There was still so much to do and today was our last day in London, so it was another early morning for us all.
Our first stop was Harrods, to see the Diana and Dodi Memorial. Following their deaths, memorials were erected inside Harrods, dedicated to the couple. Located at the base
of the Egyptian Escalator, the first one was unveiled in 1998, and consists of photographs of the couple, behind a pyramid-shaped display that holds a wine glass smudged with lipstick from Diana’s last dinner, as well as what is described as an engagement ring Dodi purchased the day before they died.
A later addition in 2005 is entitled “Innocent Victims”. A bronze statue of the two dancing on a beach beneath the wings of an albatross, a bird said to symbolise the “Holy Spirit”.
From Harrods we had a lovely walk to the Natural History Museum, first stopping in at the Church of Immaculate Heart of Mary, but were not allowed to take any photos inside. I did however manage to sneak one with my cell phone. This famous Roman Catholic Church was built between 1880 and 1884. Popularly but incorrectly known as “Brompton Oratory” it is the second-largest Catholic church in London, with a nave exceeding in width even that of St Paul’s Cathedral.
The Victoria & Albert Museum is the world’s largest museum of
decorative arts and design, with a permanent collection of over
4.5 million objects. Founded in 1852 and named after Queen
Victoria and Prince Albert, the museum covers 12.5 acres and
has 145 galleries, with a collection that spans 5,000 years of art.
Over the road from the V&A Museum is one of a very few surviving drinking troughs. The Metropolitan Drinking Fountain and Cattle Trough Association was an association set up in 1859 to provide free drinking water to the general public. Originally called The Metropolitan Free Drinking Fountain Association it changed its name to include cattle troughs in 1867, to also support animal welfare. Most are now used as decorative plant holders.
The Natural History Museum and The Science Museum were absolutely fascinating! We were amazed right from the entrance escalators into the Geological section which go up through a spinning globe and pass through “the centre of the earth”. This section is world-famous for exhibitions including an active volcano model and an earthquake machine!
The exhibits were all very well presented. Pele’s hair is thin strands of volcanic glass which is a form of lava, which is named after the Hawaiian goddess of volcanoes. The strands are formed when the molten basaltic glass from lava stretches, and usually occur in lava fountains, lava cascades, and vigorous lava flows. The entire museum houses approximately 80 million different items, encompassing botany, entomology, mineralogy, paleontology and zoology. It is also a world-renowned research centre and even specimens collected by Charles Darwin are now housed in the museum.
A number of relics were found when
archaeologists discovered the ruins of
Pompeii, including this dog and human,
preserved forever in the solidified volcanic
Both would have died a rather painful, but
relatively fast death during the eruption of
Mt Vesuvius in 79AD.
The fossilised remains were discovered in
1874. The bronze studs on the dog’s neck
indicate that it was wearing a collar and
was possibly chained up during the
Amethyst still in its natural state.
From the Natural History Museum, we went on to the Science Museum. So much to see & so little time! I’m sure we could have spent all day there!
The Isetta is an Italian-designed microcar built under license in a number of different countries Because of its egg shape and bubble-like windows, it became known as a bubble car, a name later given to other similar vehicles.
I’m watching you!
Massive holographic globe
I cannot recall what these were called, but every time you moved in
front of the screen, the “bubbles” changed with the shape of your body. It was incredibly fascinating!
This very clever entrepreneur had made himself into a ‘plastic robot’. Everything he wore was a plastic bottle of some sort. The sign next to him read “No Paparazzi” “$ please”!
I’m sure he made a fair bit of money from the coins handed over each time someone wanted a photo!
From the museum, we walked to our next stop, Kensington Palace & Gardens, which is the home of Prince William & his family; and other royals including Prince Harry. We weren’t lucky enough to spot any of them, although it has been said that William and Kate often take their children into the gardens and mingle with the public. What fun that would have been for us!
Passing a small bakery called “Patisserie Valerie”, I simply had to go in and photograph the delicious looking confectioneries, but still being full from breakfast, we didn’t buy!