I woke up feeling a little rough. I had a bit of a sore throat. So I got some juice from the market. We’ve been sticking to a mostly sandwich diet and staying on the cheap for the most part.
We got to the Victoria & Albert museum but they hadn’t opened yet. We had twenty minutes to kill, so we hung out in the tunnel that led to V&A’s back entrance. We were relaxing and listening to a saxophone player a ways down the tunnel.
Video – Outside V&A Museum: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p0UxHPGWZ68
We got inside the museum and it was impressive from the start, lots of great statue sculptures. Lots of nice classical work.
Video – Sample of V&A Museum: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CxoyJOqlclA
The V&A describes itself as a museum of craft and design (or something similar) but really, it is just a general purpose museum. They had furniture, ceramics, blown-glass art, tons of sculptures and general stone work. They have paintings, rugs, garments, historic photography, weapons, recreated royal vintage rooms, just a ton of stuff. It was a lot bigger than I had expected, it kept going on and on.
Video – Sample of V&A Museum # 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nb5G-KDZ1n0
Video – Sample of V&A Museum # 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iB6u5CjCbMU
I definitely lost steam for both taking pictures and even wandering and seeing any more by the end of it. It was a huge place and I wasn’t feeling up to snuff for too much more. It really was great though, I enjoyed it. I did have a bit of a tiff with Johnathon, it involved my patience (as a person, sometimes I suck, I know) and how long he took to take photographs. Stupid I know, but at some point everyone’s patience would be spent, whether mine was too short is hard to know and I’m sure feeling like I was getting sick was not helping. Also my low back started hurting for the first time, in like, years. So we had ourselves an appropriate squabble to remember that we are still siblings, but before long we made up nicely and continued on.
After the V&A we decided to go to the Natural History Museum because it was right across the street and looked so big and glorious (truly).
We decided to adjust our plans a little bit and go to the British Museum tomorrow, since we have since shied away from the plan to go to Hampton Court. While Hampton Court would be neat. It was a ways a way, it was.
Also it would cost 30 pounds per person, and would supposedly be similar to the insides of Windsor Castle (Johnathon didn’t get too much out of them), and while it would have a big nice manicured courtyard, we had a nice visit planned for something similar in Ireland. So no Hampton Court.
The Natural Museum was wonderful I really liked the dinosaur section, but I really wasn’t feeling great by this time.
Video – Animatronic Dinosaur: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUUW6ZMzo7A
Video – Animatronic Dinosaur #2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b88NIDg-Q0Q
While we were there a lady asked me to take a picture with her camera of her and a disembodied dinosaur head hovering behind her. It was a large crowd, so if I were to guess why she picked me to ask I would say it was because I had a camera of my own. Though I will grudgingly admit her camera was spiffier than mine. Overall that sort of thing made me happy, being selected and helping someone out. So much so that on our walk back to our hostel after the natural history museum I snatched some money from a ladies purse, threw it on the ground, picked it up and ran after her to return it to her and get a warm thank you. Okay, so maybe I didn’t pull out the money and throw it on the ground, but I didn’t need to, it did that itself. It was five pounds, which is the smallest bill they have here in London (1 pound or 2 pounds are only in the form of coins), but she still seemed very thankful.
Once we got home I didn’t feel like doing anything. So we looked at the pictures and videos we took and then I crashed. Johnathon went online to try and look up things to do tomorrow. I got a wonderful sort of nap that rejuvenated me immensely. My throat and my back were no longer sore.
Not sure actually what our plans for tomorrow will be other than probably British Museum and Covent Garden. Johnathon mentioned wanting to go listen to a choir from one of the big fancy churches.
Well we still had about half a day after my nap actually, so we went to Hyde Park to walk around.
Video – Walking in Hyde Park: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8_wCjeIsZ5M
It is one of the biggest ones here in London. It is really nice, big open flat area with trees scattered about. Ponds, monuments, and the like. What was really special though was one tree looked particularly inviting to sit under. It had beautiful leaves hanging from branches at just the right height. Also the grass wasn’t cut there, so it was a bit higher and soft. I took several pictures of the tree and the surrounding area. I particularly liked the position of the sun for the shots.
I chilled out under the tree while Johnathon was going around the pond.
Video – Time Under the Tree: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p8FgCYMtYrw
Johnathon later took some pictures of the setting sun from around the pound. They really are great pictures.
I don’t really know how to say enough about this little space under the tree. It was just profoundly beautiful and peaceful to sit there.
I laid down and stared up at the trees until the sun set.
I thought of life mostly, the past and future, and how great the present was. I felt that place was similar to childhood imagery I hold inside when I want to think of nostalgic beauty. Just of me as a kid playing around in some trees, back when I was young enough that the whole world consisted of just my immediate surroundings.
Anyway, under the tree, laying down and looking up… It was such a simple and pure slice of life that I hope I never forget it (and doubt I will).
Johnathon joined me and laid down too. He really enjoyed it as well, even possibly more than me. He talked about physical surroundings and what they can mean to him and how important it is to him to find these places that are just right.
Again, the weather is still remaining fantastic. It was perfect all day, an even temperature, partly cloudy, a nice warm breeze, but it got a little bit colder as the light faded. We had our jackets which kept out the chill when it dropped a couple degrees.
So a deep twilight came and we decided to walk around the park more. It went dark within a few minutes and we got to see more of the lovely park. A small police van drove up to us on the small roadway thingy in the park and told us it was closed and we needed to leave.
It was a great night, I’m interested to see how tomorrow goes.