Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Victoria and Albert Museum: Part Two

So here are the few of the amazing things I saw when I visited the Victoria and Albert museum in London. Many of the best items were unable to be photographed, so you should definitely make a point to visit in person.

Need some boxes to stash your fine collectables?

I recommend this one. No one is getting inside without permission.

DaVinci's Notebook

Awesome bed. This bed is what is missing in your life.

Everyone needs a giant sorta creepy Jesus screen, right?

This lock is more advanced than most of them I've seen while traveling around the UK. It even tells you how many times it has been opened.

Purple couch, always fashionable.

This is a tile stove for heating your home. Why don't we still have things like this?!

Best. Hat. Ever. Those rings? They're chakrams, aka sharp throwing rings

**I should be arriving back in the UK from Jordan this evening. I'll post about that trip later in the week.**

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Victoria And Albert Museum: Part One

On my last day in London I visited the Victoria and Albert Museum. I spent six hours there, and still didn't see everything. If you will visit only one museum during your stay in London, this is it. It has everything from art to clothes, beds, iron locks, strongboxes, crosses, Roman fountains, complete rooms that have been disassembled and reassembled in the museum...

Here's a short video of that last item. I could totally live in this museum.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

London: Tate Britian

With as many art museums as London has I figured I'd better have a look at one while I was there. Luckily, the Tate Britain was just a couple blocks away. It contains British art from 1500-present day, along with international modern art. I mostly skipped the modern art because I don't really enjoy it, and my feet hurt due to me breaking in new shoes during my visit.

I enjoyed seeing the original paintings of some of my favourite works as well as discovering new-to-me artists.

The Lady of Shalott by John Waterhouse

Mr Heatherley's Holiday: An Incident in Studio Life by Samuel Butler

Holyday by James Tissot

An Iron Forge by Joseph Wright of Derby

Still Life with a Volume of Whither's 'Emblemes' by Edward Collier

The Gleaning Field by Samuel Palmer

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

London:The Who Shop

I was back in London for more cat-sitting last week and decided it was time to venture out of the city center and see The Who Shop. It was an easy journey via the London Underground. My house-sitting host had given me an Oyster card with money already on it so I didn't have to pay anything to ride the tube from Victoria Station to Upton Park, a journey that would have cost me £9.40/$15.23 round-trip if I had paid in cash (it cost £5.40/$8.75 when using my card). If you're going to visit London and plan to do much non-walking traveling at all I highly recommend getting an Oyster card. You can get visitor cards at various tube, overground, and rail stations in London.

The Who Shop was a short walk from the tube station and in an area with a variety of interesting shops and restaurants. The shop itself was fairly small, but really packed with all sorts of Doctor Who items. I found a little backpack for £3/$4.84 that will be perfect for carrying bottles of water and snacks while in Jordan.

There's also a "museum" in the back of the shop filled with props and things from over the 50 years Doctor Who has been on the air. I paid the £3/$4.84 to go back for a look. You enter by unlocking the TARDIS in the shop, which is a nice touch. That alone is worth the £3 to many Whovians. The museum wasn't terribly impressive, but now I can say I've been.

I'd only recommend going to The Who Shop and seeing the museum bit if you are a totally crazed Whovian, otherwise it's not worth the trip nor the £3. 

Saturday, March 15, 2014


I might be slightly addicted to Mtn Dew. Back before I began my trip I was drinking a can or two, or three a day. Yeah, small addiction... Since I've been traveling I've found only diet Mountain Dew (gross) or regular US Mtn Dew that has been imported but costs about $1/can. My cheapness keeps me from buying it at that price. I finally discovered Boots pharmacy sells it, or at least some of them do.

Behold the sugary goodness! Supposedly, Mountain Dew Energy is different than regular Mtn Dew found in the US. Apart from it having sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup I can't taste any difference at all.

Here Mountain Dew comes with a High Caffeine warning. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014


The weather in Cambridge has been just lovely these past few weeks compared to what it would have been back in Missouri. It's been so nice that there are flowers blooming everywhere. It seems spring has come early.

 Two views of the River Cam from a footbridge.

Not sure I could live on a canal boat, but the views would be fantastic.

I've never seen so many swans in one place. The river is full of them. 

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

English Movie Theaters

My friend and I went to see the Lego movie at the movie theater here in Cambridge. It was a weird experience.

First of all, you buy your ticket and your snacks from one person. I haven't decided if this makes more or less sense than having separate lines. 

Secondly, you get assigned seats! Your ticket has your seat number on it. You tell the cashier if you want front, middle, or back of the theater, and then it's just luck if you have to sit next to someone or not. My friend tells me that you're not expected to always sit in your assigned seat unless the theater is rather full, like it was when we went. 

Thirdly, the popcorn. Popcorn in England is either salty or sweet, but not buttery. I don't understand how anyone can eat unbuttered salty popcorn. How does the salt even adhere to the popcorn kernels without the butter?

Fourth, the advertisements. In the states if you arrive well ahead of the movie start time you watch the same 10 commercials on a loop until the lights dim and movie trailers begin. In England the advertisements start when the lights dim and you sit through like 10-15 minutes of them before the trailers. 

Some things were the same, like the snack prices being insanely high, kids being annoying, and the temperature in the theater either being way too hot or cold.

**I'll be flying to Jordan on the 13th so I might be a bit difficult to get ahold of. I have several blog posts scheduled to go live Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays while I'm gone though.**

Sunday, March 9, 2014

London: British Museum

I managed to get to the British Museum a little after noon. The website said I'd have until 5:30 PM before it closed. In actuality they start herding people out at 5:10 PM.

I got to see the Rosetta Stone, mummies, massive statues from ancient Egypt, tiny Viking figurines, coins, jewellery, weapons, tools, and even part of a temple that had been disassembled and rebuilt in one of the rooms. 

Even with five hours I still didn't have time to see everything. While I was able to see everything on the lower and ground floors, I only saw half of the upper floor. I would recommend getting to the museum when it opens, leaving for lunch (the cafe prices are outrageous), and returning after lunch. There's no way to see everything and actually read any of the information about any of it in less than a full day. 

I didn't take any pictures while in the British Museum because the lights were very dim and my photos wouldn't have turned out well at all. So here's a picture of the cats I was watching during my stay in London.