Another place I didn’t get to take much photos of was the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A). We were in such a hurry after our tour of the Parliament to make it to the V&A then all our other stops for the day which included the Tower of London and the HMS Belfast.
So this post, like our visit, will be short and sweet. To be honest, Alvin wasn’t that big on visiting this museum in particular. After all, it’s known for decorative arts and design. That meant none of his usual must-sees that are related to great battles and political upheavals. I have to admit that the visit was more for me so that I can indulge in some vintage fashion.
Touring the Parliament wasn’t originally on our schedule as we were quite unaware that it’s actually easy for people go inside and have a look. When we arrived in London, however, Alvin found out that since we were there during the session break, we could sign up for an audio tour! We booked our tickets just a day before and got slots! #WinningInLife
We have this sort of luck during our travels, you see. A similar thing happened in Japan – but that’s for a different post.
Just dropping by to make a quick post about the HMS Belfast – one of the attractions in London we went to and really enjoyed!
It’s part of the UK’s Imperial War Museums (IWM). We visited 3 out of 5 during our trip and you can find the posts here:
I wasn’t really able to take a lot of photos inside the ship since I was busy trying not to fall into trap doors or make a wrong step while climbing up and down ladders. Note to self: The life of a sailor definitely isn’t for me. This, despite my obsession over the Navy’s gala uniform and how I would look in it.
We started our second day in London by heading to the London Transport Museum. On the way there, however, we passed through the Covent Garden Market. The former fruit and vegetable market is now a beautiful shopping centre. It has high end brands like Dior and local shops selling artisan goods.
Though what really got to me were the antiques and other awesome vintage finds. In case it isn’t that obvious yet, let me just put it out there – London is an awesome city for shopping for vintage. They have the best stuff I’ve seen! And I do love spending time looking through markets and stores that sell vintage and antiques.
***Or what I’d like to call ‘The rest of Day 1 in London’. Fair warning: This is going to be quite a long photo diary.
Sadly, most of my videos (and even some photos) for London were corrupted so I still don’t know whether I will be making one with the little bit that was left. 😦 But at least, there are photos from my trusty camera so I can still share with you guys how awesome London was.
I love London.
There, I said it. My dad said he knew I would love it more than Paris and he was right. Expensive, yes, to the point where I can’t imagine living there but I love it still. When I think of London, I think of exuberance. I read somewhere that a man who gets tired of London is tired of life and I can see why. You just won’t run out of things to do! Most museums are free, the parks are just gorgeous, and walking around different neighbourhoods is an adventure in itself.
The British often complain about how gloomy London could be due to the incessant rains throughout the year but I do believe that the city itself has enough light and life in it to make the gloom bearable (even unnoticeable).
So back to the point of this post – London day 1. I already talked about our arrival and our affordable accommodation that had a superb location in another post. I also did a post on the Imperial War Museum which was our first order of business after checking in. So this post will be a mish-mash of everything we went to afterwards.
It’s no secret that we love museums so after the Imperial War Museum, The British Museum was up next on our list. Before going there, however, we had to drop by Trafalgar Square to pick up our pre-ordered London Passes. We will be needing them for the next couple of days. 😉
Note: The Churchill War Rooms is part of Britain’s Imperial War Museums. If you want to check out my write up on the IWM London, click here.
Tucked in a corner by the Clive Steps in London is the entrance to one of my favourite stops during our Europe trip. The inconspicuous door leading to the Churchill War Rooms’ entrance was already modified to make it easier for people to find it. However, a lot of tourists who visit London still walk past it, not knowing what it actually is and not even noticing it.
The Churchill War Rooms is composed of the Cabinet War Rooms and the Churchill Museum. It is an underground complex built under the Treasury building in London that served as Britain’s command centre during World War II. It is where then Prime Minister Winston Churchill spent most of his time, making the most important decisions and plans back then. The complex was abandoned in August 1945 after WWII and was preserved.
On our first day in London, we decided to visit the Imperial War Museum (IWM). We were staying at a small hotel nearby and getting there meant just a three-minute walk. Whoopee! Summer walks in London? Why don’t mind if I do. 😉
IWM London is part of Britain’s Imperial War Museums – a family of 5 establishments in the UK dedicated to keep the lessons of the past alive.
We’ve been to three of the five during this trip and this is the first post on this series. Will be linking the other two here once they are up.
IWM London is housed in the former Bethlem Royal Hospital and has been there since the 30s. It’s quite hard to miss this building along Lambeth Road as right at the front are two, 15-inch guns taken from the HMS Roberts and HMS Ramillies.
The moment you walk inside, it is quite hard not to be impressed. You’ll be welcomed by a Harrier Jump Jet along with a couple more planes, rockets, and bombs. All are hung from the ceiling. We stood there gaping at them for a while.