Day 6, London

We awoke, well rested and ready to hit the day. We had a stop off in our hotel for breakfast and then headed out towards Hyde Park and beyond. Our first stop was to be the Victoria and Albert Museum. After at least 20 trips to London, this has never been on one of my trip itineraries, so today, we put that challenge to rest! But first a glorious walk through Hyde Park on our way from our Hotel. Spring was in full advance here in London. The daffodils have finished ( boohoo), but the magnolias and cherry trees are starting to bloom!

Trees bursting in bud in Hyde Park

The V and A was interesting. We hardly touched the surface, but did take time to explore the “casts”. These were cast reproductions of a variety of famous sculptures…done predominantly so that the Brits could learn from the masters in order to influence their own artistic development. We also saw impressive glass displays, fashion through the ages, a historical development of ceramics through the ages and more. We went until our brain was full. Clearly this is a place that requires more than one visit!

Michelangelo made this figure for a Medici Chapel, but it remained unfinished. This cast is one of several made to reproduce the highlights of the Hermitage collection in the Kremlin.
Here is a glass etching …while it looks like a painting, it is made strictly from glass!
The Chihuly Chandelier above the main entrance of the V and A

From there we backtracked and went to the museum of science…mainly because Dan saw that they had a special exhibition on Science Fiction. I must say, it was fascinating and brought together a relationship between sci-fi and the challenges we are facing as a global nation.

Here’s something for all you Trekkie’s out there!

They also had interesting exhibits in medicine…looking back on how they learned about the physical human form through grave robbing and through to advancements with CRISPR, MRI, Cancer treatments and more. Another very fascinating and informative stop!

Next on our list for the day was Westminster Abbey. I have been to this place several times, beginning when my mother brought me at the age of 15. A magical place, heaped in history…and soon to be the scene of another historic event, the coronation of King Charles III. It’s funny, I learn something new each time I visit. This time it was clearly a destination for every visitor to London…Boy was it crowded!…and expensive to visit as a commission rate of 24 GBP per person! Still a magical place unlike any other church in the commonwealth! Its origins date back before Druids when the site was used for goddess worship…I’d say there’s some pretty strong energy running through the ground there!

Getting off at the Westminster Tube station, I couldn’t resist a selfie with Big Ben!
The Altar in front of which Charles III will be crowned King of England in a few short weeks
Restoration and clean up was being done throughout the Abby. Here you can see a couple of workers adding gold leaf to the railings. If you can, zoom in on the chap’s cheek. He’s using a fine brush to tap down the gold leaf onto the glue on the railing…when it starts to flake, he taps the brush against his beard to get the small flakes off it, so the brush will be clean to apply the single layer desired. Even the hundreds, who were there didn’t warrant a glance from him and his job!
The Waterford crystal chandeliers have all been polished in the nave for the upcoming celebrations.
The ancient chair on which Charles III will sit. Underneath will be the Stone of Skone, which was used during the crowning of the Scottish Kings in ancient times. It is said to have been the stone on which Joseph had his dream of his multicolored cloak.
The Queen’s Window. A recent installation in the Abbey, designed by the English artist David Hockney

From Westminster we headed up to Leicester Square to see if we could score some cheap tickets for this evening…only to find that the ticket booth was closed and for sale! I guess online is the way to go!

Trafalgar Square, enroute to our destination.

The consolation was a drink at a pub and a bag of crisps to anchor the beer. We ordered a London local brew, and have decided that we must try local brews throughout the rest of our stay in the UK!

Dan, enjoying his taste of London Pride!

Our next stop was Liberty’s of London…another spot that my mom introduced me to early on in my life. A trip to London wouldn’t be the same without a visit to the scarf hall!

As we walked along Covent Garden, we spotted a favourite Gelato place of mine…Amorino! They make cones like roses…almost too beautiful to eat!
On the way to Liberty’s we walked through China town…still decorated for the New Year and looking sooo festive!
Liberty’s of London. A wonderful store representing the global economic and trading reach that England had in her hey day.

After Liberty’s we were off to Fortnum and Mason. Home of my favourite tea, and owned by a Canadian Family…the Weston’s. What a treat to once again wander the halls of this magnificent store…although part of the time I was looking for my husband!!

A foundational storefront on Piccadilly, this store has represented English fortitude ( through great tea and trading) for ever it seems!

After our purchases were made ( we decided to ship them home as space was at a premium,) it was time to start heading back to the hotel. We had been using my phone for guidance throughout the day and the batteries were running low…we opted to take a bus / subway back and discovered some challenges in some of he lines we took…After getting on and off the subway a few times, way finally got to our destination…All we could do is laugh!

The two of us laughing at jumping on and off subway trains as our weary souls tried to navigate our way home!

Once within walking distance of our hotel, we stopped off for a lovely Italian meal and then back to the hotel for a good night’s rest. Tomorrow we have a walking tour following the Beatles, then the Tower of London and then a recommended play, Aaron Sorkin’s adaptation of “To Kill a Mockingbird”. Another full day! And now it’s time to take our leave. Until Tomorrow!

Categories: Hiking in Iceland and the UK

1 comment

  1. Thank you for sharing the art and architecture! The unfinished statue is stunning. I was always fond of this type of work. Of course I also love architecture.

    Have a great rest of the week!



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