Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Day 11: Arrival in London

Day 11:  London (Thursday, July 3)

Thursday I splurged on my own taxi to Heathrow allowing me more than an hour's extra sleep and an escape from the flurry of everyone else trying to get organized. I returned my dongle turd that never worked and caught the hotel shuttle direct to Aston's. Was able to check in immediately to my favorite basement room, a quiet little cubby looking up to the garden, with a big window and a fan to keep the air moving. It's quiet and doesn't get much sun, a benefit when the temp is supposed to reach 80 -- not hot for us, but can be a problem in a city wi no cross ventilation or ceiling fans and little air-conditioning. So many rooms and shops are carved out of old buildings with little ventilation at all.

After I got unpacked (love all my packing bags as they allow me to stay organized even in this tiny space where the only way to open my bag is to put it on the bed), I walked over to the tube station, topped up my Oyster card, and made my way down to Trafalgar Sq. and the National Gallery where I had a nice lunch before going to the Making Colour exhibit. 

The bright June day had crowds of people sitting around enjoying the sun, the bag pipers were playing the theme from Star Wars, a giant Blue rooster sits on one of the Plinths making a weirdly surreal comment on the British Empire, going up the stairs to the gallery I hear a plaintive American child whine, "not another museum."

The color show was informative and absorbed me totally for over two hours: blue, green, yellow, red, purple, gold and silver. A wonderful selection of books in the shop; I took down titles to order on amazon but did buy a small catalogue written by the exhibit organizers. http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/whats-on/exhibitions/making-colour

Did make it over to the National Portrait Gallery where Frankie Spaulding has organized an exhibit on Woolf and Co., which unfortunately opens two days after I leave. I did buy the catalogue for that -- so excited to read it.http://www.npg.org.uk/whatson/virginiawoolf/home.php

On Monday while the whole city us disrupted for the Tour de France, I will take a big shopping bag down to the s. Kensington Mailboxes and send a bunch of stuff home so it will be possible to lift my suitcase coming home.

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