Today our noble guide, Bill, wakes in a festive mood. Having slept well, he is looking forward to going to the national Museum, as am I. I however, having returned home late from the pub the night before, I am not so energetic as our guide.
I enjoyed an evening at the Betsey Trotwood Pub, hanging out with the "lantern society" of folk musicians. They are a happy bunch of poets and musicians, despite the fact that our host welcomes us to the Boulavard of broken dreams, and then proceeds with a beautiful poem to start the evening. He says all artists rise from broken dreams and speak truth, giving hope in times of oppression and shattered dreams. We are in those times now he declares. The audience is clearly with him as the applaud.
I had a pint or two and enjoyed wonderful songs and poetry throughout the evening. Fortunately I remembered to ask someone how late the buses and underground run. I left in what I thought was plenty of time to catch the last underground out of Kings Cross. However, after waiting 15 to 20 minutes at the bus stop, someone told me the stop was closed for the night. This meant I must walk to the underground, which though only supposed to be a 20 minute walk, still increased my anxiety, being a stranger in a strange land. I began to walk in the direction of Kings Cross. To make a long story short I at some point asked a young lady directions to the underground and she sent me the wrong direction, which meant that I had to run the last stretch to reach my destination. The good news I did make it on time, weary, but relieved.
Nevertheless, tired as I am, I am ready to see Trafalgar Square and the national Museum. The square is itself, something to see with many statues surrounding a fountain and people of all nationalities gathered. There are street vendors, buskers, and break dancers. Also there are many floating figures all around the square. Apparently the British are quite taken with Star Wars figures that levitate. I should have taken a picture of one of these floating figures. Bill, our guide, asked me if their arms didn't get tired holding themselves up the way they did all day. I may not know Vivaldi from Mozart, but I understand an illusion when I see one, so I had to explain to the professor how the trick was done.
There is so much to see in the national Museum that thankfully we had our great Guide with his Rick Steves Guide book to help us on our journey. Our guide, though very knowledgeable in his own right, seems to rever the words of this greater Guide, with whom he must have a relationship, because he refers to him often, saying, " let us see what Steve has to say," as he consults the guidebook to find out which paintings are worthy of our time. Thankfully we have this greater guide and Bill our lesser Guide to help us on this journey or we would be Forever wondering among paintings of virgins, Saints, and Angels; not that I have anything against them, just that I can take only so many virgins and cherubs in a day.
With the help of our two guides we were able to find our way to Rembrandt, Turner, Monet, Degas, Van Gogh, Matisse and others. There are endless rooms of beautiful works of art, but fortunately because of our Guide we were not allowed to waste our adoration for lesser works, as he would shuttle us off to find more worthy works of art. Apparently Steve is a jealous Guide, and has written down which pieces of art are worthy of our adoration. I am so grateful that our own guide is in such good communication with Steve and can convey to us his wishes.
Again, I poke fun at my friend. With the vastness of this museum and extensive collection of art, I was grateful to have Bill, (with help from Steve) who knows my tastes in art to help me use my time wisely. I highly recommend the National Museum in London.