Tuesday, 6 July 2010

Chelsea Thursday - Lost in Battersea

Battersea power station is somewhat iconic to the music lover of a certain age, so it made sense to head in that direction after my wanderings in Chelsea. So I was just about to wander across the Chelsea bridge for a look when I spotted a pagoda half way between where I was and the next bridge. I still had a good three hours before my train so I headed off along the Chelsea embankment instead.
Just as I was passing the Front of the Royal hospital's grounds, I spotted all the model elephants that had been gracing London's streets for the last couple of months gathered together awaiting their sale (I've been hunting these on the last few times in the capital).Alas, had I arrived a day earlier I'd have got in and seen them at close hand but today I had to make do with a couple of photos through the fence.
The bridge I was heading for was the Albert bridge and is currently under a fairly extensive renovation. For now it is closed to traffic and is largely a hoardings tunnel for the pedestrian but from the bits that you can see of the bridge it's going to be a rather attractive iron Victorian suspension bridge when it reappears from the building site in a couple of years time.
The Pagoda turned out to be the London Peace Pagoda which is situated in Battersea park. It was built by Buddhist monks, nuns and followers and opened in 1985 and dedicated to the realisation of universal peace. There is an annual celebration there in mid June and on the 9th of August a floating lantern ceremony is held to commemorate Nagasaki day - sounds interesting if you happen to be passing at the time.                      
Battersea park is a perfectly fine park with a very high dog to person ratio especially round about the cafe but since none of them tried to steal my chilled Kit Kat and cup of tea I didn't mind. There's also a small children's zoo in the park which I can't imagine being worth £7.50 as it just didn't look that big nor did I hear any growling noises coming out through the hedges. They did have a couple of cages outside the zoo which contained 2 carved owls and a carved bear (all of 2 foot tall). If anyone has reports of the Battersea zoo, I'd like to hear.
I must also report a sighting of the Harrods horse and carriage out on deliveries.

It was round about now that my excursion started to go a little astray. for as I was leaving Battersea park I could clearly see that I was nearly at the power station only a small jaunt along the side of the Thames and under the railway bridge and there it would be and I would head off for my train with well over an hour to spare. But it wasn't as simple as that as a building site for very posh flats blocked my way so I headed deeper into Battersea in an attempt to cross over. I passed the headquarters of the QVC Shopping channel (there obviously money to be made flogging things on the box) and came to a signpost for Wimbledon before I eventually found my way under the railway. I quite fancy a look at Wimbledon but I starting to run out of time and I'm sure the Wombles move out during the tennis anyway. By now I was off the map and passing the third thing I already knew about Battersea, the cat and dog home, when I at last got a decent shot of the power station, or at least my camera did (I had to hold it above a wall to take the picture and didn't see it properly myself. It was at this point where I had to abandon tourism and concentrate of getting to my train especially since I didn't know where the nearest tube was. It was with about 5 minutes to spare that I got to Paddington, not a comfortable margin of error, where I promptly mislaid my map. It had done it's job though and was pretty old and worn out after the last few months travelling though the city. If anyone finds it, "Please look after this map".


billy bagwash said...

"what no pig's over battersea power station"!!!!!

(think about it)

Rocket Man said...

What a great idea.....keep the rugrats in a zoo!

Sandy's witterings said...

Billy, I was very tempted to cut out one of the elephants and put it over the power station. Then you'd have to keep a look out for elephants on the wing.

Chip, on second thought £7.50 isn't such a bad price if they keep the kids all day.

Kim Ayres said...

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Sandy's witterings said...

Comments have always been a bit of a problem over at windows live spaces Kim, but a raft of other changes have pushed me and a load of other people over the edge. Even got a wee side blog up for my haiku this morning.