Left to Right: View of queue (line) to get into Kensington Palace; Some of Princess Diana’s Dresses; A look at the fountain with Kensington Palace in the Background

Monday, July 17, 2017

Kensington Palace

Once again, I forged out on my own in the morning. That guide book made the palace look so close to the underground station. It’s deceptive. You probably have to walk a good three blocks then across half a giant park to find the palace, but it’s worth it. Inside, you’ll find more state rooms as well as a few rooms they’ve turned into an exhibit for Princess Diana’s dresses. The line wasn’t too big but the area’s a tad cramped anyway. The dresses were lovely, but dresses aren’t really my thing.

After exploring the state rooms for a little, I knew I needed to leave, but I had to walk through more rooms to get to the exit. Of course, it lay just beyond a gift shop, so I had to stop. Impulse buy: adorable teddy bear wearing a sweater that says Kensington Palace. My friend told me the bear was wearing a cricket sweater. He also said that a proper game could go on for five days. Who plays games that last five days? Who watches such things? Where do they find the time?

Wimbleton was going on while I visited, so I didn’t get to see the stadium or do any of those tours, but I think I sort of understand the game of tennis better.

Curzon Bloomsbury – (Movie Theater)

Met my friend outside the movie theater and saw A Man Called Ove. I’m pretty sure we were the youngest in that theater, but since the theater only held about 12 people, that’s not saying too much. Guess I should write a full movie review, but here’s the short version. It’s not my typical type of movie, but I enjoyed it. I’m never going to read the book, but I’m told the story’s really good. It was a nice compromise to be able to see it, even with subtitles. Grumpy man meets lively family. Favorite part: when he told the woman not to let the ambulance drive in. Not generally a fan of flashbacks either, but in this case, I think the tactic worked well.

Since I could, I got a cappuccino at the concessions stand where you buy the tickets. The London Pass comes with the ability to see a free movie at one of four Curzon theaters. I never tried to see two movies, so I don’t know if that’s possible, but there’s so much stuff to do in that city, who’d want to take the time. Each Curzon theater played a whole plethora of different small, indie movies, so finding something to see was challening. I’m happy with my choice though.

Patisserie Valerie

Since the movie was at an awkward time and I didn’t get a proper lunch, we ate a snack at Patisserie Valerie near the theater. Interestingly, the food cost more to eat in than take out. We sat down anyway even though the weather was nice enough to take it somewhere else. Got an apple danish. Eh, there are worse lunches in the world. Had another cappuccino. Even though it was delicious, I couldn’t finish this one because I’d just finished the one in the movie. If I recall correctly, my friend had a croissant. Not a very filling lunch, but a nice snack.

Got some cakes to share with the people who opened their home to me. Not sure which one I tried, but it was excellent.

Dinner at the Pub

Went to a pub with my other friends that evening. Don’t recall the name of it, but I do remember getting sausage and mash (mashed potatoes). Weirdest thing. I had to sign a paper in order to take the leftovers home. Basically, it was a “don’t sue us if you get sick” paper, but I found it rather amusing. Well, the leftovers didn’t kill me, but I can see why they’d want something like that as protection. People are crazy. Not sure if they’re as eager to sue you over in England as they are in the US, but it’s understandable if a little weird.

All in all, a lovely experience and a good close to a busy day.

Need to Catch Up?

Part 1: Preparation, Planning, Cost

Part 2: Arrival and First Day in the City (The London Museum)

Part 3: Getting into Tourist Mode (British Museum)

Part 4: Windsor Castle

Part 5: Buckingham Palace and More Museums (Natural History and Science Museums)

Part 6: Tower Bridge, HMS Belfast, Shakespeare’s Globe

Part 7: City Cruises, Greenwich, and Church

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