Our England Vacation

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Day 4: August 7, 2003

We had a fine breakfast at Pax Lodge (great croissants) and participated in the flag raising there. They fly the Pax Lodge flag but not that of any nation, as they are an international house. Then we checked out and tubed to Baden Powell House. This is much closer to downtown London; there are 2 museums (Science, and Natural History) and a church nearby. In front is a big statue of Robert Baden-Powell himself. We left our luggage with them (it was too early to check in), and rode the tube to Kew, where the royal gardens are.

At the town of Kew we found a bookstore and got Eliza a boxed set of English Harry Potter books. Yay!

The royal gardens at Kew are huge - there are two giant "glass houses", one for Tropical and one for Temperate plants. The basement of the Tropical house also has aquariums for water plants (and fish, just to complete the displays).
We also climbed stairs up to walkways at the top of the house, to see the tops of the plants. It was quite warm up there!
Outside we found many acres of plants. One area we went to had trees from all over - even a couple of baby giant Sequoia redwoods, just a hundred feet tall or so. The tree area had more scaffolding to climb up so we could walk among the branches.
and of course, the Larch:

We came back to B-P House and checked in, then walked 4 blocks to Harrod's department store. We only had time for a little looking around before they closed for the day. On the way back from Harrod's we passed a church and saw that it was open, so we went in. It is a fine big church, only about 270 years old, very traditional. They were just finishing Holy Hour (Blessed Sacrament exposition), and we stayed for the last 10 minutes, which included something in Latin and a litany in English.

Dinner was a pizza from a pizzeria around the corner, plus "crisps" (potato chips to us) from a convenience store. We ate in our room - we found that more relaxing than eating out. The pizza here has very thin crust.