Putting one foot in front of the other

26 Jun

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I love walking and believe it’s by far the best way to experience a new city.  It’s also the best way to experience somewhere you know well, often opening your eyes to things you miss when you are whizzing past on the bus (or crawling, depending on the traffic.)

Each Wednesday afternoon, I have the luxury of a babysitter to do the school run and tea.  I try and use my time wisely and not waste it doing chores.  This week, I had planned to visit the British Museum’s new Garden and Cosmos exhibition about Jodhpur, but the weather was so beautiful, I took a walk instead.

The first thing I cameScales of Justice to was an exhibition of truly miniature pieces of art.  Willard Wigan creates sculptures so tiny that he has managed to fit nine camels inside the eye of a needle.  When he works he slows his heartbeat and only moves between pulses, painting them with the hair of a dead fly.  He has been known to inhale sculptures whole by mistake.

Savile Row

Next I headed down Neal Street, through Covent Garden, then wiggled Westwards through Chinatown, Soho and then the back streets of Mayfair until I eventually came to Hyde Park Corner. 

I stopped here for a look at the memorial to New Zealand soldiers who fought for Britain in World Wars One and Two.  I’ve seen it lots of times from the bus, which gives you a great view ofNew Zealand War Memorial the forest of metal crosses from above, but never had a closer look.  Each cross is engraved with designs and quotes and decorated with smaller sculptures, each one either unique to New Zealand, such as Maori sayings, or illustrating the relationship between the two countries, such as the rugby ball.

SerpentineI then crossed into Hyde Park, which was full of people enjoying the sunshine, with lots of rowers out on the Serpentine, and even some swimmers.  I wished I’d had my costume with me as it looked really cool and inviting, if a little weedy.  There is a lovely children’s paddling pool here, next to the lake, so we’ll definitely be back soon.

I finished my walk at Kensington Palace, which marks the Western boundary of Kensington Gardens.  I was hot and my feet were a little sore, so I hopped on the 49 bus home.  It was a lovely afternoon and I really enjoyed being a tourist in my own city.  I loved hearing the babble of different languages, seeing the details on the buildings around me, watching people in the parks and stopping when the mood took me.  It was only two and a half hours out of my life, but it felt like I’d escaped somewhere else for a little while.  Kensington Palace

This post is part of Photo Friday at Delicious Baby. For more travel pictures, click here.

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12 Responses to “Putting one foot in front of the other”

  1. Jen@TwoKidsandaMap 26/06/2009 at 2:30 pm #

    I love finding new adventures while taking walks! The kids love to walk! On a side note, I would love to chat with you about your trip and a lot of your planning. We are planning on doing a Round the World trip within the next 10 years (we are waiting for the kids to get a little older) and I would love to chat with you!

  2. Dancinfairy 26/06/2009 at 2:38 pm #

    Whenever I go to London it is always for something specific, I am meeting someone or going somewhere. You have made me want to go and just wander. Lovely post.

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 26/06/2009 at 5:42 pm #

      I’ve lived here all my life and still see something new each time I go for a walk. It’s well worth taking the time if you can.

  3. Amy @ The Q Family 26/06/2009 at 2:51 pm #

    This is such a great walking tour guide for a future visitor to London like me. :)

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 26/06/2009 at 5:43 pm #

      Thanks, perhaps I should do some more!

  4. English Mum 26/06/2009 at 5:25 pm #

    Lovely! I’m off to London next week – might try to follow in a few of your footsteps x

    • itsasmallworldafterallfamily 26/06/2009 at 5:43 pm #

      Nothing to beat it as long as you dodge the manky hotdog sellers and mountains of souvenier tat!

  5. marina villatoro 26/06/2009 at 6:36 pm #

    I love walking. It’s my favorite thing to do. It’s the only way to discover life around you. We just moved to Antigua, Guatemala and it’s a totally walkable city, unlike Costa Rica’s places.
    Photo Friday – Manaul Antonio-Costa Rica’s Gem

  6. Cate 26/06/2009 at 6:43 pm #

    Great post, I felt like I was taking the trip with you, and I enjoyed the photos esp NZ ones :)
    Thanks for the walk.

  7. teamvaughan 26/06/2009 at 8:12 pm #

    Lovely pictures, makes me sad that I no longer live in the capital :(

  8. Dominique 27/06/2009 at 2:16 am #

    You do see so many more details when you walk, rather than drive, a route. I love being a tourist in my own town, too :)

  9. Carolina 27/06/2009 at 2:56 am #

    It’s amazing how much you got to see in a couple of hours. I like walking when it’s more of a stroll, with no particular agenda. I’m intrigued by the tiny sculpture art, very cool.

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