Extra-Walk to Royal Albert Hall with dinner in Elgar Room then Beethoven

Put on my best duds and walked a few blocks to the Royal Albert Hall. The Natural History Museum. 

This is a very nice section of London. 

Albert Statue or altar?

Royal Albert Hall.

Dinner in the Elgar Room with Jimi. 

Venue beyond words. My seat view. 

There was a Mozart and Strauss pieces of orchestral music with SINGING. It was fortunate the most beautiful soprano in opera came out incredible clothes and sang her operatic heart out. Whew. Finale was Beethoven’s 7th symphony. The conductor was phenomenal. Home tomorrow. Peace out Tres

Day 19-London Calling-Kew Gardens

Easy roll out and good spartan hostel breakfast of hard boiled eggs, cold cuts, cheese, muesli, toast, orange marmalade and brown toast. Maybe not so spartan after all. I am on the cyclist’s food plan. First stop, all time favorite of both of the Smiths, Royal Botanical Garden or Kew Gardens. There was a big installation of Chihuly glass that would be illuminated at night for special shows. It was amazing. Lots of pictures so bear with me.

Entrance to the 1800’s ice house. 

The hive by a famous artist. Really cool. 


Lily pond. 

Rock garden, structures and more flowers. 

Went to two galleries in Kew. Just amazing with glass and botanical art. 

Went to the temperate house and saw all the big Chihuly glass and all kinds of plants including carnivorous plants. 

I missed seeing Big Ben and the riverside view of Parliament so after quick lunch I went to Westminster. Got the photo of Parliament and not of Big Ben scaffolded for repair but what a zoo compared to yesterday. 

Royal Albert Hall for dinner and Beethoven. Peace out Tres

Day 18-Southampton to London-getaway morning

I got my bike in the box yesterday afternoon while others did some sightseeing. I always have a little melancholy when an adventure is over. We had a lovely dinner at the Florence Arms. 

A great breakfast again. 

A walk after breakfast in an aging seaside town. 

The Royal Beach Hotel. The window above of the same hotel. 

Taxi to London direct. Real nice guy. At Meininger’d hostel at Lord Baden Powell House. 

I got to the tube and got to the stop for the Imperial War Museum and it started to rain. The audacity of Mother Nature. We cycled for 2 weeks and got wet once for 15 minutes. I was hungry and went to The Hercules for lunch. 

Great lunch and away for the museum. I had been here in 1997 and it was better now. 

A portable army kitchen. An air filtration system used in the air raid shelters that if there wasn’t any electricity or petrol they could pedal 40 rpm and filter the air. 

There was a chilling and in depth holocaust museum that was incredible in its scope of viewing the historical timeline of the fanaticism of Hitler and Nazi Germany and how it had impacted the Jewish People it touched along that timeline and how more severe it became. A tremendous quote of 1935 was “There was no country that we could stay in and there was no country that wanted us”.  I hope that is right. It impacted me deeply. There were refugees at that time and they went places but it was becoming more difficult and impossible. In my heart I had just wished for many more to have been able to leave during that period of history. 

Went to the Metropolitan Cathedral Church of St. George. Beautiful stain glass. 

Got back on the tube and went to Victoria’s embankment. We had dinner on a boat on this part of The Thames River in 1997. 

Got back on the tube and went to a closed Westminster Abbey. Featured image. Got to catch a guy warming up for a protest and a man start taking off his clothes in the middle of the road. 

All in all an interesting afternoon in London. Quiet night local. Royal Albert Hall tomorrow. Beethoven. Peace out Tres

Day 17-Shanklin to Fishbourne, Isle of Wight-24 miles with 1400 feet of elevation then ferry to Portsmouth

We had a great evening meal in Shanklin at the Fisherman’s Cottage on the end of the Esplanade.

Our group stayed in 2 different places and I stayed in the Grange Bed and Breakfast. Very nice. 

We got away fairly easily. 

Windy, cool, sunny and beautiful. 

We went inland and WOW. 

Bembridge windmill from the 1700’s. 

We went back out toward the water for tea SAG. 

We went through a town and saw this closed school. 

We cycled along the coast after some climb. 

It was beautiful. 

We got to the ferry and were first on and off. 

A quick seaside roll to a old but nice hotel on the ocean in Portsmouth with the War Memorial on the way down. 

This trip is in the books with the exception of dinner  and getaway tomorrow. It as great. Peace out Tres

Day 16-Southampton via ferry to The Isle of Wight and to Shanklin-44.5 miles with 2910 feet of elevation

A great walk around Southampton and spaghetti dinner.

Great breakfast and to the ferry we went. 

Smooth ride. 

Isle of Wight.

Pictures will not do the Isle of Wight justice but in an attempt to show you where we rode I will attempt it. The grand ride today. But first a second ferry ride across a river to start.

Freshwater Bay. Incredible.

Internet a little off. Peace out Tres

Day 15-Salisbury to Southampton-38 miles with 1720 feet of elevation

Editors Note: featured image photo credit and courtesy to Chrysa Niewald. 

Another great breakfast and collection leaving the Kings Head Hotel. 

Up out of town with traffic. 

Quickly out of town. 

Into the little town of Nomansland. 

Then into the New Forest with a rise up onto a mountain meadow. WOW!

We rode on top of this for a bit. 

Big downhill into lunch at New Forest Inn. 

We went into busy town and the Cycle way helped us get to the West Quay in Southampton. 

Downtown Southampton with no chance to explore yet. 

On to Isle of Whyte via the ferry tomorrow. Peace out Tres.

Day 14-Bath to Salisbury-48.4 miles with 2810 feet of elevation

We had a good start from Bath after a big uphill. A theme for today. We left city center of Bath and went through some tunnels. One tunnel we went through for seemed like a mile.

We left there and it was back onto the canal unpaved path.

The train at Avoncliff. 

We got to get off the path and back on pavement. 

It was beautiful. 

On we went. 

The houses were just so perfect in some ways.

Grand landscapes.

We went into Warminster for lunch. 

The road going away. 

We saw big and little churches. 

We saw the UFO Sun King mountain painting. Long way off. 

We saw animals. 

We fixed a flat. 

We got into Salisbury and went to the Salisbury Cathedral and saw one of only 4 remaining original Magna Cartas. There were 40. 

the Magna Carta. No photos of an 804 year old document with 3500 words in Latin. Peace out. Tks again to my GB mates for such a great visit. Peace out Tres

Day 13-Rest day in Bath

A BIG sleep with a lazy breakfast with friends. Lead me out and away with a walking plan for the day. I went to Bath Abbey and went to a little church with great message, prayers, peace and offering. Beautiful place and lovely people. No pics inside. 

Ran right into a filming if a period for Netflix. 

I got to the Roman Baths at a good time on Sunday morning. Really cool. 

Julius Caesar, you know. 

Great artifacts. 

A lower part of the excavation of the baths.

A lower view of the pools. 

More excavations. 

Pool for money to return to Bath.

Left there and walked up to The Circus. 

Cool old bookstore sign. 

Walked to the Royal Crescent. 

Came back to a cool French restaurant. Great lunch. Cool menu holder. 

Saw the Grand Ballroom at the Fashion Museum. 

My GB/Welch wheelchair rugby friends were coming earlier and I will meet them now. It was a monster, great visit with two old dear rugby players and friends with their wives that just put me over the moon. A side note, I must admit this great visit was a result of some talk on Facebook. I am a bigger believer in it now. 

We started talking about the old days and where we had been together and it was on. It was fabulous. Mess in’ with Jinx too. 

We went for a coffee in the restaurant and Jinx, Paul Jenkins, talked about his involvement coaching wheelchair rugby for the Invictus athletes. I was very impressed with his commitment, patience and ongoing dedication to the entire scope of coaching these athletes along with his wife Jayne. 

We did talk about the Hall of Fame or lack there of in GB. 

It was a blast. I love them all so. 

I went to the spa for a 30 minute or so soak and it was nice. 

Peace out Tres