. Hyde Park was a nice place - very busy with walkers, runners, families etc etc. it is said to be the lifeblood of London, being the biggest park; over 40 acres. London has lots of green spaces - squares and parks which is another thing that impresses me. So, from Kensington Palace, we jumped the bus again to Hyde Corner, and then walked along what I think I saw was a sign saying The Diana Memorial Walk - no indication of why - to Buckingham Place for our 12.30 tour of the 12 "State" rooms. Tours only happen while the Queen is on hols, so with the last day for tours tomorrow, we were very fortunate to pick up a spot. Opulent and confrontingly so. Dave and Janet had been earlier than us, so we met them at Harrods and had our debrief. Had lunch and a very quick wander through a couple of the departments. On the tube back to The Grosvenor, four of us into a taxi. Dropped off our bags at the County Plaza, since this is where we leave from in the morning for Paris. Down to The Thames for our cruise and an hour later, sitting having Chinese and very enjoyable too. We sadly said goodbye to Dave and Janet, though we will see them briefly in Hong Kong as we fly in and they fly out. They go to Belgium, Amsterdam and Russia.
And so our time in the UK comes to an end. Neither of us had ever had any inclination to visit here, but I'm glad we have. It is an amazing country - and I have loved London. Vibrant, busy, fascinating, alive - and we have been blessed with great weather. France......here we come!
Paul and I set off at 9am this morning headed for Kensington Palace. Aside from it being Diana's place of residence and now that of William and Cate, I was particularly interested in the wardrobe addition to the tour that I had read about. There was no acknowledgement in the whole place of the contribution Diana had made in her life to the community or her place in the Royal family - scandalous as that may have been. One photo of her appeared on a wall, and 5 of her garments on display - that was it. Nothing in the gift shop - not even the tartan woven as a fundraiser for The Diana Foundation. I asked one of the gentlemen "on guard" about the memorial fountain to which he replied "it's not really a fountain, just an indent in the ground with water running over it". And it is probably 30 mins from Kensington Palace in Hyde Park. My guess is that too close would have meant people paying homage with flowers etc for which the Palace would have no control. I think this has been the most disappointing aspect of our time in London