Day 6: Friday, November 20

Off To See Henry

I was up in time for breakfast at the Euro this morning, and enjoyed the usual hearty and delicious fare. It was pouring rain today but was supposed to clear up later in the afternoon.

After breakfast I got myself ready and left the Euro at about 9:30 for a day trip to Hampton Court Palace, one of the residences of King Henry VIII in the early 1500’s. Here’s a gratuitous but well known image of the King, painted by Hans Holbein in 1536:

When I got to King’s Cross railway station I caught the Underground to Waterloo station. At Waterloo I changed on to a South Western Railway train for Hampton Court. The journey took only about 30 minutes and was a very nice, comfortable trip to Hampton Court station:

Hampton Court is located in Zone 6 so I could still use my London TravelCard for the trip without any additional cost.

I spent the rest of the day touring the Palaces and their grounds – it’s a fascinating place:

I went through the Hampton Court Gardens and Maze as well, and found the maze’s centre:

Later, I watched actors reenact the marriage and final procession of Henry VIII and Catherine Parr in the Clock Court:

Late in the day I had a light lunch at the “Privy Kitchen” cafeteria in the Palace. The day had passed in a flash and darkness was starting to fall – time to make my way to the exit and find the train back to central London:

Hampton Court Palace in the sunset

I hit the gift shop on the way out of the Palace and bought some souvenir books for Vince and myself. I found and boarded the South Western Railway train from Hampton back to Waterloo station, then switched to the Northern line to Euston Station and walked back to the Euro. It was about 5:00 p.m. when I reached the hotel – what a day!

I was very tired so I opted to just stay in this evening, but first I needed sustenance! I went to The Valencia on the corner of Marchmont Street and Tavistock Place for something to eat at about 8:00 p.m., and had possibly the greasiest food I’ve ever eaten in this lifetime. The dish was some kind of roasted chicken with boiled potatoes; there was supposed to be gravy but it was pure grease instead. There was some pathetic shrivelled up lettuce on the side that was supposed to represent a “salad”. GAG!

With stomach rolling, I came back to the Euro and got caught up on my journal and emails, then turned in for the evening at about 10:00 p.m.

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