Saturday, July 18, 2009

Portrait Gallery and Hyde Park

Today was a non-academic day so Christina and I decided to visit a couple of places. We went to the National Portrait Gallery. It was free! They have tons of portraits from the Tudor period to the present. Some of my favorite portraits I got to see (the links should take you to the NPG website with the portrait):

King Henry VIII

Queen Elizabeth I

Jane Austen

Bronte Sisters

Thomas Hardy

William Wordsworth

Oscar Wilde

Virginia Woolf

James Joyce

Dame Judi Dench

Harry Potter Trio: Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, and Rupert Grint

Lily Allen

Princess Diana

Queen Elizabeth II

Seamus Heaney

Of course I liked all the literature-minded ones. Some were just really interesting portraits. My favorite was actually one of King Charles II as a baby with a dog (now called the King Charles). We spent hours in there.

After the gallery we went to Hyde Park. It was great. I got to eat an ice cream cone with a Cadburry's flake in it. Apparently the people of London were trying to learn to rollerblade and all of them were failing as I would have. I watched this one guy fall but my hands were full of ice cream and guide book. We got a little lost looking for the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain but we found it. Kids were playing in the water and people were relaxing on the grass. It was a nice day outside today too so it was a great time to be at the park. A lot of football (soccer) was going on and I'm jealous of the skills little kids have here. We wandered through Kensington Gardens and ended up at the Albert Memorial. I didn't even know what it was. It's crazy. To me it looks out of place and a little gaudy but Christina told me that Victoria was crazy about him and she told me about some stuff she knew. Did you know Victoria and Albert were cousins? I didn't know that. I mean, I guess all royalty was related anyway...

Albert is this gold statue in the middle of the memorial. It's phenomenal. Well, we were really tired by then so we sat on the steps of the memorial for a long time then headed back to the dorms. I'm not sure what I'm going to get into tonight. Today has been a long, exhausting, but terribly fun day.

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