Thursday, May 16
After talking with Jim, I seem to have gotten my days mixed up. Tuesday, at the British Museum, the issue was more the crowds and the noise. I don’t know if it was a special school day or there are always tons of people but it was crazy. So between the number of people and the amount of information, we only spent a few hours there. Definitely a place to revisit though.
Today is the day I ran out of steam when we went to the Victoria & Albert Museum to see their collection of decorative arts and design. I’m pretty sure that even if we were starting fresh, we’d have only been able to see it in short bursts. There’s just so much to take in.
I did spend some time in their fashion collection. It starts in the seventeenth century and moves through to the present day. There were the usual photograph-and-move-on visitors but it was cool to see some fashion design students lingering there, studying and sketching the designs. What a great field trip that would be! If you have a moment, check out some of the beautiful pieces on their website.
Jim took a few photos of their ironwork section. There were decorative pieces,
And utilitarian pieces like this lantern,
And a collection of ornate locks and keys,
There was also a huge elaborate glass chandelier by Washington artist Dale Chihuly hanging right over the information desk. I felt sorry for the people who have to sit under this all day. I’d be so tense! I also expect dusting the thing would be a full time job.
After getting our fill, we sat outside and relaxed for a while. We saw quite a few school groups including these little dudes in their uniforms.
We saw the classic European city scene of the pensioner feeding the pigeons. (I’m not sure why his pants leg was rolled up – maybe the abrasion on his knee?)
At each corner in a group of statues representing Asia, Africa, America and Europe, seen here.
The Asia group is reflected here in the window of the Royal Albert Hall.
We saw more school groups out including this darling little group of Madelines.
We stopped for lunch at the traditional British pub, The Goat Tavern. You can see a photo of the great sign out front here. It was slightly non-traditional in that they had some vegetarian versions of classic pub fare – I had a vegetarian pie with chips and peas and carrots. We also got to try some real British ale – Bombadier.
After a meal and a rest at the apartment, we headed back out for a trip to the Harley-davidson dealer. We found Warr’s Harley-Davidson who say they are Europe’s oldest dealer, established in 1924. Happily, we also found them open, unlike the shops in Paris. Jim bought a hoodie and shirt and I bought a patch for a girlfriend back home who rides.
We had a little supper and went back to the apartment to pack up in preparation for our check out and travel the next day.