London – Day 93

Sunday – London Marathon Day

Today was another great day outside. Not quite as cloudless and bright as yesterday, but still so lovely compared to the long winter we suffered through.

I went to the Spencer House, which is on Green Park to take a guided tour. They are only open on Sundays and have timed tours. The tour guide was really amazing and knew everything about the house and all the art works in it. The house was built in the neo-classical design of the late 18th century. The rooms are all white with gold gilding, and have tons of classical references. This is the house of Princess Diana’s family. It is close to Buckingham Palace and overlooks Green Park. It is certainly one of the best homes I’ve seen. I learned a few things from the tour guide. One, Charles II had lots of girlfriends and illegitimate children and he was picking flowers for all his girlfriends and he forgot to give one for his wife. So she decreed that the flowers should be dug up and it should only be a green park, and that is how it got its name Green Park. Also, when women would go to balls or functions, they would be carried away on a chair. So when they were ready to go they would say, Chair ho, chair ho, on we go. And that is how the British word Cheerio came about and now how they shorten it to just Cheers! Brilliant.

After that I walked a short distance around the park to the Wellington Arch and to the Apsley House, where the Duke of Wellington lives. The bottom floors are a museum to the first Dukes and the art they collected. It is quite a collection and they hang it salon style throughout each room. They also had an impressive collection of porcelain, and a lot from Prussia which was given to some of the first Dukes by the King of Prussia.

Lastly, I walked around the park to the Royal Mews. This area is where all the royal coaches are held, and also the horse stables! I saw two horses, who were huge and eating hay and were not to be disturbed. The carriages were really neat, and so ornately designed. It was definitely something cool and unique to see! There was also one of the Rolls Royces that they use. Apparently the Queen prefers Bentleys. Me too.

I fought the London Marathon crowd on the way home. I spent the evening getting a lot of things done, but procrastinating on others.  It is hard to want to sit down at a computer when there is so much to see outside. I hope you had a good weekend too!

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