I'm not sure how the internet will work once we leave London tomorrow, so if you don't hear from me for a couple of days you will know that I have hit a snag. This was our last full day here, we head to Edinburgh early tomorrow afternoon on the train. The weather has been perfect in London we are expecting rain in the north. Andrew bought an umbrella yesterday in preparation.
Entering the museum, we were greeted by the skeleton of a 26 m long Diplodocus.
We started this morning by walking to the Natural History Museum. I am convinced that school age children in London do not attend school in June. There were hundreds of children at this museum as well as at The National Gallery. The Natural History Museum was well done and had a full scale Diplodocus assembled from the bones, greeting everyone as you entered. It was 26 m long which gives you some idea of the size of this place. One thing I've discovered is that the Brits construct their buildings very large, very solid and usually quite ornate.
The museum stonework included many carvings of plants and animals.
This cross-section of a Sequoia tree from California was a seedling in 557 AD.
Mankind has caused many extinctions including the Dodo bird. I hope this stuffed specimen wasn't the last!
From there we set off for Buckingham Palace (no I didn't get to see the Queen, but she was in residence). Another very impressive building. The bobbys did not want us to get too close to take photos, but we have quite a few.
The Mall, the street leading to Buckingham Palace.
The rather impressive Canada Gate.
Buckingham Palace behind the Queen Victoria monument.
We failed to secure an invitation to tea so we departed and walked up Whitehall towards Trafalgar Square, passing Downing Street and many statues that were placed in the middle of the street. Two mounted guards were on duty. The end of Downing street was heavily guarded so we couldn't bring Canadian greetings to the Prime Minister either.
The impressive Women of World War II Memorial.
We ended up at The National Gallery and for me this was the highlight of our day. To be able to view original paintings of Monet, Rembrandt, Leonardo de Vinci, Michelangelo, Picasso, Constable, Vermeer, van Gogh was something I really never thought I would ever do. My favorite of all these was Constable, very realistic and pleasant to look at. We also discovered we are not Picasso fans (sorry, Heather!).
Trafalgar Square from the front of the Gallery. Sorry, no pictures of great paintings.
After this we had an early supper at a traditional English pub - we felt we had to try the Brit's claim to fame of their 'famous fish 'n chips', which included 'mashed peas' (think baby food and pea soup combined). The fish was good but not as good as haddock prepared at Murphy's in Truro. The fish was hake.
Pub fare, fish 'n chips with mashed peas.
We then headed back to our hotel and are now trying to catch up on labeling photos.
Thanks to all of you who are taking the time read this blog. My final thoughts of London are ~ it is an amazing city to visit. I don't think I would ever choose to live here, although children would certainly benefit from the rich history that surrounds you. Everyone always seems to be in a hurry and in their own world with their i-pods, cell phones, blackberries, newspapers and nobody really looked that happy. The Tube and double-deckers are often standing room only. Well, I must sign off.