On day 5 of our journey we went to the V&A Museum and the Natural History Museum. Inside the V&A Museum we had tickets to see the Balenciaga fashion show. Now I’m not hugely into fashion especially dresses but I took a lot of pictures for my friend who is. It was interesting to see but I was more interested with the looped video they projected on a beam of the dresses morphing from one dress to another in an animation. Continuing through the museum we saw large sculptures and enormous paintings. I couldn’t comprehend the size of the paintings from art history classes even when we were told the scale is larger than our projection screens. This museum also had some interactive exhibits that would tell you a story of the paintings or as my pictures show, provided a dress up station to have some fun with. We walked through exhibits in smaller groups after the fashion exhibit and my group went through the Asian sculpture collection, paintings, silver and gold crafting, medevial weaponry and clothing, and even a modern designed exhibition.
Our groups split again and some of us went to explore the central courtyard and fountain area outside while others went over to the Natural History Museum early. My new smaller group went to the courtyard area which was a bit windy and cold and then straight to the gift shop. We shopped around for a bit and regrouped with a few more people. (My souvenirs from here are being shipped from the hotel because I somehow left them behind). Then we started our walk over to the Natural History Museum. On our way there it started to slightly rain but it went away fast and we saw a street performer playing recent popular songs on a saxophone who was very talented.
We regrouped again with more people inside the Natural History Museums entrance. A giant dinosaur skeleton stood at the bottom of a large escalator that went up into a meteor. It was a cool installation and then we realized what was actually going to be in this museum (we had no clue beforehand). I originally thought it was a museum of just really boring history class-like things because I was told it wasn’t going to be one of my favorites. Little do people know my love of science and my rock collection made this one of my favorite museums. We didn’t spend a lot of time here however which was okay in the grand scheme of things for this day. Our group split and some of us went to the Earths Treasures exhibit that contained gemstones and crystals all over the place in cases. Then we proceeded to the gift store and spent a long time looking at the collections of trinkets, stones, and scientific yet artistic books.
After we settled on what to buy which took about 30-40 minutes, we went outside to the butterfly exhibit. This was tropical room filled with butterflies that we paid 6.5 pounds to get into and it was worth it. A butterfly landed on me and stayed on me for at least 20 minutes while walking through. We saw passiflora flowers along the walls in huge vines which I’ve never seen before. Overall we had many laughs in there and I pointed out almost anything that looked cool over and over (much like the botanical garden in a later post).
Now leaving the museums the group of friends I was with went to find lunch and we passed some street performances. We watched as a magician put a lit cigarette into a mans sweatshirt and then there was no hole, it was unbelievable. Then we watched a dance group of men that looked like they were in their early 30’s and one in his early 40’s do flips and trips and danced nearly on top of two of my friends. Of course I took videos of both performances and we tipped them some pounds for each. We then went to two different places for lunch and I swear I ate at the oldest plance in London and had grilled chicken that was not very good. But my friend got milkshakes and other friends got Mexican food. We then went to a few shopping stores in the area and in one store several people bought tarot cards because we were going to have a tarot reading night in our friends room 515 where we would meet at the end of the day most often.
This was one of the best moment of the trip. Most of us hanging out in 515 where everyone was invited and just genuine bonding time between us. Once we were back at the hotel some us had dinner with Regina and Ingrid at an Italian restaurant with homemade pasta. The pasta and eggs were yellow in London which was weird but the food was delicious after I figured out how to order spaghetti with meat sauce that wasn’t on the menu. After dinner we had rested maybe 30 minutes to an hour before getting onto more plans. That night we did several tarot readings in 515 and the accuracy was unreal this became a theme to later nights. But by 3am it was of course time to sleep and prepare for the next day of fun.