Friday, 13 May 2016

The Girls Were Out Early,

they were going for a run,

around Beckenham Place Park,

well they got as far as the gardens,

then they stopped for a rest,

and to look at the flowers, Diana made a video of the stop,

then home, shower and change,

and we were out again,

driving up Sydenham High Street,

past Istanbul,

and a few other shops in the High Street,

this used to be called Cobb's Corner after a huge furniture shop on the other side of the road, but the reason I remember this corner is that many years ago it had a shop here which specialized in old wooden large format cameras, now an estate agent is here,

we made our way towards Forest Hill,

passing many huge mature trees, like this horse chestnut,

we arrived at the top of the hill,

looking towards London,

so a quick pose,

from the two girls,

next a short walk,

into Horniman's Park, it looked like being back home in Thailand with these banana plants,

there was also a cactus garden,

and a show of lilies here,

this one also known as the death lily, (Zantedeschia aethiopica), many times used at funerals to mean rebirth, it has also been noted that sometimes they are used at weddings,

we made our way towards the side of the hill, passing many groups out for the day,

eventually arriving at a restored hot house,

where we stopped for breakfast,

a flowery latte coffee,

a bacon bruschetta for Diana and Kai, a cheese and ham sandwich for myself,

followed by a chocolate cake,

meal over and we were off,

but where were we?

at Forest Hill,

where we were going? to the free Horimans Museum, the entrance was at the front of the building many years ago, but it is now at the side
making our way to the entrance we passed this rock, which looked nothing special,

until you looked closely, and a face appeared,

a turf tilled house was a novel idea, not sure how you mow the lawn though,

the entrance,

the girls were having a photo shoot,

but then we were in, although the museum is free, there is an extra charge for the aquarium and the dinosaur exhibition,

we looked at the restored conservatory on our way in,
such a pity it is not in use,

we went into the main Natural History hall,

and meet with an old friend we have featured on our blog before,

at the time he was back from a month long holiday in Margate,

the museum,

like the Grant Museum we visited last week,

the museum features,

original animals using skins and feathers,

we then went upstairs to the fossil section,

at the top of the stair case was this fabulous clock, many years ago there was a description about it, but it appears in the seeds of time the description has been lost, as there is no clue as to its history,

around the top of the railings there are cases of fossils,

which we looked at on our way around the upper floor,

I took a panorama from where we were,

we then went downstairs to a multi cultural exhibition,

this is a Haitian Vodou Altar, it is the places where the living and the dead, the human and the divine meet and communicate, the museum features many of these altars or places where the natural and spiritual world meet,

we made our way,

through many different cultures,

that are featured in the museum, here there is a Benin Vodoun Altar for Mammi Wata, sometimes in the form of a rainbow serpent, but the Vodum is actually thought to be a water serpent, not from the sky as in a rainbow,

we passed through the walk of death figures,

we then looked at this huge Ijele, a big masquerade of the Igwu, 

it appears that size, beauty, grace, majesty and elegance play a major part in the importance of the Ijele,

as we were in Africa there was also a small Egyptian section,

we next made our way into one of the sections you have to pay for, the aquarium,

at the entrance there was a open water feature,

followed by an aquarium featuring sea urchins and small anemones,

we moved on to British ponds,

with tench, carp and rudd,

next a jellyfish display,

seahorses next, the display showed where seahorses where known in the world, pity they missed out the colonies in Dorset and Cornwall, oh wait a second they were supposed to be a well kept secret,

back to the coastline of Britain, this was rather neat, a tidal pool at rest,

then every so often a wave crashed in to give all of the occupants a feel of a real tidal pool,

the lobster was lucky, no pots of boiling water near by!

a look at a mango tidal zone,

and the difference that corals look like under different light conditions,

like ultra violet,

in one of the other tidal zones I was really impressed with these jeweled or Banggai cardinal fish, (Pterapogon kauderni),

the main fresh water aquarium was a South American river biotope,

above and below water,

complete with discus although difficult to photograph,

there are some tree frogs in there somewhere,

the pride of place,

a tropical marine coral reef, the display was a nicely laid out easy to understand series of biotopes,

we then moved on to the dinosaur display which was also an extra charge,

a look at eggs,

the biggest from an extinct Rhea,

but as far as dinosaurs are concerned,

some are thought,

not to have eggs,

on to more fossils,

this a huge one, the leg bone of a Sauropod, (Brachiosaurus) the creature when alive was thought to weigh 55 tons!

this one a tad smaller,

open wide!

a Tyrannosaurus rex, well the head of one,

 last look at the complete skeleton,

before we left we had look at a dinosaur nest full of eggs, so what came first, the dinosaur or the egg?

we made a move from the museum,

 and back home to drop off the car, a walk to Beckenham Junction station,

 and here we were at Victoria station some time later,

 making our way,

 past lots of shops,

 that lead here,

 the Victoria Coach Station, over the years we have eaten in many different restaurants, be them on or in planes, trains, boats and coaches, not to mention islands and high rise buildings, but for our afternoon tea today will be some where totally different,

 in a Routemaster bus,

 yes today we will be travelling on the top deck of a original restored Routemaster bus on a tour of London, supping afternoon tea with a selection of cakes and scones,

 so, all aboard,

 and this is our table for 4,

 a quick picture of us, 

 and just the girls,

 some of the starters of sandwiches,

 and rolls,

 and the cakes to follow,

 a great afternoon for us, not so for others!

 we were offered a selection of teas and coffees,

 we did not take many pictures as the bus was always moving, 

 we were here for the experience, the cakes followed by scones, cottage cream and jam,

 we did pass Hyde Park amongst other places,  

 on to Piccadilly, 

 and Trafalgar Square,

 the fountains cooling the day off, 

 not a good picture, but I did have to take one of the lions that live there,

 and of course number 10,



 the girls were having a great time, 

 well we all were as pulled into Parliament Square,

 over the bridge, the Houses of Parliament having some work done to them,

 Diana all smiles,

 one of the lights on the bridge,

 with the London Eye in the distance,

and Diana made a video of our trip

 one and a half hours later we were back at Victoria, what a great trip, we all so thoroughly enjoyed it, better still we were all stuffed, we could not eat all of the cakes that were offered, so if you want to see London and have an excellent afternoon tea with sandwiches, cakes and fresh cream scones then you have got to try the BB Bakery tour,

 as we made our way back to the train station our bus caught us up, with a friendly wave from the driver,

 he made a turn for his next trip,

 I then noticed this Ducati,

 what a great bike to commute on,

 next stop, the Grosvenor Hotel,

 we popped into the bar,

 for a drink or two,

 the display of orchids in the main foyer were magnificent,

we arrived back in Beckenham and walked past the now really flowering wisteria at the front of Beckenham Place Park, arriving home we watched a film and a couple of shows and we were all off to bed.

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