London meandering#

Posted 2023-02-27

I went to London when my destination was Paris. Reason: a nicely-priced direct flight from Denver to London Heathrow, some targeted London-area sightseeing wishes, and an excuse to take the Eurostar through the Chunnel. So my daughter, who lives in Paris, met me in London, and we made the most of it. As I am an enthusiast of Great Britain and London literature, arts, and science prowess through the generations, London was a welcome detour. We let those interests shape our path about the city.

We enjoyed Sunday evening concert titled "Seeing the Light" by BBC Concert Orchestra with guest conductor Anna-Maria Helsing at Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre. It included a spectacular rendition -- now my favorite rendition -- of Arvo Part's "Fratres" featuring solo violinist Mari Samuelsen. queen elizabeth hall queen elizabeth hall

Day-long meandering began mid morning Monday with a bus and walk trip to the Royal Institution, labratory home of Micheal Faraday, Humphry Davy, and many other notables of science, in operation since 1799, continuously in the current 21 Albemarle Street location. They "do" science, and they share science with the public. Also, downstairs they have a small but excellent museum of RI science through the ages, including a reconstruction of Faraday's lab. faraday lab

A walk from RI to Thames Victoria Embankment took us past Piccadilly Circus and numerous embassies, including Canada's, which was immediately prior to Trafalgar Square from our approach. piccadilly circus canadian embassy

Thames' Victoria Embankment was of interest in part because of historic applied science -- 1864 -- when the embankment was built to the design of Sir Joseph Bazalgette to both constrain the Thames and implement a forward-looking, metro-wide sewage system. At the north landing of the Hungerford Bridge we chanced to cross the street to a sculptured homage to Bazalgette -- weren't aware it existed -- with the inscription: FLVMINI VINCVLA POSVIT, or, he put the river in chains. Below are a few pictures from that area of the Thames. hungerford bridge bazalgatte skyline across thames london eye tree in blossom

Next we took the tube to the Borough of Camden to stop in at Abbey Road Studios. As the timelines below detail, the studio started in the 1930's, with Edward Elgar the driving force, so it had built its reputation and acclaim long before John, Paul, Ringo, and George arrived to record. It has remained a busy and productive studio to the present day. abbey road timeline

Is the Abbey Road crosswalk of album-cover fame still to be found? Why yes, and it's a heavily-used photo prop for nostalgic Beatles fans like me. Apologies to the people of that neighborhood for my contribution to the traffic disruption. crosswalk

From the Abbey Road crosswalk we enjoyed a leisurely walk eastward to and across Regents Park to finish out the afternoon. (I had started this and the prior day by jogging a couple laps of Regent Park's Outer Loop). regents park hub

May you skate or cycle within Regents Park? Answer: decidedly "no". no skating

London walking routes and its bus, tube, and train options make such meandering simple and enjoyable. I'll likely be back for more in coming years.

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