Sunday, 5 February 2012

My birthday weekend

Started early Saturday as we intended to queue to see the Leonardo Exhibition at the National Gallery. So here's Alan (and me behind the camera) at a cold Basingstoke Railway Station at 6:45am - waiting for the coffee shop to open and our train due at 7:09am

See how early we were, the station was almost deserted and it was still dark!

We arrived at Waterloo at 7:55 - optimistic there wouldn't be too many people in the queue that early (the gallery opens at 10am) - hopped on the Northern Line to Charing Cross.

The National Gallery faces on to Trafalgar Square, Nelson's Colum and the London Olympic Countdown Clock. Unfortunately we were wrong about the queue. There were already 1000+ people there, some having started queueing at 10pm the night before - bearing in mind it was about -3 celsius when were standing there, on the exposed and windy square - I don't want to think about how cold those people were! We would have had to queue until 2pm to get a ticket to come back about 9pm that night. We had plans for the evening and I didn't really want to stand in the cold for 6 hours on the chance we may have gotten a ticket before the gallery closed at midnight. We decided that it would have been nice to see the exhibition but not worth frostbite and went to Caffe Nero across the square to warm up.

This is one of the fountains on Trafalgar Square, iced but still working - it had melted by the time we left the gallery at lunchtime so I'm guessing this ice is just from the night before

From the window of Caffe Nero - my archetypal photo of London - Black taxi, red bus, red telephone boxes and Nelson's Column (and a pigeon)

We toured the ordinary exhibitions around the National Gallery. To call them ordinary is not fair though, there were some amazing paintings. You can take a virtual tour here. We'll have to go back to see more of the exhibitions another time. Alan's favourite was The Fighting Temeraire by Turner. I really liked this one The Virgin and Child ('The Madonna with the Iris') that came from the workshop of Albrecht Dürer - you can't see it until you zoom into the picture but the painting of the transparent veil is exquisite.

And then we headed off to Olympia 2 to the Doctor Who Experience - hence the smile - Alan is a huge Dr Who fan, particularly the Tom Baker version (4th incarnation) - I swear one year I am going to knit him the Tom Baker scarf

(to be continued)

1 comment:

Darla said...

Sounds like you had a fun birthday!

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