Saturday, October 31, 2009

Food, glorious food

Thursday, October 22, 2009


My post options on this blog is screwed up. This post is supposed to appear today but instead it appeared on October 14. It's somewhere down the bottom. So to salvage the situation I'm adding this little post just so I don't screw up the itinerary. Not that anyone care but I do.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A walk along the river Thames

Walking to and from Petersham Nurseries would involve walking along the river Thames. The famous river Thames that we read about ever since we were little. If anyone of us has ever been associated with England like me, having lived under the British in one of their colonies, would have the Thames as one of our first English words. I've walked over the Millennium bridge in London and that is over the Thames but this was the closest I've ever been to Thames, I could touch it. The light was fading ever so slightly, it being late afternoon but there was still enough light to take some good shots.

What a day it has been, just lovely. Richmond is the last stop on the District line, the stop just before it is for Kew Garden. I visited Kew some ten years ago, maybe it's time to revisit Kew, but not on this trip. So there are still reasons to return to England even after so many trips.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

A French bakery

I don't know what these are but they were making a lot of them in this bakery. It must be popular. It is some kind of cake that is coated with whipped cream (I think) or some kind of frosting and then rolled in white or dark chocolate shavings. I just had some gaufre, so I wasn't in the mood to try anything else. What would I do if I can extend my stay here? Would I try everything in the bakeries? I'd probably put on 100 pounds before my stay is over. Not to mention, my arteries would all be clogged.

Food, glorious food

While it is a place to eat great European food, Europe is also a place to eat North African food. I've had a great meal of Lamb Tagine in Bayonne, France, a few years ago. We did go to a Moroccan restaurant in Lille but their food was really mediocre. We had some great Turkish food in Munich. It made me want to fly to Istanbul just to eat. Plans to visit Morocco and Turkey are on tap for next year.

Sometimes I eat not because I'm hungry but that I could take pictures and have something to write about. After all, what's life about, to experience new things. It is about experiences. What's money for? To buy experiences. Here am I with my gaufre covered with Nutella.

We spent a long time outside this bakery, window licking and taking pictures of the activity inside. They had long lines constantly and the staff were frantically making new stuff to replenish their shelves.

MMMMMM, homemade Marshmallows. They were so pretty and so good. I had to get some. It lasted me the whole trip, every night I would eat a couple. Sophie didn't like them so I ate them all.

Me and the marshmallows that I bought.

Behind closed doors

While we were mostly photographing the fronts of buildings, we did venture into the back courtyards and saw these beautiful buildings. We talked among ourselves and wondered about the people whose windows we were looking at. Being travelers, we are voyeurs, looking into other people's lives. We wondered about how other pay their bills, what their attitudes towards work is like, how do they vote, their views about their future, the future of their country, the future of the world......Americans, especially now, has the greatest angst about everything, work, taxes, the value of the US dollar, terrorism, the lowering of our living standards.....I'm glad I'm still able to travel, even though the style that I travel in has diminish over the years, not that I traveled in any great style previously. Definitely I'm staying in cheaper places, eating at cheaper places, always refusing to pay entrance fees. I find myself squeezing more out of each trip because each trip is costing more in terms of the exchange rate. I'm getting use to it and have no complaints. As long as I'm still able to travel, I'm happy.

Old twisty streets

Looking a these pictures again reminded me of one winter, many years ago. We went skiing in Utah and driving into Salt Lake City that day after the biggest snow storm was an incredible feeling. It was a year when Utah experienced the greatest amount of snow. There was snow everywhere, the roof tops, the trees, anything and everything and in the misty afternoon sun, the whole thing looked and felt like being in a picture postcard. It felt surreal and was the most beautiful feeling. These pictures of pastel colored buildings has the same surreal look and feeling. It didn't looked or felt as beautiful as now, looking at it through the camera lens. It is beautiful. This is the reason why we go to Europe. Old Europe is so different from new Southern California and a change of scenery is so needed.
Being at the border with Belgium, Lille, France has a very Flemish flair to it. We did enjoy our brief interlude in Lille, France

Around Richmond, a beautiful park

Richmond lies just next to the Thames and is so beautiful and bucolic. The city is just big enough with a few fancy shops. It is small and we get into some afternoon rush hour traffic on the back to the tube station. We took the bus but we saw a beautiful park and decided to get off to walk the rest of the way. This was a wise decision. We passed this beautiful hotel.

The park was placed on a rolling hillside and at the top was this cute cafe. There were families playing on the grass and people having tea at the cafe.

September is still a wonderful time to visit, it was still very warm and the flowers are still blooming. Come later, maybe 3 weeks later, the chill would have killed them all. I do recommend visiting in September when the crowds of summer are gone.

There were chestnut trees every where and ripen chestnuts were falling on our heads. The squirrels were having a field day, collecting all the chestnuts they could find.

This is the England we came to see.