Monday, 28 March 2011

London's Museums=A History Lover's Dream Come True

As a History major, museums are my idea of a good time.  And London is where my favorite museums lie.  Deciding to take a trip to London one day by myself was the best idea ever!  I didn't have to feel bad about dragging friends to places they didn't really want to go and I got to spend as much time as I wanted in each museum!  I had already been to the British Museum on a previous trip, although I was too early to see the special Afghanistan exhibit, which would have been awesome.  This museum is a definite must see, particularly if you love ancient stuff, they took all this awesome, important stuff from all over the empire and put it in a building for everyone to see.  It's also free, which is a definite plus!

The Tower of London is absolutely amazing.  You do have to pay to get in, but, like most places, you get a concession by showing your student card, which definitely brings down the price.  I love Tudor history, and since that's where the Tower gets its grizzly history from, I was in heaven!  There were tours going on, but they were so big that I just spent hours upon hours wandering around the castle on my own.  There was everything!  You could walk along the walls and get great views of Tower Bridge, walk through reproductions of King Edward's rooms, see the torture devices, read all the engravings by prisoners, see all this fancy weaponry and gifts from around the world (including an eagle headdress from one of the Plains Indians tribes, randomly), various king's suits of armour (including 3 of Henry VIII), and the grounds in general.  There was so much to explore!

While I was able to contain my excitement at the Tower of London, all that self-restraint flew out the window when I got to the Imperial War Museum: my all-time favorite museum, not just in London, but everywhere I've been!  I walk up to it and see this massive gun with these shells that come up to my shoulders.  Then I walk inside and see a room full of tanks and guns and vehicles and airplanes and I started to get really excited.  By the time I found out that literally half of the museum was World War I and II, I was like a kid in a candy shop!  I am absolutely fascinated by the World Wars and I was running around the rooms, taking pictures and saying, "I know about that!  I remember reading about this!".  I know some people were looking at me oddly every once in awhile when I got particularly excited about something (like the Hitler Youth uniform or the Lusitania life-ring), but I honestly didn't care.  If I thought the day couldn't get any better, I was wrong, because there was also an entire exhibit on Bernard Montgomery!  I had just written a paper on him and it was so cool to see all of his orders and awards and stuff.  I may not have liked the guy if I met him, but I admire his tactics on the battlefield and what he did during WWII.

Historical museums aren't the only ones in London worth mentioning, however (though they are the best).  I finished off my day at 221B Baker Street, at the Sherlock Holmes Museum.  There's nothing better than ending your day by meeting Sherlock Holmes and seeing his and Watson's rooms!  Definitely worth the little wait I had.  Plus they have this awesome shop right next-door where you can buy all of this awesome Sherlock Holmes stuff!  I restrained myself from buying the pipe and chess set and letter opener and signs and...the list goes on.  I did buy this really cute Sherlock Holmes bear though!  He's adorable!

Gotta love that London is just over an hour away from Grantham, with so much awesome stuff to see and do!

1 comment:

  1. You know, what, I don't think I've ever been to any of those museums and I live here! Thanks for a great tour :)