Atlantis Alumni

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

London: New Adventures And Favorite Treasures

The main event of today was visiting the State Apartments in Buckingham Palace. Most of them were designed in the first half of the 19th century by the great architect John Nash. They humble most palaces, and the only rivals were could think of were the Hermitage in St. Petersburg and Versailles. Jim's photos reveal these magnificent rooms in their splendor, but he had to take them from photo in the souvenir guide, since photography is not allowed at the Palace. Some of the art works in the Royal Collections were on display, and include some of the greatest works by Rubens, Canaletto, Vermeer and Rembrandt. After the visit we went to an old favorite attraction, the National Gallery. Sadly, two thirds of the museum is closed because of a strike by museum personnel since February, but we were still able to enjoy masterpieces by many of the greats of art history, including Leonardo da Vinci, Titian, Gauguin, Seurat and Van Gogh. And we had a terrific, full lunch in the dining room. Then we took the underground to Lambeth North to visit the rather strange Imperial War Museum. We're not fans of war, but the relics are very popular. I liked Sargent's large mural "Gassed" one of the most famous WW I pictures. We ended the afternoon's activities by visiting the British Museum to see an exhibit of the Rothschild Renaissance decorative arts, and the celebrated Parthenon Marbles by Phidias and his workshop. In the evening we dined at Nizuni, another favorite restaurant in Fitzrovia, a very bustling and exciting part of central London. Jim had 'Hotate scallops" with spinach, and then a delicious spicy mackeral. Dan enjoyed a delicate sliced yellowtail sashimi with a truffle oil, followed by a marinated and grilled black cod; the desserts were a chocolat fondant cake and a remarkable, subtle chestnut cake with green tea ice cream. -Dan

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