Thursday 2 July 2009
Highlights: Buckingham Palace, Duke of York Column
Today has a crazy busy day in the heat of London (I’m not joking about the heat, air conditioning doesn’t exist here!). I started the day at the British Museum, I mostly skipped the Egyptian section since I had been there recently but the Roman and Greek displays were excellent. They had reconstructed a ‘Nereid Temple’ and the coins sections (which included current currency) was very interesting especially for the rulers who put themselves on the coins. Leaving the museum I decided to walk to Buckingham Palace, this meant I got to walk via Regent Street full of high price shops and Piccadilly Circus.
I did stop into a Electronic Game store and found something illegal in Australia, 18+ games like Leisure Suit Larry. I was extremely tempted to buy a game and bring it back to Australia. Not many people go to the UK to buy something illegal 🙂
I also came across the Duke of York Column that was built in 1833. It stands at the entrance of the impressive St James Park. The park is a step away from the busy London world with people feeding the ducks and swans you could think you were in a different world. From here I first visited the Royal Horse Guard (no horses unfortunately) and then onto Buckingham Palace. The Queen Victoria memorial is very impressive and dominates the area. I was too late for the changing of the guard but i could still see the expensive and extensive palace that the Queen of Australia lives in. Unfortunately she didn’t invite this particular subject in for tea.
I then ventured onto Tate Britain Gallery. I had previously been to the Tate Modern. This gallery was to house British artist from the past up until the present day. They seemed to have a mandate to not display religious paintings which is rare in Europe given religious paintings were the dominate ones from the middle-ages up until 1910.
After 8 hours of walking and viewing galleries and the big tourist sites I decided to walk to Westminster to get a bus back (the heat of the Tube would have finished me off), on the way I came across a school boys cricket match being played on an excellent oval with a great pavilion, much better than anything I have seen in Australia at this level. Finally after sweating badly on the bus I got back to the flat and collapsed. Tomorrow I’m going to listen to the Essendon vs Collingwood match and hopefully visit Lords for a tour in the afternoon.