England / London / Parks / Travel

Kensington Gardens & Hyde Park

So…

Today started with a trip to Portobello Market (read here), and after the crowds began to form Gaby and I decided to walk through Kensington Gardens & Hyde Park before heading off to the Natural History Museum. The weather was wonderful today, sunny and perfect for photos of and at the park!

Welcome to Kensington Gardens!

Welcome to Kensington Gardens!

clock tower

clock tower

"time flies" © Gaby Garcia 2014

“time flies” © Gaby Garcia 2014

walking towards the lake

walking towards the lake

birds!

birds!

ducks in the water

ducks in the water

We entered Kensington Gardens first, and stopped by the lake to take pictures of the birds. I was really amused at the actions of some of the ducks, and their waddling reminded me of the geese in the movie The Aristocats, so I found myself humming along to their ‘waddle walk’ theme song while taking pictures!

Amused by the ducks © Gaby Garcia 2014

Amused by the ducks © Gaby Garcia 2014

"It's so windy!" © Gaby Garcia 2014

“It’s so windy!” © Gaby Garcia 2014

The walk through the gardens led us to the Speke Obelisk, a memorial dedicated to “the first European to discover the Lake Victoria”. It was a bit difficult photographing the obelisk because the sun kept hiding behind clouds at the worst moments, but I think I managed in the end!

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Speke Obelisk

Speke Obelisk

beautiful weather!

beautiful weather!

Gaby!

Gaby!

One of my favorite parts of the gardens was the Italian Gardens, a romantic gift from Prince Albert to “his beloved Queen Victoria”. I loved the fountains, and finding the ‘secret’ V&A emblems carved into the stonework was particularly fun!

Italian Gardens

Italian Gardens

beautiful fountains

beautiful fountains

the wind was a bit much, I think...

the wind was a bit much, I think…

me by the fountains © Gaby Garcia 2014

me by the fountains © Gaby Garcia 2014

Gaby and I

Gaby and I

Gaby and I also managed to visit the Peter Pan monument, which got me really excited since I will be seeing a Peter Pan theatrical adaptation for class sometime in February/March! By the time we reached the Peter Pan statue though, we were already starting to slow down so we decided to just peek into Hyde Park and walk through the rest of it another day.

Peter Pan

Peter Pan

Peter Pan engraving

Peter Pan engraving

towards the edge of the garden

towards the edge of the garden

Swan Lake!

Swan Lake!

At the end of the gardens we saw a pair of swans by the edge of the lake, being fed pieces of bread by a couple of kids and their nanny. I had to get really close to take the photo since I was using a fixed lens, and I am so happy the swans didn’t try and bite the camera!

Entering Hyde Park was a bit of an experience, since the birds just refused to leave my camera alone! The first thing we saw was the Memorial Fountain for Diana, Princess of Wales. I was expecting a fountain, but instead it was a circular river-like structure with steps that caused a mini-waterfall.

Welcome to Hyde Park

Welcome to Hyde Park

more birds

more birds

Diana, Princess of Wales, Memorial Fountain

Diana, Princess of Wales, Memorial Fountain

I did see another swan (or one of the swan pair) swimming alone towards the edge of the river, so I decided to take a couple more pictures (because why not?).

hello swan!

hello swan!

"what are you looking at?"

“what are you looking at?”

The Park also contained the Serpentine Gallery, which unfortunately forbid photos from being taken. I did take a photo of the ‘Rock on Top of Another Rock’ exhibit outside though!

Serpentine Gallery

Serpentine Gallery

'Rock on Top of Another Rock'. Fischli/Weiss

‘Rock on Top of Another Rock’. Fischli/Weiss

After leaving the garden/park, we stopped by Albertopolis to take photos of the structure and the ‘Four Corners of the World’. My personal favorite is the continent of Asia – the elephant looks adorable, and I’m definitely not being biased when I say that!

Albertopolis © Gaby Garcia 2014

Albertopolis © Gaby Garcia 2014

Me and "Al"

Me and “Al”

Africa side 1

Africa side 1

Africa side 2

Africa side 2

Asia side 1

Asia side 1

Asia side 2

Asia side 2

Europe side 1

Europe side 1

Europe side 2

Europe side 2

America side 1

America side 1

America side 2

America side 2

Then, after taking a photo of the Royal Albert Hall, Gaby and I set off for our third and final stop of the day: the Natural History Museum! Of course, this was not inclusive of the several stops along the way, due to people asking for their photos to be taken! 

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