Tuesday, July 2, 2013

London 1: landing in Heathrow, the hostel, Victoria and Albert museum,and getting lost

When I woke up this morning, we were flying over Dublin. That fact alone made me excited to be awake (never mind that to my body it was 2 in the morning).

We touched down at Heathrow, and I went though border control without a hitch. Then I boarded the tube, headed for Earl's Court, the tube station near my hostel. That journey went smoothly as well, but when I got off the tube, I had a problem-I couldn't find my hostel, until I realized that I was going the wrong way. I checked in, put my suitcase in the locker, and grabbed some gluten free bread and peanut butter from the local Sainsbury's to make a quick sandwich.

Up the steps of the hostel

View from my room's window

My bed

After lunch, I went across the street to buy a new SIM card for my phone, and then I got on the tube for the Victoria and Albert Museum.

The entrance of the museum 

Selfie of me by the entrance

I entered just in time to join the two thirty tour of the British Gallery, which stretches from the year 1500 to 1900. 

The guide focused on explaining the artistic influences of several pieces. Here are just a few.

This collection cabinet belonged to the diarist John Evelyn. While in exile during the English civil war, he collected each of the woodcut pieces on the drawers during his time in Florence, and the molds along the bottom during his time in Paris. Many of his fellow exiled nobles created such cabinets, and they became a staple of the court of Charles II. 

 Henry VIII's writing desk. A traveling desk like this one was needed, for the Tudors kept such a large court that they were forced to move from palace to palace to keep each one from becoming fetid and overused. The figures of Mars and Venus on the lid mark the influence of the Italian Renaissance.

The great Bed of Ware was constructed as an advertisement stunt to draw travelers to the city of Ware in the 1500s. The ploy worked, and the bed was referenced in the works of Shakespeare and featured in comic songs of its day. 

After enjoying the tour, I rambled through the museum. 

After leaving the Victoria and Albert, I decided to head back to the hostel. However, I became confused about which tube line to take. I got on the wrong line, and bounced back to the South Kensington stop before figuring out that I'd been on the right line all along.
 I was pretty hungry and tired, so I set out to find a place to eat. I originally intended to find a pub to eat in, but then I saw this place:

It was tucked away so that all you saw was the sign

My itame

Needless to say, I didn't go to the pub after all.

I rambled around the neighborhood for a little while after that:

I got lost several times, but it was the kind of lost that you enjoy being in.


  1. What a wonderful first day to your adventure!! I loved the picture of you in front of the beautiful collection of paper wings. I can't wait for your next update!!

  2. Wonderful! I can't wait to read about the rest of your trip! "....the kind of lost that you enjoy being in." I get it!

  3. you are doing an incredible job I don't know that many adults who would be so brave. Enjoy the sights and sounds of London and thank you for sharing them with me. If you get a chance try to see the Sherlock Holmes Museum and go see the London Eye and if you have the time you should try the froggy tours they are so much fun!

  4. Glad you had a fun first day :) The museum looked cool. I hope you enjoy the rest of your trip :)

  5. Wow, those places in Britain are beautiful!
    Was that restaurant asian?


  6. Looks like you are having fun! What is "wagamama" anyway?