And Then There Was One

Friday, May 27, 2011 Road Junkies 0 Comments

LONDON, England — Incredibly after three months, we are at our final destination for this trip, London.  After plotting our course this morning, we hopped on the Tube, London's subway system, in search of the local letterboxes.  The first box turned up missing, but our next box led us to the British Natural History Museum.

Natural History Museum
Like most, if not all, British national museums, the Natural History Museum offered free admission, and what a bargain it was.  The museum houses extensive exhibits of specimens gathered by the earliest naturalists, including Darwin, and submitted to the museum's collection.  From rare and exotic birds to dinosaurs and insects, this museum can keep even the youngest visitors amazed and amused for hours.

From the museum, our next stop was Hyde Park, one of the largest parks in central London.  The letterbox we were searching for took us to the park's rose garden, which happened to be the home of quite a variety of stunning flowers, in addition to the promised roses.

Just a couple of Tube stops away, we found Green Park adjacent to Buckingham Palace.  Forgetting that President Obama had left his royal hosts and gone off to the G8 summit in France, we searched for him around the palace.  Not finding him nor the letterbox we were seeking in the park, we walked to the nearby St. James Park, where we did locate a letterbox, our only one of the day.

Throughout the city, massive construction projects are underway in preparation for the 2012 Olympics. The amount of work going on is astounding.  Frequent announcements in the tube stations explain about delays or interruptions in service due to construction projects.  The Green Park station bore posters informing of the intent to make this multi-layered station "step-free" by the beginning of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

National Portrait Gallery
Our final stop of the day was the amazing National Portrait Gallery, another museum free of admission charges, even to non-residents.  The gallery houses an exceptional collection of portraits by and of British citizens in all areas of life.  Some portraits, including the intriguing painting of mystery author P.D. James, were commissioned especially for the museum.

P.D. James
Though we found only one of the five letterboxes we sought today, we were neither surprised nor disappointed.  The urban environment isn't always hospitable to these hidden treasures.  However, the search, as usual, took us to many places worth visiting.