Friday, January 14, 2011

Hampton Court Palace

We got a too-late start for our Hampton Court trip, but took off anyway. Several Tube transfers, a train trip, mad dash from the Hampton Court train depot across the river bridge to the front gate and... missed the last entrance time by about ten minutes.

They let us in so we were able to wander around the grounds for about an hour, but we couldn't go inside. It's amazing how uncrowded this place is. When it's closed. And it's raining. And getting dark.   

The Hampton Court Palace entrance. The Gatehouse to the inner court is adorned with an astronomical clock that shows the time, phases of the moon, the month, the quarter of the year, the date, the sun and star sign, and high water at London Bridge measurements -- important information for visitors who came by barge on the Thames River. At low water London Bridge created dangerous rapids. The clock was kind of an early Tudor app.

I didn't get to see the kitchens, but they're famously huge and were capable of feeding King Henry VIII's court of 1000 people. Robin, above, enjoys the solitude.

A fountain in the center of the garden. The shaped trees are Yew trees.

The front of Hampton Court. I can picture Henry saying "Anne, honey, we're home. I mean Catherine... no, make that Jane. No no, Catherine that's right... not the Aragon or Howard Catherine, Parr for God's sake!"

I'll bet I can tell what she's thinking: "We could do this with those Pinon trees in our yard."