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Showing posts with label England. Show all posts
Showing posts with label England. Show all posts

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Penguin Beach

The Penguin Beach SIgn At London Zoo

Location: London, England
Address:  Regent's Park
Date: September 2015
Website:  www.zsl.org

  The penguins at the London Zoo were faced with a problem in 2004.  They could no longer stay in their old penguin pool and as a result needed a new home.  They were housed in many places including the sister zoo, Whipsnade Zoo.  Finally in 2011 Penguin Beach opened.

Humboldt Penguins at London Zoo's Penguin Beach.

    The penguins now reside in the biggest penguin pool in England.  The pool holds 450,000 litres of water.

A Humboldt Penguin at London Zoo.

  The exhibit is filled with a colony of Humboldt penguins.  Humboldt penguins are found in South America along the coasts of Chile and Peru.  One distinguishing feature to tell them apart from other penguin species is the pinky area between their beak and their eye.

Humboldt Penguin Colony At London Zoo.

  There is a large group of penguins living at Penguin Beach.  

Penguin Outside Nest Penguin Beach London Zoo

  At one end of the enclosure were many nests where breeding pairs of penguins can do their part to further increase the population.  Humboldt penguins usually lay up to three eggs twice a year.

Ricky The Rockhopper Penguin.

  One lonely bachelor was Ricky the rockhopper penguin.  He can be recognized by the long yellow feathers on his head.  Ricky was the only non-Humboldt penguin in the pool and seemed to really like attention.  He was there when we visited in 2015 but he has since moved to Whipsnade Zoo to join a group of other rockhoppers.  We will see if his personality can still stand out surrounded by similar penguins.

Feeding Time At Penguin Beach.

  Feeding time at Penguin Beach draws quite a crowd.  The penguins line up to be fed fish from a bucket or fight for the fish thrown into the pool.

A Grey Heron Stands At Penguin Beach In London Zoo

  As well as other penguins competing for food, the penguins have to look out for local intruders.  Seagulls swoop down at the pool to try and get some fish scraps.  A grey heron stood motionless waiting for its chance to do the same.  We saw grey herons stealing food from a group of Asian small-clawed otters later in the day.

Humboldt Penguin At Penguin Beach.

  Penguins are always entertaining.  We could watch them walk around and swim all day.  Penguin Beach is a great place to do just that.

Map of Our World
London Zoo (Penguin Beach)

Post # 244

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Lubetkin Penguin Pool

Old Lubetkin Penguin Pool At ZSL London Zoo

Location: London, England
Address:  Regent's Park
Date: September 2015
Website:  www.zsl.org

  In 1934, London Zoo opened its famous spiral-ramped Penguin Pool.  The pool was designed by Berthold Lubetkin who worked for an architectural firm called Tecton.  It is one of the first uses of reinforced concrete and is a grade I listed structure in England.  A grade I listing is reserved for buildings of exceptional interest.

  The movie About a Boy was released in 2002.  In the movie there is a small scene where Will (Hugh Grant) and Marcus (Nicholas Hoult) visit the zoo.  As they have their discussion they walk past the Penguin Pool.  There are still penguins in the enclosure as they did not leave until 2004.

Grade I Listed Lubetkin Penguin Pool At ZSL London Zoo

   We saw a few reasons for the penguins moving out of the pool.  One said that they were contracting bumblefoot due to walking on concrete.  Bumblefoot is a bacterial infection on the feet of birds.  Some people say there was originally rubber over the concrete and it should be put back.  We also read they were moved to a duck pond during some repairs and seemed to really enjoy their new location.  Another lesser believed theory was based on the popularity of the About A Boy movie and the inclusion of the pool in the film.  It was said that the pool attracted too many Hugh Grant fans and the penguins requested to move to a new location where people came just to see them.  Who knows?  At any rate you can now visit the London Zoo and see the old exhibit which sits empty.  You can also see the colony of penguins who are happily living in a new area of the zoo called Penguin Beach.

Map of Our World
ZSL London Zoo (Lubetkin Penguin Pool)

Post # 243

Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Joey Goes Into The Map

Oh What The Hell Is That?  It's London Baby!

Location: London England
Address: Grosvenor Square
Date: Aug 2015
Website: www.marriott.com

  On the television show Friends, the whole gang headed to London, England for Ross and Emily's wedding.  Actually, Rachel and Phoebe stayed back in New York.  Joey is very excited to tour the city, but Chandler not so much.  They are staying at the London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square.

If You See A Little Version Of Me In There.  Kill It.

  When they step out the front door of the hotel Joey pulls out his map.  It is a London pop-up map.  Joey tries to determine where in the city they are.  Finally it comes to him.  He places the map on the ground and declares "I'm gonna have to go into the map."

Duke Street

  Joey finds his bearings and carries the map into the street.  Chandler distracts him and he has to step into the map once again.  The green roofed building above is currently a restaurant called Spaghetti House.

Hands Down The Best Abbey I've Ever Seen.

   Joey and Chandler take a double decker bus tour and next they end up at Westminster Abbey.  Chandler does not want to be on camera and Joey declares him "Westminster Crabby" before chasing him towards the entrance.

Tower Of London Baby!

   Next the pair end up beside the Tower of London where Joey buys a Union Jack souvenir hat.  He buys it from souvenir stand run by billionaire businessman Richard Branson.  It makes one wonder how lucrative the souvenir market is in London.  It also makes one wonder how lucrative it is to make an appearance on a season finale of a top rated television show.  Anyway, the hat is the last straw for Chandler and he and Joey head their separate ways.
  Later, back at the hotel Chandler finds out that while he had a horrible time, Joey had the best time.  He ran into Fergie.  Not the Fergie of Black-Eyed Peas, but the original Fergie.  Sarah Ferguson is the Duchess of York and was previously married to Prince Andrew and she recorded a video greeting on Joeys camcorder.
  We have visited all the places Joey and Chandler visit in this episode.  While we didn't have a pop-up map to help us, we always grab the first map we see at the airport or hotel to help guide us through the city while on vacation.

Map of Our World
London Marriott Hotel Grosvenor Square , Westminster Abbey , Tower Of London

Post # 229

Monday, 30 July 2018

Please Look After This Bear

Paddington Station

Location: London, England
Address:  Paddington Station, Praed Street
Date: September 2015
Website:  www.networkrail.co.uk

  Michael Bond wrote A Bear Called Paddington in 1958.  In the book a bear was found at Paddington Station in London, England.  The bear was from Peru and loved marmalade.  He was very polite and wore a big hat and carried a suitcase.  He was found by the Brown family with a sign that said "Please look after this bear."  They decided to do just that.

A Bear Under The Clock.

   When we visited England in 2015 we also found a bear at Paddington Station.  He was bronze and wore a big hat and was seated on a suitcase.  He also had a sign that said "Please look after this bear."

Paddington Asks "Tell Me How Long's The Train Been Gone?"

   Paddington bear was named after the station where he was found.  He has appeared in many of Michael Bond's books through the years.  Paddington is much loved in England and around the world.  In 2000 this statue was placed at Paddington in his honour.

  Paddington dolls are also very popular.  Paddington bear is known to innocently get into mischief.  The doll above was getting into some mischief in Hamley's toy store on Regent Street.  Hamley's is the oldest toy store in the world.

Paddington For the New Millenium.

  In 2014 a Paddington movie was made.  Paddington had already had a stop-motion television series that was popular in the 70's.  The new movie featured a computer generated bear.

Bearing Up For The Pawprint Trail

  To promote the film various Paddingtons were placed around London on what was called The Pawprint Trail.  This Paddington above is sort of a blue velvet looking one.

Please Look After This Bear

  Paddington is such a sweet character and will be thought of fondly for many years to come.  We suggest if you ever find yourself at Paddington Station please look out for this bear. Thank you.

Map of Our World
Paddington Bear Statue
Paddington Station

Post # 222

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Jacka Bakery

Hand Made Biscuits And More At Jacka's

Location: Plymouth, England 
Address:  38 Southside Street
Date: Sept 2015
Website:  www.facebook.com/JackaBakery

  Jacka Bakery in Plymouth, England claims to be the oldest commercially working bakery in all of Great Britain.  It dates back to 1597 and has been baking since at least 1610.  That is over 400 years of history.

Would you like some Gin with your Pasty?

   Up the street from the bakery is the Plymouth Gin Distillery.  It is only half as old as the bakery and has operated since 1793.  It was formerly Black Friars Distillery.

Still Cookin' After All These Years.
 Original Oven At Jacka Bakery

  The bakery has seen many owner changes through the centuries.  It used to be the Fone's Bakery for many years.  One thing that has not changed is the brick oven at the back of the bakery.  Above are two photos of the oven.  The top one is from 2015 and the bottom one from 2007.  The oven is cast with this description.
Bricklayer & Oven Builder
Bennets Row Blackfriers Road 

Fish & Chips & Baked Goods On The Barbican.

  Next door to Jacka Bakery is Harbourside Fish & Chips where we also enjoyed a meal while visiting Plymouth.  At Jacka's we ate traditional Cornish pasties.   These baked pastries were filled with beef, potatoes, turnip and onions.  These days there are several variations available. 

Mayflower Arch.

  We also took home some biscuits to enjoy later.  It is rumoured that Jacka Bakery baked biscuits for the Pilgrim's voyage on the Mayflower in 1620.   The Mayflower set sail from Plymouth harbour just a short walk away from the bakery.   It took the Mayflower almost two months to complete her journey.  We hope Jacka's baked them a lot of biscuits.

Map of Our World
Jacka Bakery , Harbourside Fish & Chips
Plymouth Gin Distillery , Mayflower Steps

Post # 216

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Kingsman & Huntsman

The first thing every gentleman needs is a good suit.  By which I mean a bespoke suit.

Location: London, England
Address: 11 Saville Row
Date: August 2015
Website: www.huntsmansavilerow.com

  Saville Row has been the place for bespoke tailoring in London since the early 1800s.  Bespoke tailoring is a custom made suit that is cut to perfectly fit the individual.  Usually you buy a suit and they will take it in or let it out to make it fit better.  Bespoke is the high end of tailoring.  We visited one of the shops on a drizzly evening as we headed out for dinner.  We visited a shop called Huntsman, not for a good fitting suit, but for a different reason altogether.

Huntsman & Sons.

  The Hunstman shop at 11 Seville Row made an appearance in the movie Kingsman: The Secret Service.  In the movie the tailor shop is called Kingsman and houses a secret spy headquarters filled with gadgets and hidden rooms.  Harry Hart (Colin Firth) is a spy who wants to train a young lad called Eggsy (Taron Egerton) and brings him to the tailor shop.  Hunstman provided not just the location, but the suits for the fictional Kingsman.  Samuel L. Jackson and Michael Cane also get to dress in style as part of the cast.  Real life clients include the Royal family, Clark Gable, David Bowie and Ronald Reagan.

I Spy.

  The shop was closed when we visited or we may have attempted to venture inside.  We didn't see any obvious spy activity, except for the car (above) that turned on with no driver inside.  What will they think of next? 

Map of Our World
Huntsman & Sons
Post # 178

Saturday, 20 May 2017

The Safety Dance

A place where they will never find.

Location: West Kington, England
Address: Drifton Hill
Date: September 2015
Website: www.menwithouthats.com

  "We can go where we want to. A place where they will never find."  It may seem like an unlikely place for Canadian band Men Without Hats to film their Safety Dance video, but thanks to some internet research and a very informative blog, we paid a visit to this special place.

S...H...E...E...P...Y  Sheepy Dance.

  West Kington is a small village that is located north of Bath and east of Bristol.  We were traveling along the M4 highway and had a plan mapped out before we left.  We made a few wrong turns but eventually reached our first sheep filled destination.

Cause your sheep don't dance and if they don't dance, well they're no sheep of mine.

  Ebbdown Farm is in the background of the opening scenes of the video.  We don't recall seeing any sheep in the video, but when we visited they were everywhere.  If we walked close to a fence we would hear some baa-ing as they ran away on the other side.  The farm is located just a short drive from West Kington.

Sheep Without Hats.

  We drove our car up to a cattle guard at the gate of the farm.  Cattle guards also work at preventing sheep from crossing them as they have similar feet. Anyway, enough about the sheep let's get back to the video locations. 

We can dance.

  The video starts off with lead singer Ivan running through a field with a little court jester.  They go past this wall and then run down to the road that leads to the farm.

We can act like we come from out of this world.

  It is here that they are joined by a dancing girl and come to a crossroads.  You can't see the other road as it is hidden behind the hill and tree, but they choose the one on the left.  The action then moves to West Kington.

Watersweet Post Box.

   The jester and girl dance along beside Ivan as he walks past some houses.  The home above still had the same red post box in front of it.

It's The Safety Dance.
Everybody look at your hands.

  Next we come across the gate where they do The Safety Dance.  The utility pole in the background helped us know that this was the place.  To do The Safety Dance you use both of your arms.  Your left arm goes right over your head and your right arm goes left across your waist in a jerky motion.  Now look at your hands.  If you are doing it right it will appear like you just formed an S.

We can leave your friends behind.  Or maybe they should come party with us.

  A crowd of people dressed in costumes head across the little bridge and march down the street.  They were all dressed real neat from their hats to their feet.  They would be heading towards the photographer in the photo above.

Everything's out of control.

  They all seem to be going to a May Day festival which takes place in the courtyard of this building.  There are people dressed as barnyard animals (but not sheep), there is a Punch & Judy puppet show and lots of dancing.  We can dance!

They're doing it from pole to pole.

  A group of people are dancing around a May pole as Ivan continues to sing.  The party continues for the rest of the video.  The Safety Dance came out in 1983 and was one of the more memorable videos and songs from the 80's.  Thirty years ago we were wondering what those strange people in the video were doing.  Today we know first hand exactly where they did it, but we still have no idea what The Safety Dance really is.  Oh well! They can dance if they want to.

And we can dance. It's the Safety Dance.

Map of Our World
Ebbdown Farm , West Kington

Post # 177