After such a late night, we slept in until after 10am. Today was the day when we were to meet the woman who was selling her King Lear tickets to us, so we decided to have brunch near where we were to meet her. We had yummy ham and cheese croissants at a French cafe in Embankment — an odd little area with modern art stuck up on very modern glass/steel buildings, all along cobblestones streets. Serious juxtapositioning.
After the ticket/pound exchange, we made our way over to see Cleopatra’s Needle — a sandstone obelisk next to the Thames. It is rarely listed on tourist maps, and I’m not sure why. Maybe because it is _just_ an object? In any case, it was brought over from Egypt a long time ago, and survived the shelling of the city in WWII. (So says a plaque on one of the sphinxes.)
This was a day of gardens. As we were walking towards our next stop, we came across a lovely little enclosed garden where we spent some time admiring drifts of tulips.
We took the tube to the nearest point to Kensington Gardens and, realizing we were running late, hurriedly walked to where out tour began. J. had found this — a free tour of Kensington Gardens celebrating spring. It was a very nice 90 minutes, even though it began to sprinkle, and then pour. We were stoic about the sprinkling, but when it started to rain, we were no longer so happy. Luckily, an huge old horse chestnut tree sheltered us long enough, so it wasn’t drenching, just dampening.
We ended up right next to the Prince Albert memorial. It’s an amazing construction of sculptures and allegory. Queen Victoria really missed him, I guess.
From there it was just a quick walk to the Victoria Albert Museum. Another great collection of loot. By now, sadly, were we getting just a bit tired (we’d already been up and walking for 5 hours) so we decided to just see the highlights — all 50 of them. Stained glass, sculptures, paintings . . . more wow.
By now we were really tired. So we headed home and decided on an easy dinner at Casa Mamma again. This time I had wild mushroom ravioli and J. had one of the best lasagnas he’d every had.