Saturday, October 28, 2006

Half-Term Experiences - Part 1

Natural History museum

I began the week off by jumping a £13 (return) bus to London-city of lights and fog. And rain as it was turning out. After a 3 hour ride (where we experienced every form of weather), I arrived in London and walked from Victoria Station to the Natural History Museum to find it SWAMPED with 3-9 year olds and their ENTIRE extended family!

This is when I realize the half-term, when all the kids in England have a week off school, was not the best ever time to visit England's most kid-popular attraction...

After pushing my way through the massive queue, I enter the main hall complete with the wondrous Diplodicus skeleton (this dinosaur cast is one of 12 or so that Mr.Carnegie of the Pittsburgh Carnegie Museum of Natural History gave to major cities around the world to promote American palaeontology and share this wonderful dinosaur.)

Richard Owens lords over the museum he designed and built in 1881. Though an important man in palaeontology, Owens often used unscrupulous means at achieving his ends - destroying careers...

The museum holds a wonderful collection of marine reptile fossils, including many of the first fossils ever found by Mary Anning - the young woman who made a living selling fossils she found in Lyme Regis (south coast of England). She found the first ever ichtyosaurus in 1811 and collected the first plesiosaur in 1821:

The Dinosaur Hall has many exciting skeletons, some suspended above the heads of the gawking public:




-Albertasaurus- (collected from Alberta, Canada by Charles Sternberg!)


After 2 hours of prehistory, the museum was closing. I left, happy to get away from the claustrophobic kiddlets, and jumped the tube to Kew Gardens, where my Uncle and Aunt live. I would be staying with them for the next few days.

Goodbye for now from the Natural History Museum in London!


Weapon of Mass Imagination said...

Nothing personal...

But I hate you...

What a sweet looking musuem. That hall of infinite marine reptiles... I could spend quite sometime in there alone

A few kids sounds like it was a small price to pay

Bond said...

And it was a "small price" as the museum itself is free!

Kirstin said...

Well, I am still jealous of you. Wanna fly me out there for a visit yet? Do they do Halloween over there?

David said...

I love that Sir Richard Owen has to stare at a dinosaur's butt all day.

In dinosaur hall, did you see the first T. rex fossil ever collected?

Such a great museum!