Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Napping and Walking during a British Holiday

I love a good nap.  I admired the audacity of this public napper, lying on a bench on the top deck of a boat on a journey down the Thames River. When I was in England, I managed to take a couple of my usual quick naps, but mostly there was too much to see and too many miles to walk.

My phone can track my walking miles, but not my napping minutes.  Google Maps is a nifty application which allows me to look at any day and see a map of my precise location, a summary of miles traveled, and times.  (To find it on your phone, go to Google Maps, to "Your Places", "Visited", and "View in Timeline".  It will also show photos you have taken in the various locations.)  

My phone says my sister and I arrived at Kew Gardens on August 14th at 12:31 p.m. and left at 5:19 p.m.  We began by walking .4 miles along the Broad Walk on our way to lunch at the Orangery.  The Broad Walk is a wide promenade bordered with 30,000 varieties of plants.  The Google app couldn’t capture the stop and starts that I made taking photos or my failure to remember the name of plant species in my rush.  Here was one of my favorite photos taken along the Walk.  I’ll just call the flowers “golden pinwheels”.  

Ordinarily, I take a short twenty minute nap after lunch, but instead my sister and I wandered through the Princess of Wales Conservatory.  The plants in the Conservatory were stunning and kept my attention.  Also, there were no benches for napping, but notice that while posing with hanging flowers, I do look fairly alert.  Again, I don't know the precise names of any of these plants.

Unfolding Leaves
A species of water lily with three to four foot wide pads.
  My sister gets this photo credit of the hanging orange flowers over my shoulder.
As we boarded a "land" train for a ride around the entire garden park, I noticed grandparents napping on the lawn with their two wide-awake grandchildren.  I was envious.  But Judith and I kept going.  We wandered through the recently-rennovated Temperate Glass House.

Only my fisheye lens could catch the immensity of this structure. Its opening date was 1863.

Near the end of our visit to Kew Gardens, coleus leaves seemed to cheerfully wave goodbye.  
My sister and I (according to Google Maps) then rode a bus for 2.8 miles to our Airbnb flat and took the slightest of naps before walking again.  This time we walked to an Italian dinner in our neighborhood and then for a short walk in the neighborhood.

As we strolled along the Thames River across from Eel Pie Island, a man with a dog approached my sister and asked her if she had seen the "naked ladies".  Replying in the negative, he beckoned us down the walk and through an arch in the bushes.  And there were the Naked Ladies!  

The marble sculptures had been imported from France to be installed on the grounds of the York House, the home of a French family escaping the French Revolution.  The name of the artist has been lost.  

Something in the lily pond in front of the statues attracted the man's dog.  Our day ended with the sound of a British man calling his British Jack Russell.  "Dylan, come.  No, Dylan.  Come!  No!"  Google Maps indicated that we stood in the slowly failing light by the Naked Ladies and a determined dog until 8:42 p.m.  We then walked 350 yards to our cozy bed in our flat for a good night's sleep.  Dylan, the dog, put his paw in the lily pond, looked back at his owner and preceded us out of the opening in the hedge.         

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