Thursday, February 28, 2008
Hampton Court Palace
There are a lot of boats in London, seeing as it is a city with a very large river running through the middle of it, this makes a lot of sense. In the good old days, when Henry the Eighth was cruising to Hampton Court he could take all the time he wanted. It is a lovely and majestic place, built and designed by Cardinal Wolsey, who met with a bad end and fell out of favor with the King. Even after giving him Hampton Court Palace in an attempt to keep his favor. The Tudors TV show on Showtime made it appeared that Cardinal Wolsey was the only sane member of Henry the Eighths advisers and that his death brought an end to reason in the Court. Be that it may, Hampton Court Palace in an amazing place to visit. But I would not advise getting there by boat, as well did.
After riding ferries around the touristy parts of London, we thought it would be fun to ride a boat to Hampton Court-well, it was not three and half hours of fun riding a boat to Hampton Court Palace. But I must admit that it was a bit of fun seeing all the many different styles of bridges between the City of London and Hampton Court. We rode by gardens, and statues, and parts of the city would have not seen otherwise. We got to go up and down in a couple of locks which were hand cranked and raised or lowered us as the river demanded. These were all things we would never have seen riding the train for thirty minutes.
However, we seriously short-changed ourselves on Hampton Court. We didn't have time to see or do all that there is do. But it was still a lot of fun. With over 500 years of royal history, Hampton Court Palace has a lot of offer visitors, from the Tudor Kitchens to the State Apartments. Guides in period costumes roam the grounds and help bring the place to life. Hampton Court Palace contains some of the private art collection belonging to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. There are a lot of gardens and the huge lawns were as smooth as billiard tables. There was a horse drawn carriage available for a turn around the estate, but we didn't have the time to do much before he had to head back to the boat for the return ride to London.
It would be nice to return to Hampton Court Palace and spend the full day there. It really is a stunning building. If the Cardinal had given it to me, I think I would have been a bit nicer to him.