Thursday, May 5, 2011

April 5th: London

**Warning: Really massive post incoming. Be aware that I have a hard time making decisions and editing things out, but also that there are 20 times more photos than what I've actually could be worse! Enjoy! :)

My first full day in London started off a with a sprinkle of rain, but being a west coast girl, I was well prepared for a little moisture.

I headed back over to the British museum to see the rest of it after getting there late on my previous visit...

I finished looking through the Egyptian and Assyrian sections from the day before. Couldn't get anywhere near the Rosetta stone today.....millions of school children were everywhere.

There was gallery after gallery of these carved stone facades depicting royalty, celebrations, battles....This one is of lion hunting. Apparently the king was charged with protecting his people from marauding lions...but couldn't be bothered to head out into the wilderness to prove his worth. He had the lions brought to him in an arena, and fought them with horse and chariot and the help of his army. Now that's one courageous king! :)

I think my favourite part of the museum was the sculptures. I think they're really lovely to look at, and I'm always impressed by the skill it took to make them.

Can you imagine carving all those folds of fabric out of marble? And then you're just about finished...and you accidently knock off a finger or nose? :)

This next one is a 2nd century Roman carving of Thalia, muse of comedy. And no, my memory isn't good enough to remember that from a month ago....I tried to make a habit of photographing the info plaques along with the actual's very helpful! :)

This Molossian Hound is thought to be one of six Roman copies of an earlier Greek bronze. I did see him (one of the other copies) again, I'll have to go digging through the rest of my photos to find out where it was though!

The sheer size of some things in the museum was astonishing....can you imagine shipping this (the Nereid Monument. A tomb from what is now Turkey.) all the way to England, and then reassembling it?

There's also a gallery devoted to the Elgin marbles, which were brought back to England from the Parthenon by Lord Elgin, somewhat controversially of course.

I was amused reading the information plaques. Many of the sculptures were missing parts (usually heads), and quite often these were listed as being in another museum (usually in Athens). Really, couldn't they be reunited? Or is that asking too much? :) 

By now, I'd come to the realization at just exactly how big the British Museum is...and that I can only take so much in one stretch.

 I wandered through the exhibit on Egyptian mummies, paused to look at the Middenhall treasure (Roman Empire silver) and the Lindow bog man, zipped through the automatons (actually really cool) and clocks and the section on Asia, looked quickly at the Renaissance style library and dashed out the back door past a shiny Edward the 7th.

I hopped on the tube at the closest station.

Emerging at Piccadilly Circus.

I walked south down Regent street... (Eventually, I had a tendancy to lose my sense of direction coming out of tube stations, and may have made a few circles.) and past quite a few monuments/statues/etc... (They definitely like their monuments.)

 ...Across the Mall with the traditional Black Cabs...

...And into St. James's Park.

This next shot is looking back into St. James's Park from Buckingham Palace.

Even three and half weeks before the wedding, I ran across an NBC news truck and reporter near the Palace. The press boxes were well under construction near the Victoria Memorial.

Here's Buckingham Palace...

And the front gates....

Some ceremonially dressed horsemen, out for a ride. Love the helmets, don't you? :)

The Wellington Arch...

This is the Serpentine in Hyde Park. I really enjoyed Hyde Park. It was one of the quieter parks that I went in, probably due to the larger size, and it had some lovely gardens on top of having the lake. 

Part of the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain...its a very simple memorial....

....compared to the Albert Memorial in neighbouring Kensington Gardens...Nothing simple about this one! It's incredibly tall, and surrounded at each corner by a large sculpture representing the different continents, and around the base are carved images of famous people of the time. A gold statue of Albert sits underneath the canopy. Commissioned by Queen Victoria, it's quite a thing to see!

After visiting the Albert memorial, it only seems fitting that the next thing I went to was the Victoria & Albert museum...yes, another museum!

And yes, more sculptures! :)

After the V&A, I hopped on the tube again, had lunch in front of Kensington Palace...

...and walked through another part of Kensington Gardens. Seriously, I really do love all the green space in London. You can be walking through some busy shopping area, turn the corner and there's a grassy square. Or a park. Or a little church yard. It's great!

I detoured past the Marble Arch, in a really wierd spot on a traffic island, and past Speaker's Corner, not that anyone was speaking!

The Animals in War memorial doesn't need much explanation I was very sad.

It was getting very fairly late by this point in the day and I had decided to head back. Of course, I decided to detour through Mayfair on the way back to the tube....Lets just say that me in my dusty running shoes and rain jacket felt very underdressed next to the men in tuxedos on their way to some evening function!

The buildings were lovely though! :)

Allrighty, that's a basic recap of my first full day in London. Considering that it was a month ago....and that there were 275 photos in that day's album...I don't think I've done too badly! I had a really great time with all the places that I visited, and wandering the streets soaking it all in was a great experience.

Stay tuned for more....if you dare! :)



  1. Your the next best thing to being there, Thanks!

  2. You're very welcome...I highly reccomend going if you have the chance, it's amazing!