I’ve been back for a few days but still haven’t done my London blog entries.
On Tuesday morning I took the Tube to Leicester Square and then walked down to Trafalgar Square. The Christmas tree looks very nice at night – you can see a picture here.
I patted my lion’s paw.
I was here to visit the National Gallery and see the Leonardo da Vinci exhibition. This has been the exhibition of the year in London and tickets sold out very quickly. A small number of tickets are released on the day for people who queue.
The queue for tickets stretched all the way down through that archway in the distance and and back again. People were facing waits of several hours and some would not get tickets at all. Apparently scalpers have been selling tickets for £400!
Regular readers will know that I am not the sort of person to queue, and in fact I can be quite smug when I beat the crowds (I know, it’s not my best side). Today was no exception. Here is my line at the other entrance – the one for people who already had tickets. Yes!
The exhibition was very good. The National Gallery had gathered together all of Leonardo da Vinci’s paintings from the period when he was a painter at the court of Milan. The only work they didn’t have was The Last Supper, a fresco which remains attached to the monastery wall where it was painted in the fifteenth century. What the exhibition did have though was a full-size copy of The Last Supper painted by one of Leonardo’s students. This version is actually in much better condition than the original and shows details that have been lost on the original. There were also many sketches and drawing by Leonardo, as well as paintings from Milan by other artists from that period to show how he influenced them.
After that I dropped into the National Portrait Gallery and had a look a couple of their temporary exhibitions and had lunch. I followed this with a walk down Whitehall to Horse Guards Parade. I was planning to visit the Banqueting Hall but it was closed for a private function.
Instead I went back through to Covent Garden to visit the London Transport Museum, which had been on my list of places to visit for some time now. It was a great museum, plus they let you take photos, so I will post about it in a separate entry next time!