Sunday, 22 August 2010

21 August 2010

My Saturday ritual of waking up and consulting the Top 10 London book, picking something to do and going there continues. Today I decided Marylebone seemed like a good spot to go to. So I got on the tube at Shepherd’s Bush market Station and headed to the Baker’s Street and then up to Marylebone. First stop Lord’s Cricket Ground for the stadium tour.


So the tour office is tucked away in a corner behind the member’s pavilion. The tour starts in the museum where the Ashes are kept, I knew the urn was small but it is smaller than you think and I walked straight past it without noticing. It is really odd that this great cricketing battle takes place over this tin urn and the players that win it don’t even get to touch it. A replica is used for the photos and the publicity afterwards.

From there we went to view a Real Tennis court and watched two guys play this odd game. From the serve the ball has to bounce at least once on top of a roof before crossing the net. We weren’t allowed to take photos inside so I couldn’t get a shot of the court.

Next it was off to the long room where the players have to walk through to get to the pitch. Sometimes it is difficult for them because it is so packed with members. Next it was off to the committee room where the rules of the game are decided and talked about.

From there it was up the stairs to the player’s dressing room. The dressing rooms are pretty low key. I am sure there are better facilities at the top clubs in SA. The player’s balcony is tiny and you have to walk across a passage way to get to the showers. This caused a problem when they allowed the women members into the club. The honours boards are impressive in a sense that they are filled with the great cricketing names but they are not exactly fancy. They are just wooden boards with black print. You would expect dark wood with golden print but they are pretty plain. We then went to the away dressing room where I answered the question of who beat the 73 year old record held by Bradman of the highest visitors score at Lords. If you guessed Graeme Smith then you are correct.

From there it was out onto the Grand Stand where we were allowed to take pictures and from there we went up into the ugly media centre. They are very proud of it at Lords but it looks ridiculous. The view from the centre is brilliant and the facilities are excellent. That was the end of the tour and I had a great time and every cricket lover should go to Lords.

Regent's Park

Regent’s Park is located pretty close to Lords so I walked down there to check it out. On the way I passed the Central London Mosque which is pretty ugly if I am honest. It consists of a great big gold dome and a concrete tower. Luckily the surrounding area is covered in trees and you don’t have to look at it too often.

I walked through Regent’s which is one of the many Royal parks in London. Queen mary’s garden is in the park and has a range of flowers as well as an open air theatre. As plants aren’t really my thing I left the park and headed to the Wallace Collection.

Wallace Collection

I wasn’t too sure of where the building was so while I was on Marylebone High Street I saw a map showing you where the tourist spots were and to my surprise the Wallace Collection was 20 metres away from the map.

The Museum was established in 1897 when Sir Richard Wallace’s wife left the building and the vast collection of art to the nation. It is a magnificent old house with elaborate rooms filled with art, furniture and pottery from the 15th to 19th century. There are even these little wax sculptures in frames that cannot be exposed to direct sunlight so they are kept in cabinets that are covered in cloth that you lift up when you want to have a peek. Boucher’s paintings were pretty cool as well as the Italian paintings. The Italian paintings seem to have more vibrant colours which I seem to like more than other paintings. The Wallace Collection is free so if you find yourself in this part of London pop in and have a look around you don’t have to spend to long there and is well worth it.

From there I walked along Oxford Street, stopping off at a few shops along the way. Then I hopped on the tube and headed home after an excellent day.

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