I took this picture of an advert for four of the major tourist attractions in London.
But the London Aquarium, the London Dungeon and Madame Tussauds, would be prime examples of the sort of places, I would never chose to visit.
The latter must be one of the most over-hyped rip-offs in London! If I want to see likenesses of famous people, I go to the National Portrait Gallery, which shows Tussauds t0 be the crap it is. And the National Portrait Gallery is totally free, except for the special exhibitions.
I like to see a real pub sign.
This one is on the Cat and the Canary at Canary Wharf.
I found this in the back streets of Ulm.
It’s such a simple idea for a fountain and sculpture, I’m surprised I’ve not seen something similar before.
In Vienna if there is one place I had to see, it is Spittelau.
You walk out of the station of the same name and it’s there, only a kilometre or so from the centre of Vienna.
When you first see it, you think it is some weird work of art or even a chemical plant designed by a benign Devil.
It’s actually a waste incineration plant, which provides district heating and to be fair it’s more beautiful than SELCHP.
The world needs a lot more Spittelaus. As they often do, the Japanese are copying the ideas in Osaka.
It is a superb example that shows the close relationship between art, engineering and architecture.
Can you imagine the fuss, if they decided to build a plant like this at say Silvertown in East London? On the other hand, the plant shows that refuse incinerators can be good neighbours.
Every large city should have it’s Spittelau!
Eventually, I arrived on top of the city on the hill on which Buda Castle sits.
Note the excellent hot chocolate.
I think it may be true to say, that although a lot of damage was done to the buildings during the Second World War, quite a bit of damage was done since by the Communists. Wikipedia says that quite a few statues and facades were destroyed.
In the Hungarian National Gallery, there was a large section devoted to the works of Mihály Munkácsy. I’d never heard of him before, but to my untutored eye, he was fairly impressive.
I heard good reports on the television of the rebuilt Reading station, so today, as I hadn’t anything specific to do, I decided to go to the town and have a look at the work that has been done.
I think Isambard would have been proud of what has been done, as he rarely did boring! And the new Reading station is certainly not that!
The concept of the station is very simple. The thirty metre wide overbridge is connected to all the platforms by escalators and lifts. Then at one end there is another set of four escalators and lifts to take people to the main south entrance.
But in all my life, I’ve never seen so many people walking wide-eyed in awe around a new building or even an art gallery. One guy told me he’d come into the station specifically to photograph the building and had taken fifty pictures. Even railwaymen who’d probably seen it all, were walking around giving the new station a critical look.
There was also the teacher, who’d travelled with me from London. She was amazed at it all, especially as she had left on Thursday from the old Reading station.
Very little has been reported on the media about the design and quality of this new station. The only news seems to be stories pointing out the fact that the handover is a few days late and there’s a bit of chaos. None of the stories mention, that the project will be completed a year ahead of the original plan.
I do wonder if Reading is the shape of stations to come.
The wide overbridge concept is used in a similar, but smaller and less dramatic form at Leeds and Derby, but how many other stations could benefit from this type of design?
In the pictures, you’ll see some of Inter City 125 trains, that are used on all services from London to the West and Wales. They are genuine high speed trains capable of 200 kph, ride as smooth as silk and they are now forty years old. I doubt they’ll all ever be retired, as for running through the Highlands of Scotland and from Bristol to Cornwall, where electrification is virtually impossible, there is no other fast train, that can handle the route.
So at last, these trains have got a modern station, to complement their design.
I saw the Big Egg Hunt in London last year at Canary Wharf, but I can’t find the post. According to this report, one of the eggs has been stolen in Glasgow. Two actually went missing in London, but were returned.
Some people would think, that as the eggs went to Liverpool, that stereotypes would say that some would have gone missing there. But they didn’t! On the other hand, Liverpool has lots of street sculpture and the Superlambananas.
Crossrail do seem a bit different to your average company, with some of the things they do, like their excellent archaeological program, which resulted in last year’s exhibition called Bison to Bedlam.
Now they have launched an arts programme, as they report here. I’m glad to see too, that they have spelt programme correctly.
I went today to Wood Green to have a look at the place, where the infamous Banksy drawing went missing.
There is a report on the background to the affair on the Standard web site.
This looks like it will develop into a big spat, between everybody concerned with the drawing.
I actually quite liked it and I do feel that Banksy or whoever was the artist, is having a big laugh at the building’s owners, Harringey Council and the Arts establishment.
The first stations to have the design are: Baker Street, Bank, Embankment, Green Park, King’s Cross St Pancras, Oxford Circus, St James’s Park, Tottenham Court Road, Victoria and Westminster.
I shall check them out today.
Baker Street was the first I found.