Friday, January 14, 2011

The Trip Back to Hammersmith

The trip back to Hammersmith featured the two basic kinds of London train travel: Uncrowded, as shown above as we left Hampton Court, and Crowded, as shown below as we near Hammersmith. Apologies for the blurry photo, but I couldn't move so I just tapped the camera button and hoped something was there.

A Pint of Cider at The Prince of Wales Pub

When we left the Hampton Court Palace we found the Prince of Wales Pub a couple of blocks from the train station and relaxed with a pint of cider before taking the train back to Hammersmith. We met Harvey, the Foxhound-Greyhound mix. He's a regular here. Very nice dog. He and Robin hit it off right away. Should have gotten his pmail address. He's actually the third dog we saw come in during our short visit. I think I'd like this place.

A street in Hampton Court.

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."