Monday, May 9, 2011
And then there were three… Pat’s flight back to Manila was that morning, unfortunately. After a lot of long faces and a quick lunch , the three of us set off to the museums in Kensington. Our first stop was the Natural History Museum.
We decided to split up so we can go exploring whichever interested us the most. Almost immediately, I went straight to the Dinosaur Exhibit, where I spent a rawrtastic, clawtastic 30 minutes. Not ashamed to admit this was my favorite part of the museum, even though most of the other people in that exhibit were children!
This was not very good time management on my part because we only have a few hours before we had to meet up with Ajay, Angel, Ajay’s brother and Angel’s family for our scheduled ride on the London Eye. I’ve realized this in the British Museum, but here, I was glaringly reminded of it again: A day is not enough time to explore one of the museums in London, let alone a couple of museums.
After spending waaay too much time in the Mammal Exhibit, where I made a “friend” (friend = someone I took pics of with the exhibits and he, in return, took pics of me), I had to rush through the Human Evolution, Sea Life, and Precious Gems Exhibits before it was time to regroup with the boys. We were in agreement that we did not nearly have enough time. Dale decided to stay on. Jerome and I wanted to head on over to the Victoria and Albert (V&A) museum though, and we did.
V&A, what an amazing place! This is my favorite out of all the museums we visited in London! I knew we didn’t have enough time to see all that I wanted to see before the museum closes, so I decided not to rush and just see what I can at leisure. I was determined to come back anyway. Luckily, we had a free day before our flight home, originally intended for a return trip to the Tower of London. As soon as I had a taste of V&A, I just knew it was where I was going back. It also helps that V&A is neighbors with the Natural History Museum and the Science Museum so I could go back to the first and visit the latter.
On my first trip to the V&A, I only managed Level 0 and Level 1 of the museum, so it was mostly Medieval and Renaissance artifacts, a part of the European exhibits, and the Cast Courts. I came as far as the King Henry VIII exhibit (1509-1547) before closing time.
I loved the interactive exhibits where, for example, Jerome and I tried on Medieval clothing, listened to music and I tried my hand at ancient puzzle sets. I took as many photographs as my memory card will allow, and I already posted a lot of it on Facebook, but that wasn’t even half of it. My museum pics are out of hand, really.
[Sidenote: I planned on doing this entry with a lot of facts and info, but I seem to not be making good on that. Since there’s a part two for both the museums above, I’ll try to be more informative there.]
It was quite interesting to read about the displays; it was intellectual and cultural stimulation to the maximum! In Janina dailyspeak, mind = blown. I wish history and the arts were as funded (and people more interested) here in the Philippines.
The clock struck five and down we ran– well, after a couple of tube transfers– to the London Eye. Well, ran plus took a couple
hundred more pics of Big Ol’ Ben along the way. The weather was insanely fair and the lighting was just perfect for photographs. Luckily, we made it with time to spare before boarding so we went on the 4D movie that accompanied the London Eye ticket we had.
In a nutshell, the London Eye is a giant ferris wheel. It wasn’t that exciting, but it made for a lot of great and/or goofy photographs. I’d say it was a good moment to pause and reflect, but not really, we just took a lot of pictures, along with the other tourists.
For dinner, we went to London’s Chinatown (Ajay’s treat!) because were craving for something remotely resembling Filipino food. Oh, how we attacked the food. It was a good, chill dinner where we had a chance to unwind and talk about the wedding, our sightseeing, etc. Not to be biased, but Binondo’s Chinatown is better, in my opinion.
Since we had to walk off all the food we ate for dinner, we headed over to Piccadilly Circus, which is much like New York’s Time Square. According to Ajay, Piccadilly Circus did not copy Time Square, but it’s actually the other way around. Sam, Angel’s cousin from New York, looked rather skeptical at this. We managed a bit of souvenir shopping around the area, since there were lots of stores to buy cheesy souvenirs from, especially Royal Wedding souvenirs.
There was also a Piccadilly Circus memorial which depicts who I thought to be Eros, but upon googling, its actually Anteros, his twin brother. Who knew, right?