Crystal Palace Park

On Sunday afternoon we were restless and had no obligations so we decided to take a drive.  I suggested driving in the city, just doing a few passes by Big Ben, but Richard told me that the CCTV will take photos of your license plate and issue congestion penalties.  Yikes.  

So we picked a park and drove there.  We chose Crystal Palace because it is reasonably close and we’d never been there.  Richard says he feels like he is missing out on a lot of our park excursions so it seemed like a good way to pass the time.  

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The view from Sydneham Hill.

We didn’t do any research about the park before we went, and we really don’t know much about the surrounding neighborhoods.  But the park was pretty dilapidated.  There were these brick structures and broken statues and it looked like ruins of a once majestic structure.  So I did a little research and it turns out that the park was the home to the Crystal Palace exhibition building from 1854-1935 at which point the amazing glass structure burned down and has never been rebuilt.   It was actually kind of sad when I learned that.  It must have been quite a sight in its day!
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This appears to be an outdoor performance venue that was probably a rad party in its day. There is a beautiful pond in front of it and it has serious ambiance.

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Every park has its redeeming qualities. We found a maze. The maze was originally built in the 1800’s but fell into disrepair. In 1909 there was a Boy Scout event at the park and a group of girls approached Baden Powell and asked him to start an organization for girls- which he did and it has become quite successful. The maze was restored in 2008 to celebrate the anniversary of the establishment of the Girlguiding Organization. It is one of the largest mazes in the country and we can attest to its difficulty.

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These symbols were located throughout the maze, and thank goodness! It was helpful to pay attention to which ones we had seen before and which we hadn’t.

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Woulda-coulda-shoulda worn wellies. There had been some wicked thunderstorms earlier that day. In fact during church the thunder was so loud everyone was looking around like the building might come crashing down any moment,

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At last! We made it to the center! The kids arrived before Richard and I did, and Eli thought it would be a good idea to go back into the maze and try again. NOT a good idea. Lost in a maze.

By the time we finished the maze we were all ready to go home and eat dinner- so we tricked the kids into running by playing red-light/green-light all the way back to the car.  

While doing my research about the park, it turns out that we missed the Victorian life-size dinosaur statues in the park so maybe we’ll have to go back after all.  

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