Day 18: London Fog…
I puttered in my room thinking it would clear, but eventually decided to head out anyway. Shock-of-shocks – I didn’t eat breakfast! The weather makes it a good day fto see a museum. Did I mention that London has 300 museums? I try to visit one or two each time I visit. (I have repeated the British Museum 4 times – it is that good!)
Today I headed to South Kensington to go to the Natural History Museum. South Kensington is a nice part of London – it runs along the south edge of Hyde Park, has several museums, and old Georgian mansions – many converted to hotels.
In 1999, My Girl Scout co-leader and I brought our troop to Europe for 3 weeks. While in London, we stayed at the Baden-Powell house which is located literally next door to the Natural History Museum. The girls were 14 at the time and more interested in the history of boys than Europe, but we had a wonderful time.
In 2002 (I think – age you know…) I spoke at a conference at Imperial College . On that visit, I stayed in Nottinghill, but came back in 2004 and stayed in campus housing at Imperial College. The housing was not a swanky as this picture. Trust me.
The Museum of Natural History buildings alone are incredible. This picture doesn’t begin to do it justice. Admission is free and today there were groups of school children and lots of families. There is a lot to see. I focused on the sections for human biology, mammals, and the Darwin Center. It is very well done. What I especially liked was how interactive it was for children. There is an extensive section on human reproduction that provides information on every level of human development right down to neurons and the function of glands. I got tickled watching pre-pubescent boys taking pictures of the female parts with their cell phone cameras.
Next door is the Science Museum, but it was too near closing time for me to visit, so I have to defer that to another trip. This is the Royal Albert Hall which holds concerts and theater-in-the round. Another thing on my to-do list for the future.
I walked back through St. James Park, which is the park that runs up Pall Mall towards Buckingham Palace. Everything is flowering and is gorgeous – even on this gray day.
I passed this store on my walk back. My father was an avid gun collector and this made me think of him. The “posh” clothes and gentleman trappings also sold in here would have cracked him up.
I went back to La Gaffe for perhaps my final dinner there – at least for this visit. My appetizer was a delicious plate of several different smoked fish (it was really enough for a meal), then I had steak with tomatoes, olives, & onions with a side of creamy potatoes. It was tuttu bene as Danilo says. Did I mention the two glasses of wine?
Tomorrow is my last day. I have a list of things to do. We shall see how successful I am.
When Greg and I were in London in 2007 we visted the Lord Baden Powell house! I thought you guys may have stayed there on your Europe trip, but I wasn’t sure. When we were there they had a large display of scouting stuff, and there were a ton of scouts in town for the annual Jamboree! It was a pretty cool trip. I think it was one of the first hostel’s I’d ever been to that was not a scary place… The couple I visted in the US were not places I’d want to stay again, but it seems like everywhere we’ve gone other than the US has great hostels! Anyway, glad you’re having a great trip!
Amanda, I am a friend of one of your high school friends. I have enjoyed your blog so much!! I really am going to hate to see it end. You have made every adventure as if we are there with you. Thank you so much for allowing us to follow you and enjoy your trip as well.
I am delighted that you have joined me on my adventure! I hope you had fun! Let’s go somewhere else soon! Thanks! Amanda (Mindy if they knew me in high school ) 🙂
MMMM you are making me hungry with your descriptive meals! When you mention Buckingham palace it reminded me of the gift shop in behind that I bought some lovely Lily of the Valley scented powder. Big Mistake! Don’t get me wrong I adore the smell, but it did not make it to Canada in one piece and since then my suitcase smells wonderful!
That’s hilarious Cindy! I will think of you now every time I see Lilly of the Valley. Too funny!
Hi Amanda – I enjoy reading your blog everyday. I’ve never been to Europe, so reading your tales somehow makes feel like I have. I miss you much and hope that we can catch up when you return.
Did you have any pie while you were there?
I missed all your calls before I left and was a lousy friend and didn’t call back! Shame on me! Hope you are happy in Chicago! No pie on this trip. I’m more shy than you 🙂 I’m glad you’ve been along for the ride! Miss you!
Another great day exploring. Did you get a gang photo of Lorenzo and company? Any thoughts on publishing your blog :-)) see you soon. Pat