Samstag, 30. September 2017

London on a rainy day

Go visit the countless museums. I went to see the Natural History Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum which are right next to each other and can be reached from South Kensington Station.

Lot's of London Museums are free. You can get lost there for hours until the sun re-appears. The V&A has a lovely garden and three cafe's. The area around the South Kensington tube station offers lot's of places and is great for discovering.

Cafe Leon

The Whale at the Natural History Museum.

The V&A

Freitag, 29. September 2017

The heights of London

Wednesday was the "highlight" of my London adventure. I was able to view London from above, from dizzying heights.

First I went to the Tower Bridge to experience the Glass Floor Walkways. I was surprised at how quiet it was but appearantly the tourists go to the Tower first so that it only gets busier around noon.
The Glass Floor Walkways are amazing and well worth the 10 Pounds. And you get to see the innermost secrets of one of London`s most famous buildings.

This is the Engine Room of the Tower Bridge:

Second I went to the Skygarden also known as the Walkie-Talkie building. It is free but you need to book a space online, because it gets so busy. It also has an actual garden with palm trees and lots of fern.

Third came the Viewing Platform of the Tate Modern, not quite as high as the Skygarden but still offering a stunning view across London. As I`m not a huge fan of modern art, the most impressive for me was the architecture of the former power station. Just imagine, being offered this blank canvas to design an art gallery.

My fourth adventure was a visit of the View at the Shard, a skyscraper next to London Bridge. It is very expensive to even go up in the elevator but for me it was a birthday treat with a glass of Champagne thrown in.

Before I left, the guide recommended a visit to the toilet!!

The Shard from the street.

Donnerstag, 28. September 2017

Kew Gardens

For my time in London I had a to-do list as long as my arm, not having been here since my Blogtacular adventure 2 years ago.

Number 1: See the Hive at Kew Gardens!

The 17 metre high installation by Wolfgang Buttress was inspired by a bee hive and highlights the
Importance of pollinators to our future food security.

After admiring the plants and doing some sketching I went up the Treetop Walkway.

Allowing close-up views in 18 metres high canopies:

It offers amazing views and even a lift, if you are not good on your feet. Back on the ground there are lot`s of sculptures to discover:

Some more impressions:

Mittwoch, 27. September 2017

Wonky Heidi goes to Cornwall part 6

The Lost Gardens of Heligan

About 15 years ago I stumbled across Tim Smit`s account of how he discovered and excavated the Gardens of Heligan. Now after all those years I finally managed to visit them. 

On the way back to London we stopped for a few hours and strolled through acres of woodland and it felt like stepping back in time. Like an episode of "From Lark Rise to Candleford".

We admired the Giant`s Head with its amazing blue eyes:

The Mud Maid, sleeping peacefully:

And stopped for a quick sketch at the Charcoal Sculpture:

That done, we had to rush through the rest because we were running out of time and still had to get lunch and pay a visit to the shop. I recommend at least 5 hours to be able to see most of it at a leisurely pace. I obviously need to return to see the Pineapple house!

PS: Tim Smit is also the genius behind the Eden Project.

Wonky Heidi goes to Cornwall part 5

Minack Theatre 

To avoid the theme park that is Lands End we decided to go visit the Minack Theatre, an amphi theatre that is hewn into the rocky cliff, Minack meaning "rocky place" in Cornish.

Again this is the dreamchild of an extraordinary visionary, Rowena Cade, who started building it with her own hands in 1931.

The view across the Atlantic is breathtaking and even if you can`t attend a performance it is well worth the visit. Along the steps and seats you will find yet another beautiful rock garden.

Dienstag, 26. September 2017

Wonky Heidi goes to Cornwall part 4

Ode to St. Ives

22 years ago, during my first visit,  I fell head-over-heels in love with St. Ives and this love story continues until today!

After my rainy visit for the Sketch & Stroll event I knew, I had to come back another time. This time we parked the car at the Lelant Saltings Park & Ride and took the train. It`s a stunning 10-minutes ride along the shore.

We went to re-visit the Barbara Hepworth Studio & Garden. It is situated right in the middle of St. Ives, a tranquil haven from the bustling of the village. The collection is owned and managed by the Tate Gallery and a combined ticket is available.

When it was time to leave, my heart grew heavy. It is easily one of the most beautiful places ever, even with its hordes of tourists, divebombing seagulls and steep hills. The light reflected by the water gives it an ethereal quality which has drawn artists here for many decades. Every second shop is a gallery selling countless images of St. Ives and pottery.

We managed to come back the next afternoon for another dose of sea, sun and sand, finding the perfect spot on the harbour wall - breathing deeply.