Sunday, March 08, 2009

Time Travel in London

It was a cloudy Sunday morning and after a nice sumptuous breakfast at Reading, me and Ashwin were wondering where to go for the day. One of the most coveted destination in London is the Natural History Museum. We set out to London, reached paddington station, crossed the Hyde park and reached One of England's most treasured and distinctive buildings, the Royal Albert hall ( photographed below)

Inaugurated in 1871, if you look closely at the photograph at the top of the building running around it is a mosaic frieze . It is titled " Triumph of Arts and Sciences"
After a little walk we reached the Natural History Museum. The entry is this beautiful atrium having stars on the wall and five historic figures. We used the Escalator to ride into a giant metallic globe.

The Museum is Divided into four Zones; The red for the forces that shaped our planet, Green Zone is about Ecology, in the Blue Zone we met a lot of fossils and the orange zone has all the Botany and zoology that you can think of. With about 70 million items on display, one needs one full day to do justice to this museum. We quickly glanced pass all exhibits, since the one that we most wanted to see was the Blue Zone. Nothing gives us more pleasure than meeting the Fossils, communicating with our ancestors who shaped us. Although they are mostly bones and rocks, they speak more than the flesh. One thing that fascinated me the most was this massive fossil of Ichthyosaurus. This was just one of the many massive fossils we got bowled over, not to mention the T-Rex, dodo and archeopteryx.
It was amazing to be in a room filled with fossils and looking at them with awe , just like Ashwin below who is stunned by a Diprotodon ( A distant relative of the modern Kangaroo, fossilised Australian herbivore)

Just if appreciating the fossils were not enough, as we reached the end of our museum trip we entered this magnificent main hall. The hall has a cathedral-like structure, frescoes and sculptures, and houses a Diplodocus skeleton and a 1,300-year-old giant sequoia.
For 15,200 pounds you can hire this hall for a night and host any programme or event, even a wedding.

A stones throw away from the Natural history Museum is the science Museum and enroute we witnessed this contortionist performing a few cool tricks, including passing through a tennis racket, which I had seen only on television.
The science museum is Seven floors of interactive exhibits and contains everything that science has to offer from the Industrial Revolution to the space age and even the future. There is a lot for every age, from vintage cars, old trains antique aircraft , labour saving devices at home, wind tunnel, flight simulator and even this F1 car belonging to Mika Hakkinen which crashed during the 1999 German grand prix as the car spun out of control while travelling at 207 MPH. Because of the cars safety features, Mikka just walked out of the car.
Because of paucity of time we had to rush through the science exhibits but it was truly a fantastic experience. There was a massive maritime museum too but it was too big for the time we had at hand.

We were the last people to exit the museum, we walked back passing through Hyde park at dusk and the atmosphere was simply electrifying.

Photo below is the pathway across Hyde Park 25 sec exposure, f/4, ISO 100.
Photo below 2sec exposure, f/4.5

The photograph below was captured with a 30 sec exposure, ISO 100, f/3.5
Sony A-350 18-55 mm
At the end of the day, we felt we had walked into a time capsule. From the birth of earth in Museum of natural history to the very future in the science museum.


JERUSHA said...

WOW!!!! I'm so jealousssssssssss!!! You are really having so much fun!!!! I love going to museums too. Spent hours on my own at the Natural History Museum in NY. I'm in such awe of the past :)

Distiller's Corner said...

Magnificent photographs, and a nice story. Thanks a lot for sharing.