Friday, July 5, 2013

Let me take you to London! - Day 8 + 9

From June 15 to 23 I was on a nine day trip to London! These posts are my slideshows of that vacation so you can all travel along with me and enjoy the sights. 

I also kept a journal while I stayed there which I will show completely when I'm done with the photographs. Enjoy!

Day 8 was my last real London day, since I would be getting on a night bus on day 9 to travel back home. I decided to save the best for last and for me the best that London has to offer is the V&A, also know as The Victoria & Albert Museum.

Ah, the V&A, how can I possibly explain the overwhelming joy of this museum to anyone who hasn't been there? It has everything (well, a lot) that you could possibly want in one place and it keeps surprising you at every corner. It has everything that reflects human craftsmanship and design through the centuries, from textiles to ironwork, from painting to sculpture, from tiles to manuscripts, from jewelry to life sized casts of ancient buildings and graves, from furniture to wall hangings, from fashion to theater and so very very very much more. There's no way to exaggerate the abundance of this place. I truly believe that if you go to this museum and you don't find at least one thing that moves you, you must be without a soul. It cannot be done. 

My plans were simple: spend the entire day at the V&A and afterwards quickly drop by Harrods. You know Harrods right? The totally overvalued posh department store where they can't seem to find a system to show their customers the way through the store without having to talk to a member of staff. The staff is really nice and so is the store itself, but really Harrods people, is it that much trouble to just put up some signs and a floor plan? Not getting lost in Harrods is impossible. I don't really care for it all that much, has food halls and one of those halls is filled with chocolate! That's right... a whole hall filled with chocolate! So I just had to go. You understand, right?

The underground entrance to the V&A before opening. Looks like I wasn't the only one going. Go figure!

This is the café. Just the café. I know.

Even the serving trays are pretty. And the pastry? Yum!

Windows in the café. So much beauty and I hadn't even been in the galleries yet!

A lovely fashion collection on show.

As a book maker/journaler I wanted to rip this sample book from the display. Good thing it was behind glas.

Old hand embroidered fabrics galore. The craftsmanship of things like this moved me to tears.

There was a whole new medieval section. This was just a very small part of it.

The beautiful inner court where I had myself a little lunch.

The Cast Courts were closed (insert my shocked look here), but could be seen from above.

That's right, that's a two piece cast of an enormous ancient column!

How adorable is this?

This amazing glass chandelier is by Chihuly and hangs in the entrance hall.

My loot of my last London day! Yes, there's chocolate there!

I would have taken pictures of Harrods' chocolate hall, but it was so busy there (no surprise on a late Saturday afternoon) that I just wanted to get my fix and go and it was impossible to take a good shot anyway. After I came back to St. Pancras I went to the shops at St. Pancras International and was lured in by a Paperchase. They had these gorgeous albums that my greedy fingers just wouldn't let go off. So now they live with me on an island. ;-)
The Neil Gaiman book is just a little bonus for my personal reading pleasure.

As for the V&A, I was there for over six hours and still it was not enough to see everything. I'm thinking next time I go to London I will just go a weekend and spend two days in the V&A and another one to visit the British Museum of which I just scratched the surface. You just need that much time to really take these museums in. Unfortunately my London time was up and I had to get back to the hotel and pack for my journey home.

I had a very early flight on Sunday morning and that meant no tube but a bus ride to the airport and that meant it took a long time to get there, so I had to get up before 3 am! It also meant I got to see a big part of London through a bus window all the way to Heathrow, which was pretty cool.

At Heathrow airport I barely had time for a quick breakfast before I had to get on board.

The flight back was a lot calmer and before I knew it I was at Schiphol waiting for my train heading north to familiar ground.

I was back home around 4 pm where somebody was pretty pleased to see me!

And with one happy cat and one tired traveler we end this nine day trip to London! I hope you enjoyed the journey along with me. I know I have some new memories and an overload of impressions to keep me satisfied for a while to come.

Next week I will show you the pages from the journal I kept during my trip. For now I want to thank you for your patience with my slideshow extravaganza and wish you all a wonderful and artsy weekend!