Old World Palaces And Castles

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Palaces and Castles

“ And if she asks you why, you can tell her that I told you, that I’m tired of castles in the air “Don McLean (I love that song)

Castles and palaces are pieces of the past. They are evocative of the people who lived in them many centuries ago. They are rich in folklore and history and often built with astonishing craftsmanship and innovative design. Here are some of the palaces that I have toured. Many of these photos were before I was blogging so less palace and more look I was there shots.

Alhambra – Granada, Spain

fullsizeoutput_5ea7Buckingham Palace – London, England

Buda Castle – Budapest, Hungary (view near castle)

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Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale) – Venice, Italy

Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh, Scotland

Neuschwanstein – Hohenschwangau, Germany

Pena Palace – Sintra, Portugal

Peterhof, (known as Petrodvorets and Petergof) – Petergof ,Saint Petersburg, Russia

Pitti Palace – Florence, Italy

Prague Castle – Prague, Czech Republic

Schoenbrunn – Vienna, Austria

Trakai Castle – Trakai, Lithuania.

Palace Of Versailles, Versailles, France

Fly safe,

JAZ

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Best Things To Do In London (With A Little Help From My Friends)

Best Things To Do In London  (with a little help from my friends)

” ‘The British really have everything in common with America nowadays except of course, language. “ Oscar Wilde

One of the nicest meals I had in London was at Square Pie in the basement food hall at Selfridges on Oxford Street. I had spent a week in London with my sister, and we had gone to restaurants like J Sheeky and The River Cafe, and had filled our days and evenings with sightseeing and theatre. One afternoon we were so tired from museums  and shopping that we collapsed at Square Pie, where we stood in line and had delicious and probably very un-PC lamb and kidney pies and mushy peas.    TN

I would recommend  taking in Hyde Park. Formerly one of King Henry VIII’s private hunting grounds, Hyde Park was the site of the triathlon at this years Olympics. Enjoy a spot of tea at the café on the river before you hop on a paddle boat and enjoy London on the river. Admire the Queen’s swans and gawk at the protesters at Speakers Corner. This  continues to become a part of recent history as there are monuments to Princess Diana and a shrine to the victims of the 7/7 attacks.  It’s a change to the outdoors if you get tired of being in museums all day. Enjoy the park and all its beauty.  AA

Anything in Covent Garden. i LOVE Covent garden.   HS

My favorite place to visit in London is the famed Silver Vaults.  These subterranean vaults, on Chancery Lane in the heart of the legal district, opened in the late 1800’s renting strong rooms to London’s wealthy elite to safeguard their household silver, jewelry and personal documents.  The strong rooms morphed over time into silver shops and since 1953 rapid expansion of the retail business has led to the present format.  The rooms range in size from elaborate and spacious to virtual closet and all manner of dealers are present offering their wares with the delightful addition of the “is that your best price” haggling element added to elevate the buying experience from conventional to enjoyable and delightful.  It’s a wonderful place to see  things silver from marrow spoons to salt cellars and everything in between.  HM

I enjoyed being at “Ye Old Cheshire Cheese Pub”, a historic literary pub on Fleet Street. There has been a pub in that location since the sixteenth century.  The famous people who have drunk in Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese include Sir Arthur Conon Doyle, Charles Dickens, Samuel Johnson, Mark Twain, Oliver Goldsmith and Alfred Tennyson. It is one of the 5000 pubs in London LS

I absolutely adore the British Museum. I can take any ages there and there are pieces of ambient Greek, Roman, Egyptian history (and more). Architecturally, the building is a marvel. Free admission. I will sometimes go on my own. It is a short walk to Soho and Covent Garden. I like the Southbank as well as I love the National Film Theatre to watch films on the Thames. Also, I enjoy going to the Buddhist temple In Wimbledon.  DZ

Loved going to Notting Hill flea market  and seeing where  the Notting Hill movie took place!   EW

A couple of absolutes. First the half price ticket office on Leicester Square in the theater district. From 2-6 day of performance, most theater at half off and potentially great seats. Second on Jermyn St. which is the men’s street for clothes and shirts. Turnbull-Asser. The best dress shirts for men in the world. Expensive but worth it.  A few nights at Cliveden, in Maidenhead about 45 min. from the airport. One of the great estates in England. Formerly the Prince of Wales, the Astors, where the Profumo affair rocked England 50 years ago. This magnificent estate sits on 500 acres and on the Thames. Have them pack a lunch and take their boat for a trip up the Thames. The experience is right out of the Great Gatsby. Expensive but something you will never forget.  SG

I went to see the Cecil Beaton exhibit at the War Museum – a place i have never been to. They had some interesting other exhibits and it a great place to take the kids on a Sunday – a lot of large tanks and planes from WWI and II.  I always visit the Tate Modern as well. This time they had a really fun performance art piece going on in the large entry hall. It was fun to have a coffee on the second level and watch everyone’s reaction as they walked in. Museums in London are free but you do have to pay admission to the special exhibits.   This time I stayed at the Charlotte St Hotel.  it is one of those boutique hotels where every room is different. It is really cool and everyone knows you .  i would stay there any time I am in London.  This is a big recommendation coming from me because I love to try different hotels.     JAZ

Take in a show at The National Theatre.  Make an evening of it by walking on the Southbank of the River Thames and dining there before taking in one of the critically acclaimed show that have some of Britain’s brightest and rising stars. Get a ticket early, because the best shows sell out every night of the week. We have big Hollywood movies, they have big budget Theatre.  AA

We enjoyed  going to the Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea. They had a really good Karl Lagerfeld  exhibit.  We loved  eating and shopping on Portobello Road in Notting Hill.   SF

I think one of the things I like best (aside from all the usual) about London is all the ethnic food.  British food is awful, but you can find fabulous Indian, Italian, Chinese…all over.  AR

I love the taxi cabs in London.  Cab drivers in London must memorize 320 different routes, 25,000 streets, and 20,000 landmarks to be certified as drivers. It is called “The Knowledge” and takes two to four years to complete. A study of their brain scans show that their part of the brain that deals with memory has become enlarged.  It is the opposite training procedure of taxis in NY where I grew up. The only requirement seems to be that you have a taxi license  with a picture and have been in NY for five minutes.   JAZ

I  always go for the tour of Buckingham Palace when it’s open.  I love tea/cocktails at Claridges, I always go to the flagship store of Manolo Blahnik, I always visit a funky little boutique called Egg, I love dinner at River Cafe, J Sheekey & The Woolsey, I love the theatre, I always visit the Victoria & Albert Museum & I know there’s other stuff I love because I love, love, love London! CL

For more info go to things I have Learned In the UK

https://havefunflysafe.wordpress.com/2012/06/08/things-i-learned-in-the-u-k/

Fly Safe,

JAZ

Things I Learned In The U.K.

“From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere!”

Dr. Seuss, One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish

Things I Learned In The UK

There is nothing the Brits love better than musicals where they already know the songs, drinks that light up in the theatre,  and drag queens,  as in Mamma Mia, Thriller, Dirty Dancing,  We Will Rock you and  Priscilla Queen of the Desert.

The UK did a composite of the worst drivers in the UK. The worst woman would be a hairdresser from Gloucester, driving a BMW. Hairdressing must be lucrative in  Gloucester.

An ATM is called a hole in the wall.  As in, the hole in the wall is not working.

Buckingham Palace seems to be a lovely place to grow up.

If you are starving and you don’t know what you would like to eat, the food department at Harrods would not be the place to go. ( so big and overwhelming. )

The guards at the  Tower of London  are called Yeoman Warders or the “Beefeaters”. Their job description is to look after  the prisoners in the tower and guard the crown jewels.  Their actual job is tour guide. They are called Beefeaters because up until the eighteen hundreds, they were paid in part with chunks of beef.(life seemed a lot easier –no vegans, vegetarians, pescatarians – just beefeaters)

I love watching the news on the BBC. It is much less stressful than CNN.  If it rains a little more than usual  here,  we are on Storm Watch.   An engine shuts off on a plane in the air and they have “ a bit of a problem”.

If you have no sense of direction, then walking from the National Gallery in London to Harvey Nichols is probably not a good idea, unless you have done it before and for some reason, your feet go in the right direction and you get there

There are no sales in   Edinburgh or London when I am there.

In the UK, they say sorry instead of excuse me, which does make it better when they bump into you.

In London, you can be engaged just by closing a bathroom door.

In the Uk, everyone says  no worries. We have recently taken that one. I still worry.

If you are walking down the Royal Mile in Edinburgh and you see men on stilts, Vikings, people  in animal costumes, a lot of Elizabethans, mimes, magicians  and assorted costumes; and they happen to be begging, cajoling, pleading, persuading, enticing, sweet-talking you into seeing their plays, you have arrived in August at the Fringe Festival .It is one of the largest and most popular theatre arts festivals in the world.  My daughter has performed there and my son has worked there.  It is one of my favorite places to be in August.

The Edinburgh Tatoo, which has been sold out in advance for the last two decades, plays every night in August.  It is a ceremonial performance by military musicians. There are military corps from all over the world playing bagpipes and drums. It has turned into quite the extravaganza and like nothing else I have ever seen. I have to say I teared up at the end when 8000 people linked arms and sang Auld Lang Syne with correct pronunciation.

Not everyone in Edinburgh speaks like Sean Connery and sometimes understanding the Scottish brogue can be a bit of a problem.  I just smile and nod and I hope I didn’t agree to anything important.

In Heathrow Airport there is a sign with a picture of a woman and two men. It is not the international symbol for menage a trois,  It means elevator(?)

The Saatchi Gallery is always closed when I get to London.

The Tate Modern is always open when I am there. I love to walk from there across the Milennium Bridge to St Paul’s Cathedral.

Heathrow Airport has the best sales in July.

The British Museum houses all the antiquities that the British plundered from other countries. It probably would have been great to see the Rosetta Stone , Elgin Marbles and ancient Egyptian statues in their own countries instead of the Hall of the Stolen Goods.

If you have no sense of direction in Scotland, it doesn’t matter because when you ask one person for directions, everyone on the street will stop and give you their opinion as to the best way to get there.

Traditional British food is anything high in cholesterol and fried in grease.  They have names like Bubble and Squeak ( some left over mashed potato and cabbage pancake  -no bubbling or squeaking), Bangers and Mash (sausages and mashed potatoes), Haggis (pork guts cooked in sheep stomach, ) beans on toast (Brits are obsessed with toast) Yorkshire Pudding ( not pudding –bread),Cornish Pasties (meat in a pastry almost as good as the many different types of canned meats),  black pudding (sausage? Is everything edible called pudding?) Scotch eggs (hard boiled egg fried inside a sausage inside a pastry).  Dessert can be Sticky Toffee Pudding (yum)  or (yes) Spotted Dick. (yellow cake with raisins) followed by digestive biscuits  .(need I say more here?)

The most common phrase in the UK seems to be “Is this the queue?

For more info read London with a little help frim my friends

https://havefunflysafe.wordpress.com/2012/10/30/best-things-to-do-in-london-with-a-little-help-from-my-friends/

Fly Safe

JAZ