Natural History Museum.
One day, two children, two adults, three museums and the crowded streets of London.
Car, train, tube, walk, walk, walk, repeat.
Crazy, hectic, chaotic, frustrating? Check
Exciting, mind-expanding, thrilling, joyful? Check.
Science Museum: Human perception of the sun from the Scandinavian Bronze Age through to solar panels nd nuclear fusion.
Early civilisations saw the sun as a god being pulled through the sky on a chariot led by a golden horse. It was a universal concept, adopted independently in distant realms across the globe.
Ancient Egyptians, Ancient Scandinavians, Ancient Indians, Ancient Greeks.. Separated by time and geography and culture but all looking at the same sun rising and setting in the sky and coming to the same conclusions – golden horses, golden chariots and a golden sun being pulled through the sky. ‘Cause there was no way it was moving by itself..
Sundials; circadian rhythms; seasons; calendars; sun-bathing; sunspots; solar mechanics; solar panels; solar storms.
Materials, rockets and a lunar lander.
Out onto Exhibition Road and a queue two hundred-deep for the Natural History Museum so we detoured to the V&A.
Opulent Britain laid out in dazzling splendour. We danced with a venetian harlequin; sat in an 18th Century London parlour; admired tapestries and bed hangings and sumptuous fabrics, gold and silver items of every kind; made our own book plates and built crystal palaces and let the children run a little wild in a 3rd floor lounge.
The queue outside the Natural History Museum was down to around a hundred-deep by 4 o’clock, so we joined it and waited. Which didn’t take as long as you might think to thin-out.
Dinosaur-mad boy led us straight to the dinosaur Hall where hundreds of ichthyosaur, marine crocodile, plesiosaur and pliosaur fossils lined the walls and onto the animatronic t-rex and a trail of dinosaur bones.
Gift shops – mementoes of a crazy-beautiful day and a crowded tube back to Victoria. Run for the train and breathe.
Relax on the journey home and unwind. London – check.
Except, we always leave wanting more. There’s talk of an autumn visit with a hotel-stay. What could we pack into two days in London?