Saturday, 3 August 2019

Hilton Angel Islington (London, England)

By the time I arrived in London I had plans to visit a few locations. Being essentially confined for the last few weeks I was ready to tour again.

The day after I arrived, August 1st, I decided to travel up to Cambridge. I had already visited Oxford so thought it was only fair that I would visit Cambridge as well. Again I joined a small tour group and walked around the various colleges and saw the interiors of some of the buildings. It was a beautiful day and not too warm. It was an easy journey up and back.

Yesterday, August 2nd, I had tickets to see Buckingham Palace (my fourth time) to see the Victoria exhibit displayed in a few of the state rooms. I also had tickets to see the da Vinci exhibit and the Royal Mews. I arrived at the palace just as the changing of the guards was starting. Thought I would never be able to get through the crowds to get my tickets.

The da Vinci exhibit was extensive and was displayed over several rooms. Some of the drawings were difficult to see but I’m sure the lighting was kept at a minimum as a preventive measure. From there I toured the Royal Mews and saw a couple of horses and a few of the carriages. It would be much more fun to see the whole collection and the stables were the rest of the horses are kept.

Each time I tour Buckingham Palace I see something new. The Victoria exhibit, like the previous ones I’ve seen, was very well put together. The highlight was a hologram of people dancing in the Ballroom in early Victorian dress. At the end of the tour there was a place where you could get your picture taken with the Royal Family. Of course I had to add myself to the collection.

The last couple of days, with the warmer weather, I’ve come back to the hotel exhausted. Probably because I haven’t been doing a lot of walking and also not used to the weather. Glad that I can get around better now and preparing myself for touring Ireland in a couple of weeks.

Today, I took the train south to Dulwich to visit the Dulwich Picture Gallery. This was the first picture gallery opened to the public in the early part of the 1800s. The collection was to be sold to a king in Poland, but the sale didn’t go through. These old masters were added to a collection started earlier. The building was designed by Sir John Soane, a well-known architect during the Regency Period.

After I returned to London I walked over to the British Library to see the Magna Carta. The library holds one of the few remaining copies of the original. When I entered the room where the document is kept I noticed that part of the display case was empty. The library’s copy was not available. Though two supportive documents were there. When I asked the library’s information desk when the document would be returned to the exhibit, they didn’t even know it was gone. Oh well, not much I could do about it. I did have a chance to look at some of the other displays of ancient documents and a few pictures, so it wasn’t a total loss.

Tomorrow Csabi will be visiting. Not sure what we’ll do, but I’m sure we will find something. I’m planning to stay an extra day since Prean will be returning to Wales a day late. Glad I have some flexibility in my travel schedule.

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