Sunday, 26 June 2011

39. Wood Green

Wood Green is on the Piccadilly (Purple) Line. Just down the road from a couple of my least favourite stations Turnpike Lane and Finsbury Park - the area surrounding the Wood Green station is quite similar!

I was travelling through Wood Green today so that I could visit Alexandra Park and Palace. It was a scorching hot day and I thought I would jump on a bus to the top of the steep hill ... it broke down at the bottom of the steep hill.

The long climb up was well worth the views, but if I had been under the illusion that there might be a breeze at the top I was sadly mistaken. I visited the Rose Garden, but it was a little disappointing; I suppose I have left it too late for the best blooms and todays heat had wilted most of the remaining flowers.

The paddling "Lake" (?) was full of people enjoying themselves,

and the kiddies were very excited about throwing bread to the ducklings and goslings.

I got home about seven o'clock but there was still no let up from the heat!

Friday, 24 June 2011

38. Waterloo

Waterloo station is on the Northern (Black), Bakerloo (Brown) and Jubilee (Silver) Lines. It is an interchange with the Mainline station which serves a huge portion of the South East commuter belt. The Waterloo - City (known as the Drain) Line shuttles thousands of city commuters each day between here and the Bank. I remember all too clearly standing in the queues just to get onto that platform (Heaven help the ditherer during rush hour!) Waterloo used to be where the EuroStar departed from - I wonder who decided that the link to Europe should leave from the station named after Britains greatest victory over the French?

My reason for a trip to Waterloo today was far less stressful; I was taking some Australian visitors down to the London Eye.

This huge Ferris wheel stands on the Thames Embankment (south side of the river) and takes about half an hour to do a full circle - half an hour of spectacular views over London (on a clear day) and today was just that. I didn't go up but the visitors that did enjoyed it immensely - those that didn't took a stroll a long the Embankment, admiring the views ...

... watching the street performers and traffic on the Thames.

It was a perfect afternoon and after collecting the friends from the Eye we wandered over the bridge up to Covent Garden for a nice lunch and browse through the markets.

Sunday, 19 June 2011

37. Kensington Olympia

Kensington Olympia is on a small branch off the District (Green) Line.

I was visiting Kensington tonight with a group of colleagues - one of whom had organised a private tour of Blythe House. Blythe House is where all the exhibits from the V & A, the Science and the History museums go to gather dust when they are no longer on exhibit. Actually that is a bit unkind - there are millions of items there - all being stored for future generations.

I could have happily spent the two hours just pottering around the tapestry room but the boys were keen to look at model aircraft, computers and body parts ...

After the tour, which was really interesting, we all adjourned to a gastro pub nearby - good meal and pleasant company ... what more could you ask for?

Photos to follow when I work out how to upload/download from my mobile phone!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

36. White City

White City is on the Central (Red) Line.

As you exit White City tube station almost directly ahead is the headquarters of the BBC - on the evening I was here the BBC audience queues were massive but that wasn't my reason for being here ... I was Orienteering on the common - the Scrubs as they are known.

And bordering those same Scrubs is the infamous HMP Wormwood (hence the name Wormwood Scrubs)

As we set off on the run the guy at the start warned "Beware nettles, thistles, low flying aircraft and escaped prisoners ..." I saw plenty of the first three.

A very sad thing has happened though - I lost my camera this evening so will need to go back to photograph everything!

PS My camera was found the next day in the car of the person who gave me a lift home!

Sunday, 12 June 2011

35. Manor House

Manor House is on the Piccadilly (Purple) Line. On leaving the station you come out at the edge of the infamous Finsbury Park. Finsbury Park mosque was made notorious a few years ago because a number of radical muslims preached there.

I was visiting this station because I was attending an Orienteering event at Finsbury Park. We were meeting in the Finsbury Pub to register and after the event (which was good fun and a pleasant evenings exercise) we all piled back into the pub. Unfortunately it was Open Mic Nite - big mistake! I had thought the security on the door was to keep undesirables out - too late I realised it was to keep us in ...

Apart from the 100 or so people racing around with compasses and maps, and the hardy joggers, the park seemed to be frequented by drug dealers or people looking for drug dealers. Not sure I will be going back to the area!

Sunday, 5 June 2011

34. Hampstead

Hampstead is on the Edgeware branch of the Northern (Black) Line. It is the last underground station on the line to be underground - between Hampstead and Golders Green it bursts into open ground.

Hampstead is another of those no escalator stations, and as you know I am not permitted (in the rules) to exit using the lift so up I went ...

I have been running on Hampstead Heath quite a few times lately, it was a shame that today was so overcast because this point, where we always start and finish our runs, has quite a spectacular view on a bright clear day.

Today I was completing (yet) another permanent Orienteering course - all good practise for the on-going Country Park series.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

33. Sloane Square

Sloane Square is on both the District (Green) Line and Circle (Yellow) Line. Sloane Square is the bang slap right in the middle of the fashionably expensive area of Chelsea ... I remember years ago Sloane Rangers were the set of incredibly wealthy young ladies that Princess Di belonged to.

As I walked down towards my destination today I passed the Royal Hospital which is home to the Chelsea Pensioners. I did see a couple of them wandering around in full uniform (it was pretty hot out there today by the way!) and I always feel it a bit intrusive to take photographs of them so you'll have to settle for the statue.

So here is where I was headed ...

... and I was visiting the museum today because someone I know has an Exhibition on there. Matt Cook belongs to the same Orienteering Club as me - he is a very affable, unassuming man with a slightly off-the-wall sense of humour. The Exhibition was his hitherto unseen work from a couple of trips to Helmand province in Afghanistan. I have to say that I was totally overwhelmed by his talent and would urge anyone reading this who is able to, to get over to the Museum before the 26th June! It is well worth the visit - and the rest of the museum is quite interesting too.