Today I went to the Natural History Museum. (The central atrium is pictured below.) As you can see, visitors are warmly greeted by a dinosaur and are then quickly amazed by the architecture. I didn’t really understand how to navigate the museum, but I did manage to find the precious gems “vault” and the mammal room, which was enough for one day.
The next stage of my plan was to go to Kensington High Street and find free wifi and a scone. I have been wanting a scone for days. But with the winding streets and streets that are really just mews* and mews that are actually someone’s private property, I ended up….in Kensington Gardens.
The Albert Memorial is on an outer edge of Kensington Gardens (which is basically one portion of Hyde Park).The memorial was commissioned by Queen Victoria after Albert’s death, and is right across from Royal Albert Hall (the next picture down). After Albert’s death, Victoria wore black EVERY SINGLE DAY for the rest of her life. [Historical briefing: Much of the Kensington museum area is thanks to Victoria and Albert–the Victorian Era saw the creation of lots of museums, built with funds (and filled with the items) from the Great Exhibition** in 1851. They wanted a way to educate and “improve” the people, and I have to say that it was pretty cool to see all the parents teaching their children and the kids getting all excited about the tigers/whales/etc.]
Below is a tree-lined pathway in the Gardens. On nice aspect of the park is that dogs are allowed to roam semi-free, but they are all super-posh dogs in quilted jackets that don’t sniff things they shouldn’t and generally walked with an air of prestige.
And then I walked through some sort of green tunnel.
In the distance, I could make out the London Eye and the Shard in the sunset.
All together, a good day! Still thinking about that scone, though.
*Mews are mini-streets that are mini because they used to be where the horses and carriages were kept.
**The Great Exhibition was basically when, in Hyde park in 1851, Albert and friends commissioned a giant crystal palace to be built and they filled it with everything they and other countries wanted to show off. The US brought a reaping machine. The BEST part: mant of the items on display at the exhibition are still on display in the Natural History Museum, and I saw them today!