Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I was determined to have some fun in London. There are so many wonderful things there to see. Every stop on the tube seemed to have some historical significance or relation to a movie I had seen. Because of this, it was very hard to choose what to do when you only have a few hours to do it. For me, the choice was easy when I discovered that both the British Museum and the National Gallery had free entrance. I had been itching to see works in both of them for years, so that proved to be my next excursion. The British Museum has TONS of lovely things in it. Unfortunately, I had no time to see it all. I decided to only do the sections that were Greek and Roman, since that was the area I had been studying and the area that I was on my way to study. It was a lovely collection. Many artifacts in the Cycladic section of the museum were from Anti Paros, and many sculptures noted that they. Were made of Parian marble. The British Museum also has a huge collection of sculptures taken from the Parthenon. They had a display for them that did them justice, and recreated them as they would be in their real habitat.

Seeing the art in the museum was wonderful. After the frustrating time I was having with my luggage, it was so wonderful to see these pieces of our history so well preserved and on display for the public at no charge. There were many memorable pieces. There was also a room with a very good demonstration of architecture and the different types of columns. I wont forget the visit I had there, and it fit very well into the education I was receiving on Classical history.

I had some spare time after the British Museum, so I headed to the National Gallery. My only real intention at the time was to examine a painting by Reubens that I have heard lectures about it possibly not being authentic. At the time the gallery bought it, it was the most expensive painting every sold. After having seen it in a room full of other paintings by the same artist, I would also agree that it is a fake.

When I was done looking at the Reubens, I had some spare time to explore other treasures of the museum. I was surprised at what I saw. I own a book on the treasures that are in the gallery, but I had forgotten about all of the famous works in the gallery. I saw work by DaVinci, Michelangelo, Van Gough, Rembrandt, Reubens, Serut, Monet, Manet, Boticelli, etc. I went only to see one painting, and came out with so much joy at having seen so many great works. One of the great highlights of my life was the chance to see Venus and Mars by Boticelli. I have been studying that painting for many years, but having the chance to see it actually brought tears to my eyes. I consider it the most incredible masterpiece that I have ever seen. The painting was very well representing in the gallery, and nothing made me happier than to see these surviving works of his.

I had a plane to catch to Milan. When I got to the airport, I discovered I would have to check everything into the undercarriage but my photo paper and film. At the thought of my cameras being mishandled, I burst into tears. This was the start. I packed them well with bubble wrap and newspaper and then saw them off with tears still in my eyes. The next piece of news that I got was that my luggage had still not been found and that there was no chance of it being found in the next short while. I was very upset at the though of no clean clothes or toiletries. They compensated me by letting me into the first class lounge while I waited for my plane, which was very nice.

On the flight, an attendance from Greece befriended me and took me to the back of the plane for the flight. I got all the Sprite I could take, and some good conversation that really helped me to calm down. The Sprite helped to ease my morning sickness that was acting up on the plane.

When I got to Milano, I got off the plane and got my cameras back safely. I made my way to the hostel to go to sleep.

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