Wednesday, December 16, 2015

London by Night

After dinner, Dad and I set out to get some night shots of the town.  London by night is not only stunning, it is bustling, lively and full of fun.  People of all ages were out to enjoy a show, or see the city lights from the London eye, or to hit up a club or a restaurant with some friends.  It was a fun scene to be out and about in 

Street performers, displaying a variety of talents, drew large crowds of curious pedestrians.

We stopped by Trafalgar square to see what kind of light display they had set up at night.  It was somewhat disappointing to realize they don't like up any of the square's monuments at night.  But it was fun to see the dinosaur statue lit up.  This pedestal is known as the Fourth Pilnth, every year art critics, art commissioners as well as members of the public, get to vote on which temporary work of art gets displayed on the plinth for the upcoming year.  Last year the plinth was the home of a giant blue chicken, two years before that, it displayed a larger than life ship in a bottle.  I get to come back to London next year, I'm excited to see what the city chooses to have displayed for 2016!

Then it was home to the Savoy to pack our bags and prepare ourselves to return to normal life.  Words could never describe how grateful I am to have been able to go on this trip, and have all the many wonderful and cherished experiences I will hold dear for the rest of my life.  I love traveling the world, meeting new people, experiencing different cultures, tasting all different kind of food, and creating unforgettable memories. I am beyond grateful that I have had many opportunities to do so, I will never take them for granted.  Until next time Europe!  

The British Museum and Tea at the Savoy

Our last day in London was a rainy one.  Luckily, we had planned to spend the entire day in the British Museum!  Everyone else in London had the same idea, it was pretty packed inside.  This museum is the home of so many wonders from around the world, we could have spent multiple days strolling through the different galleries.  Each of us picked one or two things we wanted to see and we made our way to those top picks, and just that took us all day.

The Rosetta Stone

"Large stone sculptures and reliefs were a striking feature of the palaces and temples of ancient Assyria (modern northern Iraq). An entrance to the royal palace of King Ashurnasirpal II (883-859 BC) at Nimrud was flanked by two colossal winged human-headed lions. A gigantic standing lion stood at the entrance to the nearby Temple of Ishtar, the goddess of war."

I love Egyptian art, architecture, history, theology pretty much anything having to do with ancient Egypt, I find it such a fascinating civilization.  My favorite hieroglyph in the below inscription is the adorable little slug.

After our time in ancient Egypt, we were transported back to ancient Greece and spent some time with the famous Elgin Marbles.  They are stunning, their detail and delicacy is amazing to see in person.

By then, our minds and bodies needed a little break so we decided to grab some lunch at one of the museum cafes.  There was a special exhibit at the museum of Australian artifacts, so they had a special Australian menu, it was super fun!  I had a delicious salad, then got a traditional Australian pavlova for dessert.  I loved their beautiful dishes, I have a very similar set but in black. 

Our last stop of the day, located at the very top of the museum, was dad's number one pick, the clock exhibit.  My dad has made several clocks that he still has decorating his home, one of which is a skeleton clock located in my old room at their house.  I feel asleep to it's quiet tick tock-ing every night while growing up.  I'm glad dad put this exhibit on our "must see" list, because it was fascinating!  I loved the very detailed and extensive pocket watch display, they were beautiful!

Dinner that night was unforgettable.  We had Afternoon Tea at the Savoy, and that is of what dreams are made.  It was fancy and proper and beautiful and delicious and everything you want afternoon tea to be!  Dad and I got the black current and hibiscus infused fruit tea, and I am not kidding or exaggerating when I say, it is the best tea, I have ever tasted, in all my life.

Our first course was a selection of tea sandwiches as well as biscuits with jam and clotted cream.

Our next course was a selection of the most beautiful little pastries and desserts that you have ever seen.

And as if that wasn't enough, the last course was cake.  But I just had more raspberry macaroons since they didn't have any gluten free cake.  I still can't believe this dinner really happened, it was perfect in every way!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Sights of London

This morning, dad and I walked the city.  We walked to a few of the famous monuments and sights that were close to our hotel.  First stop, Trafalgar Square.  I was kind of sad they didn't have the crazy pigeons to feed, like in Venice, anymore.  But we made sure to climb the center monument to snap the obligatory picture.  It's harder then it looks to get up and down by the lions.  I had to have a strong, nice British man lift me off the monument, cause I could not figure out how to get down!  But that awesome picture was worth it!

As we were walking down to Big Ben from Trafalgar Square, we happened upon the changing of these horseback guards!  It was a very serendipitous moment, and very fun to watch.

The horse on the left was super naughty and would not stand still and kept spinning in circles, his guard was not happy about it.

Here are the new guards and horses settling in and preparing for their hour of duty.

Then we made it, Parliament and Big Ben!  No matter how many times I visit this famous landmark, it's always just as thrilling to stand in it presence as if it was the first time.

The London Eye, is right on the other side of the river from Parliament.  So after snapping a few photos in front of the eye, we met up with mom and took a ride.

This awesome 360 map came with our tickets, and labeled all the buildings we would be looking at as we soared high above the city!