Monday, 28 August 2017

Today I moved back to the Paddington Hilton. I’ll be here a couple of days before I leave for Cologne. Wanted to stay in London a couple extra days to squeeze in some more of the city. The weather has been fantastic and it seems everyone is outside enjoying it too.

Took my time packing – because I could. Actually, didn’t want to arrive at the Hilton too soon in case my room wasn’t ready, and if more rooms are available perhaps I could be upgraded.

Took extra time cleaning the flat because I was staying for free and because Prean and Viktor are friends too. I left at 1:00 and rolled my suitcase to Victoria Station – about 20 minutes away. Could have taken a taxi, but thought I could use the exercise. Even got to carry the suitcase down a couple of flights of stairs – more exercise.

When I arrived at the hotel I asked if my room could be upgraded. (Said with a big smile.) And got a “yes”! It wasn’t in the newer part of the hotel, but was happy with the size and comfort of the upgrade. Before unpacking I needed to have some lunch. Nice that a M&S is in the station below and picked up a sandwich. Ate the sandwich and took a long nap.

It was after 6:00 and decided to walk to Hyde Park then to the Speaker’s Corner and Marble Arch nearby. A beautiful evening for a walk. It was starting to cool off and as I was walking through the park the sun was starting to set.

When I was here last year I tried to find Speaker’s Corner. And this year I wasn’t doing any better. Guess you have to wait for a speaker to show up. From the reviews, Sunday is the prime day.

The Marble Arch has an interesting story. For about 10 years (1837 – 1847) its home was in front of Buckingham Palace and was the state entrance into the courtyard. It was in place when Victoria moved into the palace, but was moved when the section, where the well-known balcony is located, was built to hold Victoria and Albert’s growing family. Today it sits in a somewhat remote area in the NE corner of the park.

I was going to walk back to the hotel through the park. I got about 50 feet into the park and noticed only a few street lights. Perhaps walking along the main street would be better. Walked over 11,000 steps.

Tomorrow I’ll visit the National Portrait Gallery. It is known as the place where you’ll see famous faces by famous artists. Then planning to meet up with Paula to say good-bye before I leave on Wednesday.


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