The blown glass V&A Rotunda Chandelier by Dale Chihuly
What is the worst thing that can happen to a tourist in London? Arriving at the Victoria and Albert Museum 45 minutes prior to closing, that's what. Oh, the weeping, the wailing, the gnashing of teeth. (This is aside from the taxi rides to and from Heathrow Airport, both of which were . . . well, memorable is probably the nicest word, "nearly fatal" being closer to the truth.) But first, all the fun stuff we did instead . . .
We pulled into London from Cambridge (see that post HERE) in the mid to late afternoon. I snapped this photo of people outside of the Sherlock Holmes Museum from the coach window as we headed to our hotel. It is located at the fictional 221B Baker Street. (It *is* on Baker Street, so there's that.)
We were invited by our new friends, two couples from Murray, Utah, to go with them to the Victoria and Albert Museum. It was a short and beautiful walk from our hotel through Hyde Park/Kensington Gardens (I never knew when I was in which one--they are right next to each other. I knew that back when I wrote the picnic scene in Miss Armistead Makes Her Choice, but somehow it was still different than I imagined--most likely due to the fact that there were no spanking new phaetons with wheels picked out in yellow.) The monument pictured above and below is the Albert Memorial that I caught some inferior pics of on the first day of our trip. I was very happy to get better photos of it this time around.
The monument, the day, and (dare I say) this photo, are all as crystal clear as Prince Albert's Crystal Palace.
I've said it before and I'll say it again--she (Victoria) really did love that man.
Once we made our way through the park, we ended up in a neighborhood (might have been Notting Hill, might not have been) and ran across this visitor's center for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints. Most visitor centers are on the same grounds as the temple, but, in this case, the temple is in Preston, which is quite a drive. Many people stop in at this one in this upscale neighborhood. We weren't expecting it and were thrilled to see the familiar sight of the Christus statue through the window.
We met Elder and Sister Cardall, the parents of composer Paul Cardall (think LOST) who are giving years of their time and energy to answer questions and offer support. They were very gracious.
This building houses three wards (congregations) as well as the visitor's center. It is a busy place on Sundays. The time we spent there was time taken away from the museum but it was well worth it. Walking into the visitor's center felt like walking out of the rain into a warm, dry place. Loved it!
We rushed into the Victoria and Albert Museum and, naturally, the first piece of art I found photo-worthy was a statue. Isn't she exquisite?
I'm a talker. I'm an over-sharer. I say a lot about very little. In fact, I would say that I'm a narcissist when it comes to my own words (you kind of have to be to be a writer--why bother writing a book unless you are positive people will enjoy it?) (And to that I say, Yay, Narcissism!, because we wouldn't have novels without it.) But, I think that for the most part, these photos speak for themselves.
Cherubs: I adore 'em. The more the better. These are very old and were rescued from an even older building. We didn't have time to gather facts and info as to what, when and where--we were in a hurry!
See other photos (i.e. not the brilliant ones taken by moi, rather, the brilliant ones taken by others when it was lit) HERE
The photo above is very cool, especially when you spot the hand holding the camera lens at the railing.
I do so love religious art. It is stunning, as is the dedication the artists had in order to spend so much time and effort on these things. Of course, there was not a huge market for other kinds of sculpture in the early days, and even starving artists must eat.
And then, of course, there are the nudes. Clearly there was a market for that, too--but that was a bit later on . .
This one especially touched me, so I broke it up into larger-but-sadly-fuzzy pieces for closer viewing.
Ah, St. Peter. I have one at my house, so I could not resist taking this photo. Seeing as mine is so saintly, he wasn't particularly impressed. He is such a sweet and modest boy.
I have a Mary, too. She is nowhere near as cold and hard-hearted as this gal, though.
Should you know me and want to ask if, at the museum, I saw this, or that: The most likely answer is no. We only saw a tiny fraction of all there is to see there. I could spend a week exploring such a marvelous edifice and its contents.
After the museum, we have a lovely Italian and, more importantly, gluten-free dinner with our friends and had a wonderful time. As I was getting ready for bed that night, I looked out the window at this now familiar sight. This was the third night we had spent in this same hotel and I had grown curious about those dogs--were they real? Perpetually obedient? Or statues? My zoom lens rooted out the facts of the case.
Goodnight London. NEXT: another look at the Nearly Famous London Regency Romance Book Cover Photo Shoot and the little tour of Kensington we took that evening.
This entry was posted on Thursday, May 12, 2016 at Thursday, May 12, 2016 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the comments feed .