September 28, 2007
A fairly restful sleep was interrupted in the early hours by a small buzz saw. An overweight man kept the dorm awake.
After having breakfast I walked over the nearby bridge to the Tate Modern Museum.
I couldn’t take photos inside the Museum, but I do recall seeing an exhibition by sculptor Louise Bourgeois. Her work had a theme of femininity and isolation. I wandered around for at least an hour, dodging many school children doing investigative drawing (reminds me of when I was at school) then I left to walk along the Thames.
It was wet and windy. My Thai traveling umbrella didn’t survive 5 minutes. It buckled flimsily - I tossed it in a bin. I continued down past the HMS Belfast toward the Design Museum.
The Design Museum was pretty cool. There were 4 large projection screens displaying 3D ‘fly-thrus.’ A number of building models were displayed on plinths around the halls, all quite fancy.
On the next floor there was an exhibition of 2d graphic work. I took a few pictures; it consisted mainly of advertising and political messages.
Last on the day’s agenda was The Tower of London. I followed a procession of tourists towards the entrance. The White Tower marks the start of the Tower of London’s history as both a palace and fortress.
Today, it contains displays of arms and armor from the collection of Royal Armouries.
A little bit of history thanks to Google:
The construction of the Tower of London began during the reign of William the conqueror (1066-1087) and remained virtually unchanged for over a century. Then between 1190 and 1285, the White Tower was encircled by two towered curtain walls and a great moat. The only important enlargement of the Tower after that time was the building of the Wharf, begun by Edward III (1327-1377) and completed under Richard II (1377-1399). To this day the medieval defenses are essentially unchanged, except for the draining of the moat.
I followed the tide of tourists through the numerous armouries . I waited for an age trying to take a photo of a suit of armour behind glass, but tourists kept pushing in front with babies, or small groups would pose and make goofy peace gestures. I gave up in the end.
Across a small courtyard in another building was the display of the crown jewels with rooms of video projection for exposition. Conveyors ferried people around the large display cases, so you were in and through in under 5 minutes.