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Showing posts with label London. Show all posts
Showing posts with label London. 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
Hamley's

Post # 222

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

Monday, 15 May 2017

The Blue Door (Notting Hill)

The Famous Blue Door.

Location: London, England
Address: 280 Westbourne Park Rd.
Date: September 2015
Website: www.visitlondon.com

  There is a famous film location which can be found on Westbourne Park Road in London, England.  It is located in the Notting Hill area and is from a film of the same name.  In Notting Hill, William (Hugh Grant) is a bookstore owner who lives in a flat with a blue painted door.  He lives there with his roommate Spike (Rhys Ifrans).  In the movie the door and pillars in the photo above are all painted blue.  At least when we arrived to check out this location the door was still blue.
  In the film, William meets movie star Anna Scott (Julia Roberts) in his bookstore and they start a relationship.  Things don't work out until suddenly one day Anna is there at the blue door.  She is looking for a place to hide out since some nude photos of her have surfaced in the press.  Will agrees to let her stay and they spend the night together.  The next morning the press has figured out where Anna is hiding and when Will goes to open the front door he is met with the flash of many cameras.  Anna comes to the door and is horrified to realize they know she is there.  Despite receiving a warning from William, Spike also ventures out in his underwear.  He loves all the attention and strikes a few poses before returning inside very pleased with himself.
  We played the part of the paparazzi and snapped a few photos ourselves in order to remember these movie moments.


Map of Our World
The Blue Door

Post # 176

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

The Ritz London

Puttin' On The Ritz.

Location: London, England
Address: 150 Piccadily Street
Date: August 2015
Website: www.theritzlondon.com

  The Ritz Hotel in London, England is a high end hotel which opened in 1906.  The term, "Puttin' on the Ritz" was inspired by the hotel and refers to surrounding yourself with luxury.  While it wasn't quite in our budget to stay or dine at The Ritz, we did walk past it on our way to dine elsewhere.
 
Rextail.

  We enjoyed a nice dinner at Rextail which was only a short walk away. 

Piccadilly Street.

  The Ritz Hotel is located on Piccadilly Street which is home to an interesting variety of architecture.  The building above is one of the Ritz's across the street neighbours.

I'm with Horse & Hound magazine.

  The hotel has hosted members of high society along with actors and actresses who would come to indulge and socialize.  In the movie Notting Hill, Julia Roberts plays a popular Hollywood actress named Anna.  She meets William (Hugh Grant) in the bookstore that he owns.  She invites him to come and visit her at her Ritz Hotel suite.  To William's surprise he is there along with a group of reporters ready to interview Anna about her latest sci-fi film.  After pretending to be a reporter from Horse & Hound magazine, William and Anna finally go out and spend a nice evening together.  

The Ritz corridor.

  They go out for dinner again and then return to The Ritz.  As they walk along the corridor above, Anna invites Will up to her room.  Unfortunately, her American boyfriend is there and Will leaves the hotel confused and sad.

If you're blue and you don't know where to go to.  Why don't you go where fashion sits.?


Map of Our World
The Ritz Hotel
Rextail

Post # 175

Thursday, 30 March 2017

Ministry Of Silly Walks

Drummonds AKA The Ministry of Silly Walks.

Location: London, England
Address: 49 Charing Cross
Date: Sept 2015
Website: www.rbs.com

 Drummonds Bank has been located across from Trafalgar Square since 1760.  It is located at the top end of Whitehall which is a street in London that contains many government buildings.  Those government buildings house many different departments and ministries.  If an episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus is to be believed, there is one ministry that many people have never heard of.

Old War Office.
 Big Ben.

   In the skit, John Cleese portrays a minister who is shown walking up Whitehall.  In the background you can clearly see the London icon Big Ben as well as the Old War Office.  The minister has a very unusual walk which is hard to describe.

Silly Walk up the stairs of the Firkin On Bloor.

    In Toronto, Canada there is a Firkin pub on Bloor Street East which has this silly walk painted on the wall beside its staircase.

Headed towards Nelson's Column.

  John Cleese continues walking his walk along Whitehall towards Trafalgar Square.  When he finally arrives at his destination he will have to apologize that his walk has become rather sillier recently and as a result it takes him longer to get to work.

These walkers are not patricularly silly.

  We are now only a few silly steps from the offices of a ministry that is supposed to receive the same government spending as Defence, Social Security, Health, Housing and Education.  Last year the British Government spent more money on National Defence than on the ministry in question.

Perhaps with Government backing her walk would be more silly.

  John continues on past the railing above until the camera zooms in on a sign that reveals the name of the ministry.

The Ministry Of Silly Walks.

  We are now almost back at the entrance to Drummonds Bank and on the fence (above) between the ATM and the window with flowers is a sign which states, "Ministry Of Silly Walks".  This skit has been an all time favourite amongst Monty Python fans.  Monty Python's appeal lies in the fact that they combine both intelligence and silliness.  We suggest that when you visit Trafalgar Square you should also take a walk along Whitehall Road to visit this filming location.  Your walk may not be as silly as a member of this legendary comedy troupe, but like Michael Palin's character we think that with Government backing you could make it very silly.


Map of Our World
Ministry of Silly Walks
Firkin On Bloor

Post # 169