Palace of Westminster in London

3 January 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, London, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage

© Michael D Beckwith

© Michael D Beckwith

The Palace of Westminster serves as the meeting place of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Commonly known as the Houses of Parliament after its occupants, the Palace lies on the north bank of the River Thames in the City of Westminster, in central London, England. The Palace of Westminster has been a Grade I listed building since 1970 and part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1987.   read more…

Eel Pie Island in London

13 December 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, London

The Eel Pie Island Museum in Twickenham © flickr.com - Jim Linwood/cc-by-2.0

The Eel Pie Island Museum in Twickenham © flickr.com – Jim Linwood/cc-by-2.0

Eel Pie Island is a 8.935-acre (3.6 ha) island in the River Thames at Twickenham in the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. It is on the maintained minimum head of water above the only lock on the Tideway and is accessible by boat or from the left (generally north) bank by footbridge. The island had a club that was a major venue for jazz and blues in the 1960s.   read more…

Tower Hill in London

30 October 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, London

Tower Hill and Tower of London © flickr.com - Sheri/cc-by-sa-2.0

Tower Hill and Tower of London © flickr.com – Sheri/cc-by-sa-2.0

Tower Hill is a complex city or garden square northwest of the Tower of London, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets just outside the City of London boundary yet inside what remains of the London Wall – a large fragment of which survives toward its east.   read more…

The brig-sloop HMS Beagle

1 August 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Tall ships, Yacht of the Month

HMS Beagle Replica in 2017 in Punta Arenas © S p-hunter/cc-by-sa-4.0

HMS Beagle Replica in 2017 in Punta Arenas © S p-hunter/cc-by-sa-4.0

HMS Beagle was a Cherokee-class 10-gun brig-sloop of the Royal Navy, one of more than 100 ships of this class. The vessel, constructed at a cost of £7,803 (£613,000 in today’s currency), was launched on 11 May 1820 from the Woolwich Dockyard on the River Thames. In July of that year she took part in a fleet review celebrating the coronation of King George IV of the United Kingdom, and for that occasion is said to have been the first ship to sail completely under the old London Bridge. There was no immediate need for Beagle so she “lay in ordinary“, moored afloat but without masts or rigging. She was then adapted as a survey barque and took part in three survey expeditions.   read more…

Gumball 3000 Rally

29 July 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, London, Sport

© Frankie Fouganthin/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Frankie Fouganthin/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Gumball 3000 is a collection of companies that includes an apparel brand, a registered charity and is best known for an annual 3,000-mile (4,800 km) international celebrity motor rally, which takes place on public roads. The name comes from the 1976 movie The Gumball Rally. It was established in 1999 by Maximillion Cooper, with his vision to combine cars, music, fashion and entertainment.   read more…

Hammersmith in London

26 July 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, London

Hampshire Hog in King Street © Edward Hands/cc-by-sa-4.0

Hampshire Hog in King Street © Edward Hands/cc-by-sa-4.0

Hammersmith is a district of west London, England, located 4.3 miles (6.9 km) west-southwest of Charing Cross. It is the administrative centre of the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, and identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London. It is bordered by Shepherd’s Bush to the north, Kensington to the east, Chiswick to the west, and Fulham to the south, with which it forms part of the north bank of the River Thames. It is linked by Hammersmith Bridge to Barnes in the southwest. The area is one of west London’s main commercial and employment centres, and has for some decades been a major centre of London’s Polish community. It is a major transport hub for west London, with two London Underground stations and a bus station at Hammersmith Broadway.   read more…

The European Union: The Brexit

23 July 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Editorial, European Union, General

Dover - Brexit by Banksy © Paul Bissegger/cc-by-sa-4.0

Dover – Brexit by Banksy © Paul Bissegger/cc-by-sa-4.0

(Latest update: 22 January 2020) Brexit, not even legally binding (insofar, the Brexit vote has about the same weight as if the British would had voted on the weather, with the result that from now on the sun would have to shine 365 days a year over the island – but at least there would be a chance to get upset about heaven’s mistakes, instead of trying to blame Brussels for any wrong decision by the British government) and at best a recommendation (while the actual conduct of the referendum was a big foolishness by David Cameron, just to calm down a few ultranationalistic backbenchers from within his own party (YouGov, 24 February 2015: Record support for staying in the European Union, Forbes, 20 January 2016: Brexit Is All About Taxation And Regulation Without Representation, The Guardian, 31 August 2017: Will Brexit boost or hurt the economy? (Economists for Free Trade, a pro-Brexit lobby initiative), The Guardian, 17 January 2019: So what is David Cameron really doing now?)), already causes some turbulences even before the actual execution (once scheduled for 29 March 2019), not least because the British government doesn’t have enough experts to negotiate Brexit adequately. Negotiations with third countries are negotiated by Brussels for the EU, so that member countries were able to reduce their competences (in the United Kingdom, 30,000 additional civil servants have to be recruited following Brexit. That’s another reason why the Tories should actually have serial heart attacks). In the case of an exit from the EU, this obviously has a very unfavorable effect on the future third country.   read more…

Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh

21 June 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks

© Chabe01/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Chabe01/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Palace of Holyroodhouse, commonly referred to as Holyrood Palace, is the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland, Queen Elizabeth II. Located at the bottom of the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, at the opposite end to Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace has served as the principal residence of the Kings and Queens of Scots since the 16th century, and is a setting for state occasions and official entertaining. Queen Elizabeth spends one week in residence at Holyrood Palace at the beginning of each summer, where she carries out a range of official engagements and ceremonies. The 16th-century Historic Apartments of Mary, Queen of Scots and the State Apartments, used for official and state entertaining, are open to the public throughout the year, except when members of the Royal Family are in residence.   read more…

Hampton Court Palace in London

31 May 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, London, Museums, Exhibitions, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks

Hampton Court Palace © flickr.com - Duncan Harris/cc-by-2.0

Hampton Court Palace © flickr.com – Duncan Harris/cc-by-2.0

Hampton Court Palace is a royal palace in the borough of Richmond upon Thames, 12 miles (19.3 kilometres) south west and upstream of central London on the River Thames. Building of the palace began in 1515 for Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, a favourite of King Henry VIII. In 1529, as Wolsey fell from favour, the cardinal gave the palace to the King to check his disgrace; Henry VIII later enlarged it. Along with St James’s Palace, it is one of only two surviving palaces out of the many owned by King Henry VIII.   read more…

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