This past weekend was quite long, but eventful! I woke up nice and early on Saturday morning in order to fit in a day of art! It was too early really, I woke up at 5:30am in order to go to the National Gallery to line up for tickets to an exhibition on Leonardo Da Vinci. I met up with another MUN engineering student living in London who told me all about the limited time exhibition going on at the Gallery.
The exhibit was all about Da Vinci and featured 9 of his 15 paintings! The Gallery had many of his paintings on loan from other museums and had collected dozens of his other sketches and works. We had to stand it line for a whopping 5 and a half hours to get tickets, but I must say, it was worth it! The exhibit is here for 3 months, but it’s so popular that you always have to come line up at 6am in order to get tickets.
The surprise of the exhibit was that a new Da Vinci painting has recently been discovered; Christ as Salvator Mundi. It showed up at a private art auction in the States a little while ago and it’s recently been restored. Apparently this is the first time it’s been on display for the public to view. BBC is doing a big documentary about it. Needless to say it was definitely an experience to get to see so many of his paintings in one place!
In the afternoon, we decided to check out London’s very own Banglatown and had some tasty Bangladeshi cuisine. I also went inside St. Paul’s Cathedral for the first time since I’ve been here and I have to say, it is incredible! I didn’t get a chance to go up to the dome, but the inside is beautiful. There was a service going on when we walked in and the organ was just booming throughout the church. It’s easy to understand why it is called Christopher Wren’s masterpiece.
Sunday was not quite as exciting as Saturday, but I still had a nice day. I decided to go to the London Sealife Aquarium; unfortunately it was a little bit of a letdown. It was quite expensive and mostly aimed at kids. I found it interesting to discover that you’re not allowed to keep whales in the UK, so the aquarium was focused on different kinds of fish and sealife; they did have a few sharks though. My personal favourite was the penguin exhibit at the very end of the aquarium. The penguins did everything as a group. They would swim in a formation, jump up on the ice together and then all dive back in the water at the same time, it was super cute!
This weekend I’m looking forward to seeing Les Miserables and I’m hoping to take in the Chinese New Year celebrations in Chinatown.