Sunday, January 29, 2012

Two Tourists Tour London - the V&A and Science Museum

January 2012, and the countdown is on! Now that the new year is upon us, David and I are really feeling how quickly our time in London is coming to a close. I am finishing up the last couple of months of the maternity leave I am covering at my work placement. David is getting organised after completing his master's work, and catching up on some client work while tying up lose ends. Most importantly, we are in major planning mode for our trip in Europe which we will take during March and April! I am SO excited and can't wait to share our adventures on this blog.

We have already given notice on our apartment and will be moving out in the last weeks of February - it feels like we just got here! As we contemplate yet another move, I have pointed out that we really need to make the effort to see a few more sights here in London before we go. We've done pretty well on the tourist front since we've been here - the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, the National Portrait Gallery, Buckingham Palace, the Tate and Tate Modern, and more - but there's always more to take in in London!

So, this past weekend we made a point of heading to South Kensington - which is becoming one of my favourite areas of London - to visit the Victoria and Albert Museum ("V&A") and the Science Museum.

Before going to the museums we stopped in for a coffee and one of my now-favourite places, near South Ken tube, a cafe/coffee stop with very adorable nostalgic decor and delicious food. It has lunchy things like curries and soups, and nice coffees and cakes. I went there with my parents over my birthday weekend and blogged about it, and took David there on this day - but I haven't made a point of noting what it is called! I recommend it though if you find yourself at South Kensington tube - I'll try to figure out the name before I leave London. ;)

We walked along Thurloe Place to get to the V&A. This was my first time to go to this museum but David's second - he had gone with class.

The V&A collection consists of textiles, sculpture works, ceramics and garments. It is a wonderful display of craftsmanship from different eras. I really enjoyed the museum, particularly a display of hand-carved altar-pieces from various countries. There is also an amazing blown glass sculpture hanging over the main reception desk. David liked a display of a chapel that was transplanted and preserved in the museum, which was built in the style of Italian architect Brunelleschi - a style which he recognised immediately!

After that we enjoyed a visit to the nearby Science Museum, which boasts some pretty impressive items including the actual Apollo 10 command module (called "Charlie Brown"!) This thing had actually been to space and back, and you could see all the charring from when it had fallen back into the atmosphere. Amazing! We also saw a replica of both Sputnik and the lunar landing module, and a really neat installation about the atmosphere and global warming. Oh and also this really neat hands-on display about various building materials (this is carpet. this is linoleum. this is cork. feel them!)

It was fun to have a date day and a chance to be tourists amid the rhythms of "regular" life. I hope we'll be able to cram in a couple more things like this before we have to leave!

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