Friday, June 7, 2024

London

After many years we travelled to London again, just so for fun. Tomaž needed some convincing, but then he also realised what a great idea this was. Or he just gave in and stopped protesting.
We flew on Wednesday, May 15th, we are lucky to have a direct flight to Gatwick from Ljubljana and we landed shortly after noon. We took a train to London Bridge and made a short walk there.

Then we took underground to Golders Green where our hotel was. Hotel was quite nice, new and clean and had everything we needed. Before dinner we made a long walk through local park, the walk was a bit longer than what we planned since we got a bit lost and first landed in Hampstead Heath...

...and then found to Golders Hill park.
There were wild pigeons there...
...we also found a deer enclosure...
...and even a small ZOO with very fluffy egrets.
Of course there were squirrels there as well, probably excepting some treats.
Next day the wether was not so great, it was rainy and grey, and we decided to spend the wet part of the day in Natural History Museum. Instead of the skeleton of a big dinosaur that usually greets people in big entrance hall there is a skeleton of big whale hanging from the ceiling and while it was impressive I was still a bit disappointed. Dinosaur is temporarily in some museum in USA.
We walked through the museum for several hours, there are many interesting things one can see and learn.

And I was very impressed with the building itself, it is so beautiful.

Of course we also saw some dinosaurs.
The weather got better in early afternoon and after some great cakes in L'ETO caffe we walked all the way from museum through Wellington arch...
...along Buckingham palace...
...through St.James park with friendly squirrels...
...geese and ducks with their babies and pretty foxglows...
...all the way to Soho. There we spent a really lovely evening with my relatives.
Next day weather was again sunny and warm and it was perfect day for a boat ride on Thames. We sailed from Embankment across the London Eye...
...by on Parliament and Big Ben...
...to Battersea Power station.
I know about it from the Pink Floyd Animals album cover and as I read it was renewed and is open I had to see it.
I was really pleasantly surprised with how much respect to old industrial architecture it was renovated, it looks really great.
Even Tomaz was quite impressed with all the old parts that are still there.
This is how Pink Floyd's album looked like. The funny part was that the pink inflatable pig that was tethered to one of the south chimneys actually escaped and even disturbed the Heathrow air traffic, got police helicopter escort and finally landed off the coast in Kent. Today the pig would probably just simply be photoshopped into the photo without any drama.
The whole complex is actually a shopping mall with lots of restaurants and a cinema complex. We did't do any shopping, but still found so many interesting things to admire.


We took the elevator ride up one of the chimneys and had a great view to all sides of London and the surroundings - to the South...
...and to the East to the Shard and old Financial district...
...and a bit more to the SE to the new Financial district in the back.
Although the price for the elevator is quite steep it was worth it, the view was really great. Wish we had more time at the top. 
Afterwards we had a great lunch at the Dishoom restaurant in the complex next to the power station, it was the best Indian food we ever had. When I'm in London next time, I will definitely eat at Dishoom again.
Next we took a boat and sailed down the Thames to Tower bridge.
We were lucky to see the Tower bridge being opened so that the old sailboat could sail under it.
In the evening we got together with a friend from Slovenija and had a nice evening in Korean Spicy grill in Golders green, again we had some really delicious food.
On Saturday morning weather was again not great again, not very much rain, but it was rather cold and breezy. So we spent the morning in another museum - the Maritime museum in Greenwich. Although we've already visited it in the past we still found lots of interesting things and even some new ones. In the afternoon we walked through the pedestrian Thames tunnel, this is how the entrance looks on North side.
Across the river on South side there is a Greenwich power station, similar to that in Battersea but smaller.
This is the Old Royal Naval college.
And this is the Greenwich pier with masts of Cutty Sark and to the right is the South entrance to the pedestrian Thames tunnel.
Then we got together with our Slovenian friend and had a nice afternoon in Coach and Horses pub.
Sunday was our last day but luckily our plane was in late afternoon, so we had enough time to get together with my relatives again. We made a nice walk around Hampton Court palace.
We didn't have the time to go in, so this remains on to do list. The best thing about the palace were its many elaborate chimneys.
After a lovely lunch our time was up and we had to go to the airport. We had such a great time and had so much lovely company, so we are surely not waiting so many years again before traveling to London next time.

 

Saturday, May 25, 2024

Šibenik and Krka falls

After Tomaž sailed Heron to Skradin we stayed on the boat for couple of days. Weather was very changeable and windy and not so suitable for sailing, so we decided to do some hiking in vicinity of marina, and of course to do some boat projects. One day we drove to town of Šibenik, that has a very old and pretty centre. Some streets are unbelievably narrow.
There are plenty of old buildings...
...statues...
...and churches.



We were wondering if this addition to the house was a loo and Tomaž went to see if it had a hole in the floor. It didn't.
This is a nice garden in cafe where we had a really good ice cream.
Couldn't resist a cute kitty.
We climbed up to the fortress...

...from where there was a good view to another one on the next hill.
Architecture is really pretty and it is evident how Šibenik was an important and rich town in the past.

The next day we chose to go to the Krka river falls. There are ships that bring visitors to the falls, no other vessels are allowed beyond this bridge.
I was really struggling to choose photos for this post, it's such a magical place and most of the photos were great, although I took them with my mobile phone.
This is the only orchid that I saw.
The entrance fee is quite steep, but the place is gorgeous and really worth the visit. We made a good deal and bought a yearly ticket, that costs the same as three visit in low season or one and half visits in high season. No brainer, right?
These are remains of the first hydro power plant here, built more than 100 years ago, it started working just two days after the Niagara power plant was open. It made Šibenik the first town in the world with AC/DC power.

There is a circular path around the park with many great views and lots of plants and animals. The damselflies were shimmering in the sun like jewellery.

Frogs were very loud, probably they were mating.
It is so beautiful how water just flows over small waterfalls...
...and through the trees.
I guess half of the photos I took were of damselflies...
...and other half of the water. Other people were mostly taking selfies.
I just know we will use the yearly tickets often, just maybe not in high season, for me there were more than enough people there already on this day.