You may remember us commenting that the trip we went on last year was to be our last big one. Well here we are again, doing what we love to do, back in London on our next big adventure. we left NZ lats Sunday and traveled with China Southern via Guangzhou arriving London Monday afternoon local time. We find China Southern an affordable way to travel business class and find them really good. It also means a more rapid dilution of the kids inheritance for which I am sure we will get no thanks. Sorry kids, but there you go. Even with a nice bed in which to relax all the way from New Zealand to Britain it does not entirely eliminate the effects of jet lag and it still takes us a couple of days to get ourselves sorted.
On previous trips we have seen many of the art treasures of Britain but had never visited the Tate Britain nor another gallery of which I had not heard of before, the Wallace Collection. Now this later proved to be a wee gem and is housed in the former townhouse of the Seymour Family, the Marquesses of Hertford. The 4th Marquess created this private collection and left it to his illegitimate son, Sir Richard Wallace whose widow bequeathed the entire shooting box to the nation. The collection is housed in some 30 galleries and is magnificent consisting not only of Old Master artworks but many other treasures of a bygone age. The best known painting in the collection is Frans Hals "Laughing Cavalier" but there are others by Rembrandt, Titian, Velazquez and Gainsborough among others.
The object which caught my eye however was a small table clock made in the mid 1500 s and I consider the a thing of equal beauty to the works of the Masters when one considers how it was made, entirely by hand and with such precision that it still works almost 500 years later.
( This is where all the dignitaries stood during those big military parades that we used to see on TV)
rym Department Store.
After lunch which it's self was quite quirky being our first solo attempt at such in Russia and was in an underground shopping centre. Here they have a fast food chain called My My (p. Moo Moo) where they have precooked meals which you mix and match to your taste and they dish it all up cafeteria style and off you go to your table. These meals a quite good and very cheap. I had one of the best Donner Kebabs that I have had, cost $4 NZ.
Before meeting up with our tour party we decided on a quick flick around rym and what a treat that turned out to be. No thought of actually buying anything, these were all the very best label shops from around the world, but the shopping centre was unlike anything that I had seen before.
The interior of rym, there are two of these galleries each three stories and about 200 m long.
Above is the central antrum where water melons are put to their logical use.
Last night I was talking to one of our fellow travelers when were became aware that we had both been Artificers in our respective navies and had failed to cross paths by the narrowest of margins at HMS Collingwood he having joined a year previous to me and having failed at the end of his first year in Collingwood had, by mutual consent with HM Navy, sought alternative employment. He did remember one of the Kiwi's of that year who had unfortunately died whilst on a training run one morning. RIP Robin Bennett.
Nearly old navy comrades 50 odd years ago.
Well I feel the need to get something posted and, incomplete as this is, this will have to do as an interim until we recover from the tiredness brought about by all this touring.
All the best and take care,
Oh and I forgot to mention, I see the Makos are back at their winning best.