21.05.2015 - 21.05.2015
A glorious sunny day!!! We started the day after breakfast, which was the same as yesterday – satisfying.
We picked up bikes at Hyde Park (not far from the B & B). We are getting good at this now. It was a sunny day so Hyde Park was looking its best. I just love the park – the trees are delightful – especially in spring. There were lots of other people on bikes travelling into London so we joined the mob. It is quite funny seeing men in pin stripe suits travelling by bike – there is something very appealing about it. It is a great feeling riding through the Park. We went past Buckingham Palace and then down The Mall. At Trafalgar Square we found ourselves with a pack of cyclists amidst red buses and taxis – all ready to take off when the lights changed. I was a bit worried about all the traffic. However when the lights changed all the cyclists took off ahead of the other traffic – so we joined the pack and got around the round-about with no problems. We left the pack and dropped off the bikes shortly after this, and walked towards the British Museum. The streets are so interesting!! On the way we came across a Monmouth Coffee Shop. Andrew wanted to sit inside and watch as they made coffee. So we sat behind the barista watching the process. Andrew had evidently looked into all of this.
The British Museum is a magnificent building with a very grand lobby. We had a look at a presentation of what we would call cartoons about Napoleon by English commentators. The satire was very funny. He really was the antichrist of the day!!! It is a pity all the apocalyptics amongst evangelical Christians would not be aware of this. Andrew took a shot of one that he thought Joseph would like. We then looked at the Egyptian presentation. It is the biggest collection outside Egypt. There were lots of students – some English and some from other nationalities. The younger ones are just so cute. One group of 9/10 year olds were filling out questionnaires about various items as they chatted and compared notes. I really enjoyed watching them. We went into various presentations – all very interesting. One from Medieval times showed pictures of Jesus’ boyhood days (all based on imagination). They were fascinating! Quite often the theme was about parents not letting their children play with Jesus. In one case a father locked his son in a room so he could not play with Jesus. Jesus then miraculously drew the boy out through the key hole and then played with him!!! They were all along these lines. Bill took photos of some Roman armour for Patrick and Joseph so I took a photo of a Roman birthday party invitation for Eve. I would recommend a visit to the museum to any visitor to London.
We then walked to a Subway for lunch. We sat at tables on the corner of Shaftsbury Avenue and Bloomsbury Street across from Central Baptist Church (this is not to be confused with Spurgeon’s church which is Metropolitan Tabernacle on the south-side of the river – we walked past it on the way to Matthew’s place)and watched the world go by – very relaxing. We then picked up bikes again and rode to The Regent’s Park. This was along very busy London roads – so we were jostling with red buses and taxis etc. It is quite an experience! The Park was worth visiting. The trees (as in all the parks) are beautiful. A note for Sandra – go to London in spring!!! The trees are magnificent. Lots of young people and families were in the park. We wandered around the gardens and the boating lake enjoying the surroundings. After this we picked up bikes again and rode down Baker Street (yes, the Baker Street made famous by Sherlock Holmes). Our plan was to turn right into Oxford Street and then ride to near the B & B and drop of the bikes. However Andrew and I overshot Oxford Street. So we decided to drop off the bikes and visit Selfridges. Oxford Street is as exciting as ever. The red buses, taxis and crowds of young people are quite a feature. Andrew and Bill were amazed at the number of sales staff. Some of them were “grooving” as they stood waiting for sales. Andrew and Bill reckon they must be exhausted when their shift is over due to all the “grooving”. We wandered round a bit (without buying anything) and then went back into Oxford Street and walked to Hyde Park to pick up bikes again. There were only three bikes at the bike station – one for each of us. But just before I put my card in the machine a very smart looking lady came and took the last bike (she had a yearly ticket apparently). We were discussing what we would do. She heard and apologised for taking the bike – but I told her we had no complaint as it is “first in first served”. I wanted to walk through the park so Andrew and Bill rode back to the B & B. It was a wonderful walk. The park at end this has some of the nicest areas. I watched two Islamic ladies (I would think in their 30s/40s) with their hire bikes – one was a learner and the other was busy taking selfies whilst her companion kept falling off. This provoked a lot of laughter from the “selfie taker” and frustration from the learner. But they were finding it great fun.
After a bit of relaxing, Andrew went out to meet a former work colleague and Bill went out to do some serious photography around Buckingham Palace and elsewhere in the City. I went for a bike ride around Hyde Park. The park was filled with people – families, young people and some older ones (like me). Everywhere people were taking advantage of the sunny weather and sitting on the grass in the sun. The main walkways through the park were thronged with people and bike riders - but it was still easy to ride. There was quite a gala atmosphere. I don’t know where all the people came from? A wonderful experience!
When I got a bunch of teenagers were guarding the bike station – I don’t think they up to any good. They tried to stare me down, quite pleasantly I might say, so I would not slot my bike in. However I insisted on putting my bike in its slot. Bill encountered them as well at about 8pm. One of the grabbed his handle bars but Bill forced his bike into the slot. Bill saw them riding around on the street a bit later on hire bikes and reckoned that some hapless tourists had been scammed. They were annoying some taxi drivers but they responded to the toots by giving the finger. But it was all done quite cheerily.