To stop and smell the flowers

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Yesterday was a gloriously sunny day, albeit a freezing 5 degrees. After a cancelled appointment at the Temple Inn, I decided to enjoy the day in one of the best parks of London – Hyde Park.

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There is really something about the parks of London. Green and autumn colors, interspersed with robust humanity. You see these joggers running, huffing and puffing, alone or in a group, you see nannies and moms pushing the pram around and there are those who simply sit in the chairs before the lake and speak softly with their significant others.

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People like me – a tourist/park lover who feels the need to spend as much time as she can at the park before she goes back home! – are decidedly in the minority. I definitely did not see any tourists or backpackers taking the stroll in the park. IMO though, a park visit is as good as doing a bus tour around the city or a day spent inside a museum. The tranquility and views you get here are worth taking the time.

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The squirrels you see in the above picture? They are so tame they will leave you filled with delight. This one in the pic actually climbed up my leg! Before i could snap a pic, though, it scrammed. Still, the whole incident gave me an idea for Day 23 of PiBoIdMo. The seed for a squirrel story was sown in my mind, right then (I know that’s a lot of S!)

Like any park in London, Hyde Park is huge and it is best enjoyed in mild weather, but I surprisingly did not suffer too much in the freezing weather. Layers always help. There are a few cafes and snack stands peppered through out the park at strategic locations, but I couldn’t bring myself to stop or take a break. The friendly squirrels and birds only made the experience better.

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I’d love whipping out my notebook and write while dreamily gazing at the herons on the lake, but in the freezing weather, that would have looked silly. So I contented myself by walking briskly, shooting park scenes, and accosting an innocent bystander to take a picture of me. The brilliant sunlight beckoned me to keep walking, and the end of an hour, I felt inspired enough to catch the 19 to Finsbury Park and hawk at the cityscape from the double deck!

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If you are here sometime, either on business or leisure, take a couple of hours to check out Hyde Park – any park, really. This link will give you a nice intro to the parks of London, and I hope the pictures in this post would persuade you to visit them all 🙂

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