Sixth Despatch - More Museums in London

It seems to me that London is the Magic Pudding city of museums. You just begin to think that you've seen enough of them and you discover more, newer, exciting museums. If that's not an oxy moron.

For us it started with the British Museum on our first day in London. And it's extended to the Natural History Museum, the London Transport Museum, the Museum of London, the Victoria & Albert Museum, the National Maritime Museum. Andy thinks that I've left out a couple ... perhaps he's meaning the Harvey Nicholls and Harrods Museums?

At the Natural History Museum Andy was drawn to the dinosaur gallery. Perhaps it had something to do with the enormous diplodocus skeleton that stands in the museum's grand entrance. It's over 50 feet long from nose to the tip of its very long tail.

The Dinosaur gallery featured all the chart topping dinosaurs: triceratops, tyrannosaurus, apatosaurus, stegosaurus and probably 500 others. Their bodies in some cases, were so enormous that they would have had to spend most of every day eating in order to meet their energy needs. The last exhibit in the gallery was an animatronic tyrannosaurus whose tail and head moved as he roared in anger and scared the hordes of children.

Notice that the dinosaurs are all lit from below, ensuring that they create really scary shadows.

The Victoria & Albert Museum is on the next block from the Natural History Museum and luckily for us is open until 9.00 pm each Friday. So we had a late lunch in the Morris tea rooms, designed by William Morris (founder of the arts and crafts movement in the UK). The tea rooms are quite spectacular and well worth visiting in their own right. They feature beautiful stained glass windows, decorative tiles and every surface is decorated.

We were lucky to be at the V&A when it was holding a Baroque exhibition - "Style in the Age of Magnificence". Unfortunately, photos were absolutely forbidden, even without a flash. So enjoy the next photo as it was taken just before we were sternly rebuked.

It is a cabinet from Versailles, made at the Gobelins workshops of Paris in 1683. It is made of ebony, marble, ivory and inlaid with semi-precious gems.

The Baroque style was opulent, dramatic and highly decorative. It had its origins in France and Italy and spread to all European colonies during the 17th and 18th centuries.

As an observer the Baroque for me is all about display. The items on show whether grand staircases, long decorated galleries, elaborate dress or beautifully laid out gardens represent the owners wealth and importance.

Rest assured dear readers, there is more museum news to come.

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