Posts Tagged ‘River Thames’

Trip #2 to the Tate Modern

Sunday, Evan and I went to the Tate Modern with Ceres and Hannah. We were really excited to see some of the exhibits we weren’t able to make it to on our first trip, mostly up on the fifth floor. There were also some new installments on the third floor. My favorite one was 30 Pieces of Silver by Cornelia Parker. The piece, which took up a whole room, was a collection of 30 circular arrangements of flattened silver items — everything from forks and spoons to trophies and trombones — hanging from the ceiling and suspended about six inches off the ground. It was incredible to watch it hover, and all the steamrolled flat objects were intriguing. I wish we could have walked around the entire piece instead of just along two of its sides.

There were also some extremely well-behaved and engaged children in the museum. There were stands offering workbooks to entertain the little ones, and many of them seemed absorbed in the activities, sitting on the floor, trying to copy paintings or create their own with stickers and pieces of paper. And I heard one little kid say, “It’s about the artist expressing himself…”! Someone’s doing something right in the education department.

We also spent some time just enjoying the view of the Millennium Bridge, St. Paul’s Cathedral and the riverbank from the airy fourth-floor balcony.

St. Paul’s Cathedral and Millennium Bridge

More London Lights: View from the Golden Jubilee Bridge

We took a different bridge across the Thames home — the Golden Jubilee Bridge — which turned out to be a spectacular choice. Check out the view:

London

Parliament, Big Ben and Westminster Abbey

Parliament and Big Ben

ParliamentParliament

 We headed over to Parliament, just down the street from Horse Guards Parade, and stopped to take some photos. The building is very ominous and ornate — the kind of thing that makes it unsurprising that Harry Potter came from a Brit’s mind. And it couldn’t be more different from anything you’d ever find in Washington, DC. Big Ben and the Sovereign’s entrance — the other big tower — are the most impressive parts.

Westminster Abbey, which is just across the street, closes pretty early on Saturdays, so we weren’t able to go in, but the outside is a bit confusing. It’s so crowded with architectural supports, additions and multicolored stone bricks that it’s hard to see it as a cohesive building. I imagine I’ll be much more impressed when I get to go inside. We didn’t get any great phots of it, so that’ll have to wait.

After walking down the street side of Parliament we crossed the river and checked it out from its more iconic angle, which was quite nice (see the big photo above). And we braved the crowds of tourists at County Hall on the other side of the Thames and spent some time in The Dali Experience, which was an interesting exhibit, though it seemed a bit underfunded despite its relatively high entry cost and large museum store. The art itself, though, was expectedly surreal and bizarre and sparked lots of questions. There was also a small and less impressive Picasso exhibit in the basement of the museum.