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Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Hyde Park

Our second day in London was really just a partial day, since we needed to take our train to Ipswich in the afternoon.  I was glad that we spent our first day walking all around because we thought that for our second day, we would be better off picking one activity that was fairly close to our hotel so that we could leave our bags in the morning and then pick them up before catching the train.

We spent our time strolling around Serpentine Lake and enjoying the calm atmosphere, flowers, and especially the birds.  We enjoyed it so much that we forgot to visit the Speaker's Corner.  Something to do on our next trip, I guess!

Serpentine Lake

I'm no expert on birds, but I enjoy seeing them, and from my amateur perspective, the area around Serpentine Lake did not disappoint.  We saw ducks sitting on posts...

A kind of duck I had never seen before with a white patch on its head and a call that sounded like a bicycle horn...

Swans and geese following a boat...

And  parakeets!  I saw them mentioned on one of those nature guides that parks often post, and hoped we would see them.  When Scott said he saw a lime green bird out of the corner of his eye, I knew we were lucky.  Unfortunately, I was not nearly as lucky in my photos of them.

They were fun and unexpected to see.  Some people were encouraging them to land on their heads, which I, for one, was not brave enough to attempt.  I think what I read later was that the species is native to the Himalayas, and can thus withstand the cooler temperatures in England.

After Hyde Park, we ate lunch at a Lebanese restaurant and headed back to the hotel to grab our bags and catch a cab to the train station.  It was a pretty near thing that we made the train; traffic was horrible.  Our driver was friendly, though, and did his best to get us to the station on time.  He was curious about where we were going.  When we told him we were going to Ipswich, he thought that was an odd place for tourists to go.  Fortunately, I ended up being pleasantly surprised...

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