Thursday, 7 May 2015

Crystal Palace

Spring has been about as glorious as it gets.

I took a quick train ride out to Crystal Palace.  The name is misleading- there used to be the OG Crystal Palace there. The 1851 World's Fair took place (the very first!) in Hyde Park, and this innovation of cast iron and glass was considered a wonder in its own right.  How genius- in the days before electric light, creating glass that could be used as walls was a fantastic solution to illuminate a great hall.  Originally, the building was in Hyde Park, but it was later moved south of the Thames to the neighborhood which is now called Crystal Palace, where it burned to the ground in 1936.  The foundations and statues are still there, and it gives it a slightly eerie sense of space.

It's an easy place to spot from a lofty height in London.  The Eiffel-like BBC tower dominates the skyline of any view south.

There were people in historical costumes trying to get everyone interested in re-building the palace.  Sadly, it seems like that day has long gone.

Maybe I was just feeling a bit moody on this particular day, but I lost interest in the ruins pretty quickly.  It was all concrete and cement, and most of the interesting nooks and crannies were fenced off.  Safety, yo.  

I did have a walk around the big, sprawling park with views of the North Downs and a huge football stadium smacked down in the centre of it.  It was a nice little outing and only took 20 minutes to get to from Brixton.  

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