Some Highlights from England

10 years, 10 months ago 56
Posted in: travels

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The Victoria and Albert Museum in London has an incredible jewelry collection and the best book store I’ve ever been to.

The books are almost exclusively about decorative art, craft and fashion, which is very relevant to my work. Unable to cope with finding so much useful research material in one place, I almost had a panic attack. I was running from shelf to shelf with an arm load of books like a crazy person: flipping desperately though pages, devouring what I could with my eyes and mumbling to myself in disoriented excitement, all the while knowing that I couldn’t take my hoard home with me due to luggage weight limitations. I chose 3 of my favorite books and resorted to photographing the covers of the other ones so that I could order them online once I came home. I spent more time in the bookstore than in the exhibits.

phantomoftheopera

Phantom of the opera musical on Piccadilly.

I’ve always disliked live stage shows. They make me uncomfortable. I don’t know why, but after I seeing the Phantom of he Opera, I’ve began to suspect that it’s because I’ve never seen a good one up until then. I was astounded at the quality of production and blown away by the experience! There is so much live entertainment going on in London…all the time. It’s so dynamic and vibrant. Vancouver is a cultural ghost town compared to large European cities. It makes me sad. It’s very pretty here though.

Above London

London Eye is the biggest Ferris wheel in Europe and the third largest in the world.

I’m very uncomfortable with heights, but not enough to avoid going up on tall, non-moving structures with spectacular views. I hate rollecoasters with a passion and never go to the so called amusement parks, but I thought it would be a great experience to go for a ride to 135 m (443ft) in a glass cabin. When we started climbing and I saw the earth slowly fall away beneath my feet, I began to regret my decision. Luckily, I was trapped up there in the sky and had nowhere to go but up. See more photos from the ride here.

Stonehenge

The Stonehenge.

I’ve been wanting to see the Stonehenge ever since I was a little girl and finally my dream came true. I love ancient monuments because they are eternally shrouded in mystery and provide a physical link to a time long gone. Ancient places are mystical. Touching something that’s been around for thousands of years makes me feel like I’m touching the very fabric of time, as if it’s been absorbed by the object. Unfortunately I was unable to touch anything at Stonehenge because of the severely restricted access. I was only able to gaze at it from afar and contemplate the mystery of the place from behind the fence meant to keep all visitors seemingly half a mile away. But even contemplating was hard, because the Stonehenge is situated right smack in the middle between two big highways. Yeah. Noise pollution and traffic are super mysterious. They really add to the whole ancient feel. Reee-diculous.

Who was the genius -city-planning engineer who approved the construction of highways within meters of a world heritage site?! And it’s not like there was no other option; there are miles of empty, rolling land all around it and instead of moving the roads half a mile in either direction, somebody decided that those highways had to be built right there, in that exact spot. Right where they will ruin the view and the experience the most. Stupid.

Although London seemed so big and busy at first that it made me apprehensive, I still very much enjoyed visiting it and look forward to coming back at one point.

56 Responses

  1. shasha says:

    Wow Marina love all the pictures!

    Next time you should see Wicked.Bought the Book waiting for it to arrive:)

    Hug
    Shasha.xx

  2. Marina says:

    The book is a lot sadder than the musical, Shasha. I cried a few times through it.

  3. Carol says:

    That picture of you at Stonehenge is gorgeous, fantastic composition. Props to the photographer.

  4. annina says:

    ah stonehenge, i hope to see it some time too, although it is sad that one can’t go to it anymore..

  5. I had no idea about stonehenge having such restricted access and well.. highways… that seems so crazy. Nice to see the highlights from your trip!

  6. Eiko says:

    Great pictures. Looks like you really had a blast in London.

    I haven’t been to the Victoria and Albert Museum yet but after reading your opinion about it, I’m curious about it. I’ll try to visit it next time I go to London.

  7. Vikky says:

    Ahhhh! The London Eye D: I remember going to London when I was about 8 or 9 with my mum, dad and brother, my mum had booked tickets for the eye but I was too scared to go on it. I took one look at it and burst into tears :/

  8. aneemal says:

    Aha! I knew you’d love the V&A! The musuem shop is the best… and requires a lot of restraint.

    I think your dolls would fit in very well with an exhibition there one day…

    Thanks for sharing your travels, glad you had a good time. (Maybe then you’ll come back… and bring your dolls with you!!!!)

  9. Crystal says:

    Looks like you had a wonderful time! Perhaps one day you will visit the U.S.A.?
    I lived in Manhattan for 10 years and I can tell you it has such wonderful museums and Art galleries and Broadway Shows! And out west we have the Grand Canyon and all sorts of natural wonders. Maybe one day?

  10. Claudia:S says:

    I am laughing out loud at your reaction at the bookstore! I can totally relate to that!!

  11. Kamila says:

    You can never get bored in that city :D

  12. Jayne says:

    Hi, I remember Stonehenge when I was in school, I have photos of all of us climbing all over it (no wonder it’s been restricted!!) I had no idea it had been fenced (we moved to Australia years ago). When we were there there was nothing for miles, let alone motorways, that is really sad.
    At least you got to see.
    p.s. Please come to OZ!!!!!

  13. Marina says:

    I’m going to visit Australia and New Zealand in the next two years. Perhaps less if my order and show schedule allow. And of course I would like to meet all those who wish to meet me.

    NYC is also on my list of immediate travel plans.

  14. Jayne says:

    We would be more than happy (not to mention totally ecstatic to see you here) and if you need a place to stay on the trip….consider my home yours!
    Australia is HUGE so make your trip a good one.
    Jayne

  15. Laura says:

    Nice to here from you, it seems you had a beautiful time, very pretty pictures. Come to New York, I will give you a place to stay in my apartment. It’s will be so cool.

  16. Marina says:

    That sounds awesome! I will visit both yo you guys. With Chad. Where are you in Australia, Jayne?

  17. Jayne says:

    Hi Marina, we are on the Central Coast of New South Wales, Gosford, about 1 hour from Sydney. It is really easy to get to the city, but quiet enough when you want to get away. I’m sure you will have plenty of offers of accommodation when it gets closer to when you come. But, as I said, you are both more than welcome anytime.
    Jayne.

  18. Marina says:

    Thanks so much, Janye.

    I hope to meet you soon.

  19. Jayne says:

    Hi again, we are so looking forward to meeting you guys. Please email us if you need any information.
    Jayne.

  20. Freyalyn says:

    Don’t forget that the roads themselves have been there for centuries, and have only recently (since the advent of cars and busy traffic) become a nuisance to those viewing Stonehenge. They were never *planned* as such, and date back to medieaval if not prehistoric origins. And certainly until the 18thC Stonehenge itself was regarded as a useful quarry site for large stones and not as something worth visiting.

    For amazing megalithic sites the nearby Avebury is much bigger, more interesting, and quieter!

  21. mizzi says:

    震惊中….乃真强大T T
    Picture is beatiful!!

  22. Beth says:

    Did you get to see the Maharaja Exhibition at the V&A whilst you were there? Such ornate work. If you liked Stone Henge you should try Glastonbury next time you are in the UK, its not much further from London and it is a strange combination of a new-age town and ancient mystical monuments. There’s a very peaceful Chalice Well Garden too.

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  39. Gerlinde says:

    hi there! just wanted to say … never mind the luggage restrictions – you can just send everything and anything home from the next post office. if you can wait a few weeks, it’s not even expensive. i do it all the time on my journeys.

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