I’m taking a much needed day of rest – but Ed runs on Energizers. This is his report.
Today I’m off to the Natural History museum -- the perfect day for it. Ann doesn’t particularly like this sort of museum, and she is doing an R&R day, Norah is shopping (of course), so I am on my own.
An easy tube trip (they mostly are easy here) to the museum. I get off at the station for the V&A, Albert Hall, the Science Museum and my destination, the Natural History Museum. They’re all clustered near each other and the directions in the tube were clear, unravelling a maze of tunnels leading off in various directions. The walk through the tunnel was over a half mile. No problems finding my way to the museum as I come up right by the entrance. Even underground here you often walk and walk to get to where you’re going.
The museum is in a great late 19th century building, itself a “museum piece”. It was crowded, but not nearly so much as my previous failed try on the weekend – my mistake.
They have a great diplodocus skeleton in the main entry, holding the place that Sue, the T. Rex, does at the field museum in Chicago. The museum and the exhibits have been completely modernized, but in a good way. Everything is accessible and visible.
So my route. First the dinosaur exhibits. Some great fossils from marine reptiles, best I’ve seen anywhere. Then other prehistoric beasts. The mammal and bird halls have a lot of interesting things. No diorama’s as at the Field, but a nice collection and easy to view. There is a great exhibit on the Thylacine or Tasmanian tiger, a marsupial carnivore that only went extinct about 75 years ago. In the bird exhibit was sad. A big display case full of hummingbirds from late 19th and early 20th century expeditions. Must have been 150 different species, still fairly bright after over 100 years. But nothing like the living hummers we’ve seen in Central and South America.
Then, hungry and ready for a “sit-down”, I went for some lunch in the dining room. This is in another great, old hall. The seating and lunch are ordinary, but the hall itself, beautiful.
Next to the exhibit on Volcanism and plate tectonics. This was the best presentation I've ever seen of the geological evolution of our planet, which of course is continuing today. Great information ranging from the most basic to relatively technical. It was all excellent.
And finally the exhibit on human evolution. Another great one. I always check to see if Homo Floresiensis gets a fair shake. That’s my litmus test for this sort of exhibit. They passed.
Really too much fun stuff (for a Natural history buff) to take in on one visit, but I saw a lot, all very enjoyable. Finally – tired but happy – back to Alfred Place for some relaxation before dinner.
Ed’s ladies are waiting for him on return. Norah had a lovely day doing her thing at Harrods, Selfridges and other stores. Her mastery of the busses is awesome.