London Glimpses, Part 2 (plus photos from the vault)

Here’s part 2 of the London adventure!

First of all, have a look at this lovely freaky house near a random tube station.

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Tuesday, still in the Easter holidays, saw us going to the Natural History Museum. Which may have been a mistake. Never ever go there during a weekend or school holiday or the kids will eat you alive. It truly is survival of the fittest in there. Again what learned.

Let’s focus on the positive: The building is absolutely stunning! Huge, beautiful, very stately and just overall grand. If there is a “royal place” for science, this is it.

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Naturally, the dinosaurs were very popular. Unfortunately, a lot of the exhibition was full of models, plastic arrangement, interactive screens and screeching children.

There was an exhibition about scientific drawings and sketches, that I really liked.  It was quiet, cool and had a dodo.

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And a dodo impersonator.

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Most of the other images were just beautiful.

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More art, this time intricately stuffed birds.

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We also spent a fair bit of time looking at more precious stones.

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That image below shows a blue whale skeleton being cleaned. It will be suspended from the ceiling in the entrance hall from 2017 on. I am still trying to find out how it is being cleaned and treated, the automatic response said something about 5-10 workdays.

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I absolutely loved the architecture of the place.

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Btw, they do this thing called “Dinosnores”, also for grownups!

There is a part of the building called the Cocoon, 7 stories high and full of insect specimen. We successfully fought malaria on one of the interactive screens. They made it look way too easy.

Coffee Break.

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Or maybe not coffee. Yummy ginger beer, how have I missed you.

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Since we had about an hour before closing time, we rushed over to the National Gallery.

Where we found 3 floating Yodas in the same square.

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To the paintings! My personal favorite: “Two Crabs” by Van Gogh.

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The famous sunflowers:

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The building isn’t bad either.

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This is one painting of Monet’s Haystacks series called “Grainstacks in the Sunlight Morning Effect”. Now, this is important: Those of you who haven’t yet, go see Gambit with Colin Firth and Alan Rickman, asap. You will see the haystacks in a completely different light.

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This is part of an altar, I loved the color combination of the dark coat and the rose cloth.

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Rembrandt’s self portrait, age 34:

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After they very politely kicked us out at 5:45 pm (closing time says 6!), we had an early dinner at a pub (good veggie burger, disappointing fish ‘n’ chips) and then went to see Les Miserables at the Queen’s Theater.

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The theater is beautiful and surprisingly steep. Personally, I find the plot of Les Mis quite bleak and emotionally draining, but someone has told me it is supposed to be hopeful, because the pampered little girl and her lackluster love interest survive.

Anyway, the music was good, and the stage technology was extremely good, and it’s Ders’ favorite musical, so I am grateful he shared this experience with me 🙂

Wednesday we went to see the British Museum, where the Brits hoard all the stolen art from Egypt, Greece and wherever else they found something of interest and/or value.

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One of the most famous pieces is the Rosetta Stone, key to the deciphering of hieroglyphs.

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There is so much stuff from so many different periods and places, it is really hard to keep track “where” and “when” you are.

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Kitty! The ancient Egyptians have been really fond of cats. So am I, if you haven’t noticed!

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Here is Venus.

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Why WOULDN’T you want a cup shaped like a head?

Or a whole temple, for that matter.

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Now for one of the more controversial elements:

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There are also a few modern pieces.

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Some Japanese artifacts:

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And the mummies!

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They seem to be the dinosaurs of this museum, in that section were way too many people and too many kids.

Something more decorative:

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This chess set called the Lewis Chessmen is hilarious and from the 12th century. The design looks much younger and more modern to me.

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You can barely tell, but this is a clock:

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The “Enlightenment Room”

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African old and modern art:

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Something that looks a lot like the goblet of fire:

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At the Museum we met my friend Annabelle from Taiwan (she’s doing two semesters at the prestigious King’s College) and went to Camden Market with her.

That is supposed to be the “hip” area, but I guess by now it has become too commercial for that label.

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Lots of shops sell really cute, funny, and weird stuff, mostly jewelry, soap and clothes.

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And this is the last photo I took (or had the man with the long arms take) in England: Say “Cheese”!

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On the flight back we met Andrew and Lily, who seemed to have had a good time as well.

 

This will have been the last journey Ders and I have undertaken together. Be that as it may, this is a good place to say thank you to a special person, who has been a wonderful companion on many of my journeys.

Ders, I am grateful to have met you (again) as I did, suddenly and unexpectedly. I am grateful for all the places you went with me, all the places you showed me, and all these strange things we experienced that are hard to describe. I am grateful for everything you did for me, despite your limitations. Thank you for the good times and the hard times and for reminding me how independent I am. Thank you for showing me ways to grow and become a stronger person. I hope your future journeys will be exciting and wonderful and challenging. Have the best of times and take care! ❤

 

And there they come, the long anticipated photos from the vault!

I proudly present to you unearthed images of England and the Brighton Crew 10 years ago. The weather was bad.

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The company was good: Karin, Ju, Anna and Sid were a hilarious combination.

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And here is yours Julie, aged 18. I had a thing for black then and I still have it.

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