11 January 2009

Images of London

Another Stop the War demonstration took me to London on Saturday and I took the opportunity to do some other sightseeing while I was there.

Exiting from the tunnel at South Kensington station I went first to the National History Museum where there was a small exhibition of ice sculptures.

My favourite was this one of three penguins that must have felt right at home in the cold foggy conditions that engulfed London at that time.

It is virtually impossible for me to go anywhere near South Kensington without popping into the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), and this was no exception.

After the usual visit to the architecture section I wandered almost aimlessly and found some sections that I am sure that I have not been to before, including an Arts and Crafts section that I would have been to several times before if I knew that it was there (I refuse to use a map of the museum because that would take away some of the mystery).

One of the many things I like about the V&A is the collections of normal household objects of which this lovely period tin is an excellent example.

Walking up Exhibition Road towards Hyde Park takes you past the modern entrance to Imperial College London.

Imperial specialises in science and technology so it is not that surprising to see a Ferrari Formula 1 car in the entrance hall.

Students, like most office workers, do not care who follows them through a badged door so I was easily able to get in to take a shot unhindered by glass and then escape before my unauthorised presence was noticed.

And finally to a frosty Hyde Park for the demonstration for peace in Gaza.

We assembled by Cumberland Gate before heading off west along the evocatively named North Carriage Drive to leave the park at Lancaster Gate.

From there the scenic route took us through some of the smartest streets in London as we travelled along Bayswater Road, down Kensington Church Street and then east along Kensington Road to the Israeli Mission in Old Court Palace.

The march was the usual oxymoron of a harmonious singing crowd brought together by something bad. It was cold miserable day but the spirit of the crowd and the importance of the cause were uplifting. It was a good place to be.

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