A royal bike ride in London

Live from Hyde Park

I was planning on working Friday but the weather seemed pretty nice so instead I jumped on my bike and went into town to checkout the event that was The Royal Wedding.

As I made my way towards the city center I came across a couple of pubs and cafes that had TVs set up for patrons to follow. There should have be some 6000 street parties across UK and 800 in London and I came across one of them – still empty as people were watching the ceremony at home.

"Road Closed" for street party

By the time I reached Hyde Park the ceremony in Westminister Abbey had finished and I got to see people cheer and wave their flags as BBC broadcast from the park.

The Queen arrivesWave your flags!Union Jacks in Hyde Park

After that I tried to see how close to The Mall I could get but it was all full and closed off for more people. Instead I went to Trafalgar Square were huge crowds were gathered to watch the two big screens there.

People watching big screen at TrafalgarGetting pictures taken with Kate and WillNorwegians at Trafalgar Square

The Norwegian in the front of the last picture with the traditional dress might even be the same as Tina Omme i London spotted later by Westminster Abbey.

After that I headed east along Embankment and this part of town was completely empty so I could ride in the middle of the street as a couple of planes made a flyover.

Empty streets - Embankment

I was heading for Republic’s “Not the Royal Street Party” street party in Holborn that they had not been allowed to do in Camden. Instead they were in a nice little square with a park and great atmosphere.

Red Lion Square

There was a nice crowd of people, live band, delicious food and monarch mocking.

The "Queen" in a stockCrown strikeout

For the size of the event there was quite a lot of press people but I guess you can only send so many reporters to talk to flag waving royalists on The Mall.

A great day for cycling as I had a lot of roads to myself and it was great fun to see the royalists and republicans celebrating a day of all things British.

Easter in Bath

Pulteney Bridge

Ann had a some days off for Easter so we decided to go explore the city of Bath 150 km west of London for a couple of days.

Bath is build on a number of geothermal springs which is water from deep beneath the surface being heated and squeezed up through cracks in the limestone underneath Bath where it arrives at the surface at 45 degrees C. Over the course of history different people have used the springs for treatment of all sorts of things.

Roman Baths (16)

The picture above shows the layer of history that can be found in Bath. When the Romans occupied England they build a spa around 30-60AD at the site of where the Celt’s before them had worshipped one of their gods. Over 300 years the Romans build a vast complex of bath, spas and temples at the site. After the Romans left the huge complex it got flooded and collapsed and forgotten(!) around the 6th century. You can see the original Roman columns reach about 1½ meters above the water. Below that mark things were covered in rubble and protected above that the locals at later centuries took the material for their use. So literally what is below that line is the foundations, plumbing and structure build nearly 2000 years ago that still leads the water in lead pipes and supports the building above. The Roman Baths were not rediscovered until around 1880 when one of the owners of a house on top of the site complained about getting his basement filled with water. Later the columns and museum was build on top of the Roman remains.
The balcony is at the level of the current street level and in the background of the picture is the Bath Abbey. The abbey also have a long history dating back about 12 centuries, this one is the third church at this site that has been in that place since from 1499.

Curvy King's Circus

The city of Bath got a renaissance in the 18th and 19th century when it became fashionable again to go to the spas. John Wood senior and junior were great architects of the time and build a number of world class landmarks like senior’s Circus above or junior’s Royal Cresent below.

Royal Cresent

While we were in Bath the annual Comedy Festival was going on so we got to see the central square being filled up with red people and a great street theatre called Jane Austen’s Bath Time.

Red gathering

We had a great couple of days exploring this UNESCO World Heritage city. For a more comprehensive description of what we got up to go read Ann’s blog of our day 1, day 2, day 3 and see the video she made 🙂