IM Ireland- England Tour 2013 : Parks In London

 Day 8B :  Parks In London

For those that know my brother, they are quite familiar with the fact that at times he

can come off as overzealous when it comes to fads or obsessions he acquires. It’s actually

quite rare when he gets caught up on different things, since he isn’t the type to get carried

away by fashion trends or pop culture sayings. Time and time again my image of him as a

pretty laid-back person is shattered when he latches onto a different interest and attempts

to suffocate those around him with it. Lately, he’s become a bit of a classic rock connoisseur

and so it wasn’t a surprise that when we went to England that he would get caught up in

the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. There was one place that he was truly enthusiastic in

seeing, which was Hyde Park.

Out of all the other concert venues we visited, he wanted to pretend being part of

the 1969 Rolling Stones concert venue, which had an audience of around 250,000 to

500,000 people. The concert was a free outdoor festival that was the first public concert by

the Rolling Stones in two years. It was planned to be the introduction of the new guitarist,

Mick Taylor, after the death of former band member Brian Jones two days before. A eulogy

read by Mick Jagger and several white butterflies were released in honor of Jones. The

Rolling Stones would continue to perform in Hyde Park in the future along with many other

acts like Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney.

Though Hyde Park (350 acres) is a park like any other park it does contain

numerous memorials, gardens, and statues. An interesting place to visit is Speaker’s Corner

where people are free to express their opinions and talk about any subject so long as the

police consider their speech lawful. Previously, it was the location of the Tyburn gallows

used for public executions. Numerous public figures including, Karl Marx, Lenin, and

George Orwell have frequented the area. Other places of interest include the Princess of

Wales Memorial, the London’s Holocaust Memorial, and the 7/7 London Bombings

Memorial. Various trees and plants give the park its botanical variety, but the Weeping

Branch is considered a favorite, since it looks like an “upside down tree.” Like Central Park

in New York, Hyde Park also has some luxury hotels located near its borders. The

Lanesborough is considered to be the most expensive hotel in London, with the highest

room selling for $28,755 per night. It was quite amusing watching my brother come to

Hyde Park expecting more than a park, but I guess his overactive imagination for an

impromptu concert was bound to disappoint him.

Another park we visited in London was St. James Park, notable for its lake and two

islands, West Island and Duck Island. The park features a variety of waterfowl, including a

colony of pelicans, a gift from a Russian ambassador. Duck Island features a small cottage

that also functions as the offices of the London Historic Parks and Gardens Trust. The park

is a great place to follow the royal guard procession from, but also offers its own

recreational activities. You can also find many people with fold out deck chairs lounging in

the park or cycling. There are actually stations around the area where you can rent out

bikes from a machine. Unfortunately, our utter failure in trying to obtain one forced us to

just walk through the park.

There are a variety of Royal Parks located in London, and each one has its own

unique features and historical sites. At the end of the day, though, they’re also great places

to relax and walk through, like a park.

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