For our second day in London, we bought a new kind of train ticket. Instead of getting a return ticket to Sevenoaks, we bought a ticket that was good for both the train to and from London and for the tube (subway). That meant that we could wander about London on the subway system as we chose. Actually, we did not wander too much as we had only two stops on our agenda. The first was the Victoria and Albert Museum. Although both Églantine and I have been lucky enough to have had several trips to London and visited many of the museums, this was one that we both had missed. I thought there was probably a reason I had missed it and was not sure I wanted to go but went anyway and had a wonderful time. Again, we could easily have spent all day and still missed much but on this occasion we set a time limit as Églantine wanted to go to the National Portrait Gallery too. So, into the V&A we went and found, to our delight, that photos were allowed in all but one room. Sculptures, iron works, and glass made up the most of the 100+ photos that we took on day 2. Following are a very few examples of each:
This glass piece hung above the main entrance to the museum. I did not find the dimensions but, having just checked the V&A Website, I just found out the name of the artist: Dale Chihuly.
There were two types of sculptures in the V&A. There were originals and there were copies. Michelangelo's David was a plaster copy; however, one could photograph the copy while it was forbidden to photograph the original in Florence, Italy. The V&A had many other famous sculptures as plaster copies but the most amazing, in my opinion, was a plaster cast of the 30 metre (100 foot) tall copy of Trajan's column from Rome. (Since this copy has been inside the museum for year, it is probably in much better condition than the original that has been standing outside in acid rain for years!)
Imagine taking your bags of plaster down to Rome to make a copy of a 30 metre column.... It boggles my mind. At least they broke it up into two parts.
This Buddha was an original.
This sculpture of an old man was a favourite of Églantine. (She has it on her Flicker site in different colours.) I have no idea if this was an original or a copy but it was well protected behind glass.
Speaking of glass...
I really liked this glass table. I have no idea how the artist got the lights to work.
I think this piece was called Daisy Seed. It was a favourite of both Églantine and I.
The other section of the museum where we spent time and took many photos was the iron section. The iron works were from various periods of time from ancient to modern. Below are several of our favourites:
We managed to get out of the V&A by 3:00 p.m. for a very late lunch at a place near Covent Gardens Market called Bistro 1. Our Sevenoaks friend told us it was the best meal in London for an inexpensive price. It lived up to its reputation.
After our late lunch, we went to the National Portrait Gallery. Portraits, in general, do not excite me much but I did find the more contemporary portraits of interest and even bought a book of them. Again, cameras were not to be used, but the NPG does offer CD's of many of their portraits and many are available, in a small format, to see on line. On of the neat contemporary portraits that we enjoyed was that of JK Rowling. Photographs do not do it justice as it was a 3-D construction with great perspective and with lights inside the picture to create wonderful shadows and light on Ms Rowling.
It was another late afternoon train ride back to Sevenoaks.