Friday, June 30, 2006

Day 7 - Madame Tussauds

Day 7 started with breakfast in the hostel, and then I was off with my map walking towards Madame Tussauds - Museum of Wax. The wax museum opens only at 10 am, and I was there at 9:45 am, expecting to go to the Sherlocks Holmes museum first, but when I was crossing the museum, I realized they are letting people in, so went in and found a 20 minute line (!!), and was told by the 2 ladies in front of me that by 11 am, the line will be more than 1.5 hours long !!

Went in, took LOTS of snaps, and then took some more snaps and then some more, and some more as well... around 200 of them ! There wasn't much else to do anyways, and I wanted to spend enough time to justify the 25 Pound ticket. So when I realized that I had reached the end of the gallery, I went back and guess what - took some more snaps. The one cool thing about the Wax museum that I hadn't known was that they now have a "Horror Display", which basically has a dark corridor with dull lighting, and a prison like look, with live actors (in prison clothes, and dried blood) that jump out from corners and try to freak you out, shouting at you, and a few others that pretend to be in a LOT of pain, screaming and writhing ... Besides that, there wasn't much to see, and by 12, I was out.

I then started walking towards the British museum, and on the way made a stopover at Regent's Park, which was mindblowing. Calling it huge would be an understatement, and I could see all these couples having romantic picnics in the grass, and groups of people playing ball, and kids running around - reminded me of the last scene in Notting Hill where Julia Roberts is lying on Hugh Grant's lap, reading a novel, with people all around enjoying themselves....

After walking in the park for around 20 minutes, I came out to realize that I have no clue where I am (had walked along 5% of the perimeter of the park). Was in some part of London where there were lots of apartment buildings, very beautiful, asked for directions, and then went off to the British Museum. The British Museum India display is supposed to be very impressive, but somehow, it wasn't. Looked around for 2-3 hours at the India, China, World displays, but couldn't get time to cover the rest(including America, Japan, Taiwan, Britain ...) They also had a gorgeous display of superstitions held by cultures around the world, which was quite informative.

One of their most impressive displays was one in which the life of a man and a woman had been chronicled using the medicines that they had through their life. So for the woman it started with vitamins for the first 2 years of her life, sick with Typhoid at age 10, chicken pox at age 13, pill for periods for 7 years till 20, birth control pills for 35 years, and pills during 2 pregnancies, pills for postpartum depression, pills for arthritis, and so on...
All these pills had been stitched into a beautiful bedspread (1 for the man, and another for the woman), and all the pills made very pretty patterns into it, especially the ones that were taken regularly (no surprises then that the woman's bedspread was significantly longer and prettier with much more obvious patterns) Along with that, there were snaps of people during that time of life, which showed them doing various things. Very touching, and thought-provoking.

By this time it was 6 pm, the museum was closing, went back to the hostel, slept for 30 minutes, had a v early dinner, and was off to Covent Garden. Covent Garden is this huge market square kind of place, but almost all the shops close at 6 pm, and after that it seems more like a hangout place for the "younger generation".

There were a few guitarists at various corners of the square singing songs, and collecting money, and people were just hanging around with friends, chatting, drinking beer, laughing. It was a beautiful sight indeed. One of the guitarists started playing Imagine by John Lennon, which fit my mood then perfectly. While I was singing along, getting all senti, a French guy tried to ask me out for a drink, which was quite hilarious, cause I freaked out a little :). Walked back to my hostel at around 10:30 pm, crossing Trafalgar square again, and again struck by how beautiful it was, and was off to sleep thinking very happy thoughts indeed...

1 comment:

  1. Parks are something I sorely miss back home, especially the way they lie in the centre of cities here.. and you feel like you're in the middle of nowhere.
    Sherlock's museum is more for the hardcore fan, rather than the casual view.. at least thats how i feel after going there twice :)