
In London waiting for our results

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London July 1st 2021

From my trip to Wimbledon in 2009: That my dear friends, is my seat in Centre Court, Wimbledon, Friday, June 26, 2009. I got to see Novak Djokovic take apart an American named Mardy Fish. It was almost embarrassing rooting for a guy named Mardy, and a last name Fish. But the crowds were clearly rooting for him, as they hate Djok. He is known as a poor sportsman and uses every bit of the rules to his advantage. This would be frequent potty breaks and "injury" timeouts. I arrived a little later than normal, but it still takes over three hours to do the queue. I met the nicest family from Dallas, the Korineks, and four of their five children. One son, Alex is an aspiring junior player, who ... read more
She autographed my XXXX!
Ross!
The queue at nearby park

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London » Totteridge June 2nd 2021

We did the trekking course on Dollis Valley Greenwalk from Whetstone to Mill Hill East on 11th May and found its northern route course – we decided to do the latter course on 31st May. I felt that we would be doing country walk; so we would have a picnic lunch at Arnos Park in the lunch time before approaching Whetstone/Totteridge. The 251 bus was running as normal on the Bank Holiday and it brought us to Whetstone/Totteridge station. There were two concrete paths running northwards – one was footpath and the other one was cycle path – we were advised to stick to the right-hand path. Like the Dollis Valley Greenwalk towards Mill Hill, the course was running along Dollis Brook, but we were largely shown open space surrounded by wide variety of trees, rich ... read more
egret
Cows
Mark navigating the walk


Mark has a privilege day – the day after the 2nd Bank Holiday – and it usually is sunny day every year. We decided to visit Regent Park on 1st June. Regent Park is the most memorable place for us – this is where we first went out together 26 years ago. We strolled through rose garden, Japanese water garden, sunken garden, etc on Queen Mary’s Garden and were blessed with a wide variety of scented old roses, clematis, lavenders and colourful flowers on the water-rock garden. Next, we walked around Boating Lake. Lots of paddle boats were out and driven by tourists – and we were greeted by a wide variety of waterfowls – herons, ducks, swans, glebes that looked very contended and pleasant under the sunny weather and in the lake surrounded by green. ... read more
purple flowers
Chihiro standing on the bridge
ducks on the serpentine lake

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London » Highgate May 16th 2021

Our Highgate Literary Walk on 2 May finished at Waterlow Park – we liked its beautiful scenery of the park – and we decided to visit there on 9th May. We took the No.41 bus to Archway and walked up on the Highgate Hill High Street towards the park. We strolled through main ponds, looked at waterfowls, aquatic plants and explored the park in the sunny afternoon. We found the park was situated on the hill; after climbing up towards Highgate Village, it offered breathtaking views of central London and skyscrapers. We also found the cemetery and Gothic architectural style of buildings on the Westside of the park, which we visited the previous Sunday. While looking at the nature around the lakes, we found a very intriguing scene – there were a couple of turtles sitting ... read more
Waterlow Park
Blue flowers on the kitchen garden
White Dove in the tree


During the lockdown, I bought ‘Walking in London Park, Heath and Waterside’ by Peter Aylmer at WHSmith. We decided to do the trekking course around Enfield Chase via Trent Park on the 11th April. We had visited Trent Park several times and were familiar with woodland walk starting from the lake by the cemetery and various walking courses in Trent Park. After reaching Obelisk, we took the left on the T-junction and walked across Hadley Road. We followed the trail by Ash Wood and Duncan Wood. On 11th April, we saw several walkers along the trail. The surface of the footpath was dry but uneven; we had to stay careful around our foot, e.g. branches, left on the footpath. It was warm enough to do picnic; we had a picnic lunch in the Trent ... read more
Mark sitting on the bench
Cattles on the pasture field
Views from Cuckolds Hill

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London » Kensington May 16th 2021

We travelled to central London a couple of time last year to visit Wakehurst Place and Ashridge Estate, but have not gone into the West End since the pandemic began. We visited Holland Park near Kensington High Street several years ago and decided to visit there on 12th May. Firstly, we strolled around formal gardens next to Holland House. In Dutch Garden there were collections of two coloured, Pink/purple and white tulips and bed flowers and they were blooming beautifully in knotted gardens. Secondly, we went to Kyoto Garden, traditional Japanese zen garden. There were signs shown on the footpath – visitors are asked to walk around in the clockwise direction and not to stop especially on the stone bridge near the waterfall. Some people seemed to be ignoring signs – the annoyed visitor asked them ... read more
Heron
Jay
Peacock

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London » Totteridge May 16th 2021

I’ve been travelling back home from Edgware since 2018 and have found it interesting to see the country walks which have been shown me from the windows every time I travelled on the bus. On e of them is Dollis Brook Walk via Woodside Park which runs Totteridge/Whetstone to the viaduct for Mill Hill East Northern Line branch. We decided to do this walk on Tuesday, 11th May. After having lunch, we took the Piccadilly Line to Arnos Grove and took the No.251 bus from Arnos Grove. We got off at Totteridge/Whetstone station. The trekking course stared from the green park, a few minutes walks from the bus stop. We were following the winding footpath along Dollis Brook. Clear water was flowing on Dollis Brook which was surrounded by dense bushes, old trees and wild flowers, ... read more
Signposts
Garlic flowers
Viaduct for Northern Line Mill Hill East Branch

Europe » United Kingdom » England » Greater London » Highgate May 5th 2021

In order to enhance our staycation, I’ve bought a couple of walking guides – one was ‘Walking Literary London’. I suggested to Mark we would do a walk in Highgate on the 1st Bank Holiday. Weather forecast on the 1st Bank Holiday wasn’t promising; so we decided to do on Sunday, 2nd May. We started the walk from Parkland Walk at Muswell Hill and walked towards Highgate Wood. We had a picnic lunch at Highgate Wood before starting the trekking course around Highgate village. Quite a few shops and were opened up on Highgate High Street as of 2nd May. After leaving Highgate Station, we turned right and walked uphill on Jackson Lane. I noticed that there were a number of beautiful, stylish red-brick houses and modernist houses in Highgate. This charming residential suburban residential area ... read more
St Michael Church
Highgate East Cemetery
Waterlow Park




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