After eating a lot of very yummy pasta at Prezzo, and realising that it was technically still Rush Hour, we decided to walk across the road to Trafalgar Square. Naturally I had to sing “Feed the Birds” despite the fact there are no birds to feed anymore.
I couldn’t tell you the last time I actually had walked through Trafalgar Square and had a look around. I vaguely remember there being a night bus stop there when I was in my early 20s. I’m pretty sure that doesn’t count though!
One of the things that I liked the most though was the beautiful pavement art outside the National Gallery.
We stopped a while to look at all the different types of styles and wonder how these pavement artists make a living during the rest of the year when it’s peeing down with rain.
Next up was the plinth thing that keeps changing.
I thought it was something about Egypt, but it turned out to be about destroyed Iraqi artifacts. The plaque said:
“The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist by Michael Rakowitz
In 2006 Michael Rakowitz started his project The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist to recreate over 7,000 archaeological artifacts looted from the Iraq Museum during the war or destroyed elsewhere. One of these was the Lamassau, a winged deity. It guarded Neral Gate at the entrance to the ancient Assyrian city of Nineveh, near modern-day Mosul, Iraq, in c. 700 B.C. until 2015 when it was destroyed by ISIS.
The Lamassu, which had the same footprint as the Fourth Plinth is made of empty Iraqi date syrup cans, representative of a once-renowned industry decimated by the Iraq Wars. Rebuilding the Lamassu means it can symbolically continue as the guardian of a city’s past, present and future.”
It makes so many interesting points, really. People only ever think of Iraq as a war torn place where everyone is savage, and that’s not the case at all. It was once a beautiful, thriving and fairly civilised country, and despite being ruled by a bit of a twat, the people were happy.
Then America happened. Then we all joined in. Then, when we retreated leaving people in abject poverty and no clear and strong political leader, ISIS and other evil terrorists took advantage of the anti-West feelings and moved in on mass. Which made us send more people in to piss them all off a bit more.
Because of the last nearly 30 years of war, the country has lost so much of its rich history. It’s really very sad when you think about it.
In order to cheer ourselves up, we went and held hands with the Lions…
With one last touristy photo capturing the Lion, the National Gallery, and St. Martins on the Lane, it was time to head home. Only we decided that we would have a little bit more of an amble through London first. Because of the taxi ride, we knew the rough direction to head back to the Station. So off we set.
We set off back through the arches which is when I discovered it was actually Admiralty Arch! Apparently those are things you should know if you come from not too far away from London. Equally, Mum and I famously asked a taxi driver what “that building with lots of people outside is”. Turns out it was Buckingham Palace and the driver nearly choked he was laughing so hard. We aren’t great with London knowledge.
So, lesson learned. I googled only to discover that while it used to be home to some super high ups in the navy, that it was sold in 2012 for renovation to a luxury hotel and bunch of restaurants. That makes me quite sad for history on one hand, but also fairly excited to see inside it when it’s finished!
We walked off down The Mall (thanks again Google for your information!) and found the National Police Memorial. You would think that the blue standy up bit was meant to be a water feature, but apparently not. It’s some or other fibre optic block that doesn’t do very much. Bit of a let down really. Water would have been nicer!
We had walked down a little side path in order to have a closer look, and decided to carry on along the path and see where it took us. Turns out it was the Horse Guard’s Parade and Cavalry Museum. I think all the horses and riders are stabled there, too? I’m not sure about that. I should Google. Sadly there were no horses to be seen that day but I did manage to get a great London type picture because of it…
Right opposite it is an entrance to St. James Park. Since it was such a beautiful day and we were having a lovely time touristing, we decided to explore a bit more since neither of us had ever set foot in the park before now.
After that, it just became one beautiful view after another, with a lovely selection of wildlife thrown in. Not a huge amount more to say about it, but I do have two minor stories before I throw a bunch of photos at you.
This heron was fascinating. It stood so still that we actually had thought it was a statue or whatever. Then someone made a loud noise and it moved it’s head slightly. We jumped a little and I may have cussed! I had no clue it wasn’t just a bird scarecrow type thing! Being so close to it made you realise just how many colours are actually in the feathers and how striking the markings are. I just thought it was a grey coloured boring gangly looking thing. Now I think it’s actually quite beautiful.
This squirrel was the most curious little creature in the park. He literally hopped (is that what squirrels do?) right next to us in case we had snacks. When he had finished running around us in circles, and obviously ascertained that we were useless, he ran over to the flower bed and dug up some form of nut. He stuffed it into his little mouth and bolted for the tree. He was our favorite!
After walking through to Buckingham Palace, we decided to hop into a taxi and get ourselves a train. Thankfully. The train we got was the last one for another hour so that would have been a boring wait!!!
It was such a lovely day of exploring and seeing nature. I still can’t get over how quiet and still the park is. It really is a little urban oasis, and I am very happy that Mummy and I adventure so well together. If I had been on my own, I would have missed out again.