1.03.2016

Churchill War Rooms

After seeing the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, we had an impromptu "let's check this out" at the Churchill War Rooms.  We ended up spending over 2 1/2 hrs in the war rooms.  I even ran into a set of college friends in there!  We ran into them later in the tube.  Here is a picture of us!


We were amazed at the depth and size of the museum.  I had no idea.  I/we really did not know much about Winston Churchill going into the office.  The war rooms is actually where Churchill ran the British WWII as well as additional museum space.  The additional museum exhibit was all about Churchill's background including his childhood and early political background.  I had not realized his background in politics and journalism.  It was amazing how the small and crowded and claustrophobic it would have been down there for hours/days on end, particularly with all the cigar smoke!  I was also stunned that it was never discovered or infiltrated during the war.  

We literally had to rush through it as we realized we were less than half way through and it had been over two hours!  

I cannot believe I had never gone to the museum before.  It was a great visit!

Times visited: 1
Time in museum: 2.5 hrs
Overall: A-

Natural History Museum

We squeezed in one last museum on Saturday.  We headed quickly to the Natural History Museum for the end of the day.  We had a list of exhibits to see there.  

To start with, they were batching people into the museum even that late in the day.  We were queued up through the dinosaur exhibit, somewhat like cattle.  Personally, I found the exhibit to be quite loud, crowded and overwhelming.  Jason enjoyed it though.  The skeletons were spectacular, but similar to those at other large institutions at the Field Museum, Natural History Museum in NYC or the Smithsonian.  

We also tried to find a very precious gemstone although we literally ran out of time.  That area of the museum was much quieter, which was helpful.  

I did think the building was beautiful.  The tile color was spectacular with wide sweeping ceilings.  So, basically this is what is shifting the score from a B to B+. 

Times visited: 1
Time in museum: 1.5 hrs
Overall: B+

British Museum

I wrapped up work conference on Friday afternoon and I met Jason at the British Museum.  As another classic museum in London, I wanted to make sure he saw this one as well.  

We saw all the classics.  It is an easy museum to navigate with the masterpieces clearly marked and laid out.  I love seeing the Rosetta Stone.  I find it incredible how purely based on that stone, we (well, not so much me, but others) were finally able to understand Egyptian hieroglyphics.  One, not so large piece of rock, was able to provide that clarity.  The British Museum has such large scale memorials.   

We also stopped and had a bit of "tea" aka two pieces of cake.  It was a delicious break.  We desperately needed a break and it was quite well suited.  While we were snacking, we actually ran into one of my bosses and his wife.  What a surprise!  


Jason found it a bit crowded, but really enjoyed everything he saw.  The impact of the monuments is so high!

Times visited: 3
Time in museum: 3 hrs
Overall: A

Tower of London

On Jason's first trip to London, I knew we had to go to the Tower of London.  We arrived in London by around 8:30 AM and it was just a bright sunny day.  We went straight away!  

We managed to get there right as a tour was starting!  The tour is always a great way to see the tower.  I always learn something new -- this time, we spent more time in the chapel.  We also learned more about the ravens and the back-ups!


We also enjoyed looking at the crown jewels. We beat a group of small school children into the jewels, so it was quite peaceful and quiet in the gallery.  The jewels are magnificent.  I also enjoyed learning the history of where each item had been used and why.  

Jason quite enjoyed it as well.  There is definitely something for everyone at the tower between the jewels to torture exhibit to general history.  

Times visited: 4
Time in tower: 2.5 hrs
Overall: A