Last night, we agreed we would go to Greenwich today. But we slept in, and figured it would be better to save that for a day when we can get there at opening. So, alternate plan was Kew Gardens. Kew Gardens is about 30 minutes outside London, so we got to ride on the tube. Brad has his doubts, but my subway experience is universal. I got us on the right train and got us there.
The 300 acre gardens trace their history to the mid-1700s. The royal family used their Kew estate as a summer residence. In the mid-1800’s, two beautiful Victorian glass houses were built. In 2003, the gardens were named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Brad said that he is not big on touring gardens, but this one was impressive.They were having a Dragon Trail event, with beautiful painted dragons located all around the gardens. We were also lucky to be here for the very first day of the reopening of the pagoda, which has 80 dragons on it. We elected not to climb the 253 steps to the top because it was darned hot and we were getting tired!One of the highlights was The Hive, which is an interactive art installation themed around a beehive. It was created by artist Wolfgang Buttress. It is illuminated with almost 1,000 LED lights, and they flicker in time to vibrations caused when the bees in the linked beehive communicate with each other. The light vibrations are accompanied by orchestral sounds performed in the key of C, which is the same key that bees buzz in. The overall effect is supposed to be like standing inside a hive. Below the hive there is an exhibit that explains some of the bee sounds, using a transmission technique I’ve never experienced before … I took a stick (like a coffee stir stick) and put it into one of the slots in the kiosk, then I put the other end in my mouth, and covered my ears. I could then hear some narration that explained the bee sounds, along with examples of the buzzing. As usual, we had some fun taking pictures of each other taking pictures.We headed back to the ranch. The forecasters had been predicting thunderstorms for today, but we lucked out and it was dry, but hot and muggy. We were soaked with sweat and needed to cool off! We took a quick minute to cool down, and then headed the 20 steps or so to the Italian restaurant at the corner, Da Marios. We walked by last night and there was a long line of people waiting for tables, so we thought we should try it, but go early so we could get in. It was a perfect choice. We had a lovely bufala mozzarella salad, some delicious pizza, and some garlic butter prawns. We got a nice bottle of Italian wine to go with it (which we managed to finish, unusual for us). It was all topped off with the cake of the day … a nice New York cheesecake.
- I apologize for the dreadful formatting of these posts. I can’t figure out how to make the paragraph breaks remain when I post. It all looks great when I draft the posts up, but the extra returns between paragraphs get stripped when I post. So sorry. I am trying all large photos this time, and this silly bulleted paragraph … that seems to help.