05 July 2009

Vacation: London, England Day 3

We took a bit more of the bus tour around London before taking off at Piccadilly Circus. From there we rode the Tube and the train to Hampton Court Palace.

We arrived at the palace on Henry VIII's wedding day to Catherine Parr. We saw them wandering around the halls and grounds throughout the day, and I even managed to attend his "bachelor party."

Inside the palace we toured Henry VIII's apartments and saw his Abraham tapestries.

The tapestries were commissioned in the 1500s and have, of course, faded considerably over time. In one room they had a "Lighting of the Tapestry" display where, using a computer projection, one tapestry is lit to show the bright, vibrant, original colors of the work. With those bright colors, you could really see how tapestries on the wall could help light a room.

We also went through an exhibit about the women in Henry's life. We also saw another exhibit about his younger days when he was married to Katherine of Aragon and friends with Cardinal Wolsey (the original owner of Hampton Court).

Part of Hampton Court Palace was remodeled by Christopher Wren, so the building is almost like two palaces pushed together. Wren planned to tear down the entire Tudor structure and rebuild but, thankfully, was unable to do so. Mom and I preferred the Tudor side. I was fascinated with the chimney designs. Each stack was different.

In the gardens at the palace, we saw two swans swimming in the fountain. People were walking and standing awfully close to those birds. They were eating, and since swans can be quite aggressive, I kept waiting for one of them to attack a visitor. But neither one did.

Then we went to the Maze. I made it all the way to the center without ever getting lost on the way in and on the way out. Yay, me! Mom did not go in the Maze.

We ate lunch in the Tiltyard Cafe at the palace. I had Georgian Spring Soup (kind of like vegetable) and bread. Mom had King's Pie, which she didn't particularly care for.

Our final stop was the Tudor kitchens. Unfortunately, no one was cooking in them that day, but they had fake foods sitting out, so we could see how meals were prepared.

Then we returned to London on the train.

No comments: