Perfect Day for the National Gallery

Trip Start Apr 25, 2012
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Trip End May 12, 2012

Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Monday, May 14, 2012



Astrid
was off to work early this morning and I was up before 8 am, but took
awhile to get going especially when I noticed it was raining....and
cold.  I left by 10 am but took some time to get on the right bus.   I
needed to get an adapter so I could start charging my batteries again
and also the netbook since I didn't want to run it totally down. 

Since I
have some familiarity with St Pancras Station, it became my first
destination.   I stopped at 2 or 3 places before I was able to find
something.   The first place referred me to a second place. The clerk
there told me that 4 people had returned their universal adapter in
the last few weeks and she wouldn't recommend getting it.  I tried
the bookstore after buying a map of London with larger print and their clerk
referred me to a revolving display.  They had what they called a
"visitor to UK" adapeor that I bought.   Now I was ready to
visit the museum.

I took the Tube to Trafalgar Square station and took a few photos of
the square before entering the Gallery.  I checked out one of the
gift shops first, then went up the stairs to the floor with the
paintings.  I had a plan of the galleries but just started where I
was and tried to follow the numbers so I wouldn't miss anything.  The
museum had a special Turner exhibit but it was kind of pricey so I
concentrated on the permanent collection and the special Titian
exhibit that was free.   I hadn't realized that the museum mainly had
paintings of famous European artists from the 16th C to the
Impressionists but I like to see the familiar artists so I expected
to enjoy the museum.


I found that I had forgotten how wonderful these artists were:  The
Titians, the Van Dykes, the Holbeins, Seurats, Cezannes, Rafaels,
Michelangelos, and others were fantastic.   I especially liked the
portraits of people, young and old, with such individualistic
expressions.  After struggling to see the names of the painters,
titles, and commentary, I happened to see these books with large
print so I used quite a few.  They were heavy to carry around but I
got to see what some of the symbolism of objects in the paintings
reflected.   Mythological and religious themes were explained too,
but best of all was just the skill of the artist, the colors, the
composition.

I took a break in the middle and went to the cafe - had an expensive
mocha coffee and the same coffee walnut cake as yesterday at
Sissinghurst - only slightly different tasting and more expensive.  I quit
around 4:30 so I could get back to Astrid's when she got back from
work and was a bit sorry that I had missed the da Vinci's and
Rembrandt's but I am not sure I could have managed any more viewing
today anyway.

I took the Tube to Leichester Square and transferred to the Picadilly
line, but then I got off at the wrong stop - Finsbury Park - instead
of Manor House.  Instead of finding the #3 exit that would take me to
the proper bus stop, I couldn't find it and asked the Tube person who
told me that I was nowhere near Stoke Newington - which is where I
was going.  She gave me directions to a bus stop but I had to make another
inquiry to get to the right bus stop. Then I had to figure out which
sign/street had the right bus once I got there.  When I got off at
Stoke Newington, I got directions to the High Street from the man
sitting next to me on the bus, but it was not familiar terrain so I
asked someone else for the church.  His directions didn't seem right,
but I then found the Clissold road ... and the Whole Foods Store, so I
knew I was on the right track. A little more confusion and there I
was on Astrid's street and going into her building.

Astrid made me a lovely mushroom risotto with salad for dinner.  I got my
computer fully charged with my new adapter.  I had some problems with
it initially - I couldn't put my plug into it.  Astrid was convinced
that I had bought the wrong one.   I wasn't sure what the problem was
but wasn't convinced it was the wrong one.  Somehow Astrid managed to
get it to plug in and saved the day!   I still need to figure out how
to charge the Coolpix because it is dead and no lights are going on
to show that it is charging - probably because it isn't.  Another
day. 

I am ready to pack it in for the night now too.  I still
haven't been able to use the internet except on Astrid's computer and
then I couldn't log in to my email.  I sent Adrian a facebook message
to let him know that I have had technical difficulties with emailing and he is
supposed to call tomorrow am to give me directions on how best to get
to Windsor to meet Claire and him on Wednesday





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