Monday, September 11, 2017

Day one - in London

so despite the forecast today being heavy and frequent showers, I headed for London - I decided just in case I'd do some indoors destinations - I wanted to see the blue whale skeleton on display at the Natural History Museum

 Despite a brief shower as I left the house the skies were largely blue..
First stop, the Natural History Museum

In the main Hintze hall, I was met by giraffe skeletons

Before I looked at the whale skeleton I looked at some of the exhibits round the hall
 love the architecture in here!

a giant Mastadon which is "only" 30-40,000 years old

 the whale, suspended from the ceiling (there was a fascinating tv programme on at the time they opened the exhibit, about how they moved it from it's storage place in one of the upper rooms of the museum where it had been for many many years..

 it is huge!
 when I was here earlier in the year I don't remember noticing the birds carved in the wall
 sea weed (would make a fab rubber stamp, I think!)
 banded iron formation - the colours on this are so rich.

this was found in Australia, and it is dated at 2.6 million years old...
 took the stairs up to see the skeleton from a higher angle
 I was fascinated by the light from the coloured glass reflecting on the stone wall surrounding the windows.
 that's quite a large mouth!

from the front end

Gorgeous ceiling

 once I'd walked all round the gallery level, I headed down to the Dinosaur display...

where I've forgotten what most of them are, apart from the Triceratops

they have to keep the light levels very low, so the photos I took aren't fantastic.  will try again next time!
another whale skeleton in the 'blue zone'

once outside, I headed off for my next destination - still no rain, luckily!

this is another entrance to the Natural History Museum

 across from the new entrance to the Victoria and Albert (V&A) museum...
 the highly reflective mirrored sign to the new extension.

 I realised that this is the coloured "roof" that you watch the passing clouds through, down in the new extension...
but it was closed, they are putting the finishing touches to a new (charging) exhibition that opens at the end of the month - I did know it would be shut, so wasn't too disappointed
 you get two of me in this one!
 highly decorative staircase
 and a highly gilded frieze at the top of the roof
 I always get so lost inside the V&A, and didn't intend to stay long, so I headed off down the road past some fabulous buildings,

to my next (and final as it ended) destination of the day....

Kensington Palace, former home of the Princess of Wales

seems people leave flowers all year round at the gates

I can get into the Palace on my season ticket to the Historic Royal Palaces I use at the Tower of London and Hampton Court, but have never been here before (inside)
 inside, murals cover the walls of the impressive staircase

 this room was used when the composer Handel played for King
George II

 the main display that most people were keen to see this summer, is the Diana, her Fashion Story and the queue to enter this part of the rooms on display was moving slowly!

this is the Travolta dress
 I did take a couple more, but not many..

 into the "Victoria Revealed" part of the rooms

 this is the room Queen Victoria was born in
 dolls house

I loved this exhibit, a highly decorative, handpainted page from a book entitled Twelve Months of Flowers by Robert Huber, done in 1730
 outside to the gardens now, the main reason I particularly wanted to visit - to see the White Garden to commemorate the 20th anniversary since Diana's death on 31st August.

this was the winding path to the garden - bit like a maze!

On my way back at the end, I stopped at the top of some steps to take a view of it from higher up

 not sure if you'll be able to read it if you enlarge the picture

When Prince William and Harry were shown on TV on the day before the anniversary, they were down at pond level, but sadly we're only allowed to see it from the pathway that runs all round the garden - but you do get a good view of the garden from there...

I took lots!  The sun was still shining  - unlike when William and Harry (and Kate) were filmed in the pouring rain



 this is the view through the arched pergola in the photo above, a more formal part of the grounds
 I stopped and had a cup of tea and cake from the cafe, outside in blazing sunshine, and chatted to a lovely family from Baltimore, who were visiting London. (I was sharing their table, it was busy)

so that was Kensington Palace, and I was heading for - well, I didn't know exactly.

but as I walked down Kensington High Street, I caught sight of this beautiful church - which, funnily enough, I had read about in my "London's Secret Places" book

I bought the book at the end of last year I think, from the Kew bookshop,with an idea to visit somewhere other than Kew, and came upon it by chance (I had left the book at home as there isn't room in my camera bag for it)

St Mary Abbotts church, on a site where there has been a church for 1000 years, this version is Victorian, in the neo-gothic style

It is open to the public, for prayer and reflection and I did go inside, but there were people in there so I didn't like to take any photos inside (this stained glass window was pretty impressive inside!)

walking back to the main road, past these ancient tombstones (love an old tombstone!)
and from there, (where I belatedly realised I hadn't put the pedometer app on, so no idea how far I walked)  I decided to head for the tube and home...

So, no rain at all after the first five minutes (thank goodness!)  and a lovely day.
Tomorrow..... not sure, but possibly heading back to Hampton Court.  stay tuned! 


craftimamma said...

What a lovely day out Helen and with the benefit of none of the expected rain. I think we had it for you, lol! I love that you say would make a fab stamp. BTW the wording on the sign for Diana's garden is readable even on my phone. Thanks for sharing your day again.

Lesley Xx

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

I am so glad you went to London, because I watched a show last night with the London skyline and city as the backdrop. To me, it was one of the characters. The river was amazing from the buildings, too.

BUT, back to your photos. I have never seen a giraffe skeleton before, so that was new to me. I've seen several mastodons, but never a blue whale. In fact, I don't think I've ever seen a whale skeleton at all, so this was quite a thrill for me.

The architecture in that building is fabulous, and the windows contribute just the right atmosphere, too.

Loved seeing you in front of the V&A Museum You really DID get a hair cut!

I can see why people leave flowers at Kensington Palace. There have been specials all summer long about the fact it's been 20 years since Diana died, as you pointed out. I guess the show with William, Kate, and Harry didn't make it across the pond, because I've seen at least six shows dedicated to her this summer.

Those gardens are fabulous. I think that winding path is simply amazing, especially from where you photographed it. I STILL can't believe Diana's dead. It's so, so tragic. I may have been named for Elizabeth, but my heart belonged to Diana.

So glad you had lovely weather, took fabulous photos, and shared them with us, too.

Miriam said...

Oh Helen, what a fabulous day. I watched the programme about rebuilding the whale. It was fastjnaying. I must go sometime. Actually, everywhere you went is on my list. Lol! Great pics xx

Kirsten said...

What a great week you're having!! I'm reading this on Wednesday, so I''m guessing you might be a bit footsore by now, :-) but I'm sure you'd say it was worth it. Incredible photos from the NHM, especially.