August 27th, 2010
We’ve been wanting to go back to the Natural History Museum since we saw the recent series on the TV. We were both taken to the NHM when we were kids and have never been back since. Lots of fond memories of the Blue Whale and the dinosaurs and I have a very clear memory of a volcano simulator. We couldn’t wait to get there and start exploring.
Unfortunately most of what we’d love to see at the NHM is behind locked doors and not accessible to the public – how we wish for an Open Doors Day! We bought tickets to the Deep Sea exhibition and so thankfully didn’t need to queue to get into the museum. We were really looking forward to the exhibition as the image below was on the website and to me is the stuff of nightmares…
The exhibition was a real disappointment though and I couldn’t wait to get out and see something amazing instead. So I left in a huff and wandered off to the mammal section to see the Blue Whale. This part of the museum had changed so much since I was little and was filled to the brim with stuffed animals and models of creatures that nothing had any impact. Even the humongous Blue Whale seemed tiny and totally swamped by the other creatures around it. The place was jam packed to the brim with screaming children, so I couldn’t wait to get out of here too. What a total nightmare!
We walked to the other end of he building and discovered a really quiet area displaying some amazing specimens and a small glimpse at what is behind the closed doors of the museum….even more specimens – shelves upon shelves of them – how we wished we could get access to this area and go and explore…
We retreated to the main hall galleries and started marvelling at the architecture, the sculptural details and the decorative painted ceilings. I really wish I’d brought some earplugs though as the noise was just so overwhelming and there was no escaping it – lots of people chattering mixed with screaming kids echoing through the vast space – constant noise like a buzzing hive but louder. I would certainly recommend you take earplugs if you want to make a visit.
Every column, every arch, every nook and cranny contained such intricate carvings and creatures – so amazing!
We were particularly impressed by the monkeys that climbed up one of the main arches. Each one unique. We also spotted lots of amazing reliefs of animals over the doorways and archways throughout the museum, like this dodo and this deer. I also spotted this owl staring down at me as I descended the main staircase – a little dusty up there.
There were also some impressive monkey skeletons suspended from the ceilings and making their way across one part of the museum. Although just skeletons, they looked so animated, real and alive.
The painted ceilings were amazing and if the place wasn’t so full with people, it would’ve been nice to lie on the ground with a pair of binoculars and have a good look at each panel – we’re a bit obsessed with oak trees at the moment, so were pleased to find this panel:
After being on our feet all day we opted to pop into the nearest restaurant serving pizza and beer and thankfully didn’t have to walk very far – our feet were killing us – so it was nice to be able to relax and have a hot bath on our return home.
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