Tuesday, May 9, 2017 - Van Gogh, Queen Elizabeth I, and The London Skyline

We visited The National Portrait Gallery - the first museum I ever visited in London in 1972. I fell in love with the portraits of Queen Elizabeth I! (After all, us redheads are in a class by ourselves!) Now I came looking for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert! If you haven't seen the series "Victoria" on PBS try to find it On Demand. They were quite a couple, so ahead of their times! Mary and I really enjoyed our morning at the gallery and we had a lovely gourmet lunch at The Portrait Restaurant with a fabulous view of Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, The Shard, the London Eye, and the building where the tickets were sold for The Titanic! The waiter was from Nice, France  and he was quite charming. Mary had sea bream and I had hangar steak! I did find Albert and Victoria in the gallery, he was so dashing and she was painted as rather dowdy and stout.

After lunch we meandered over to the National Gallery next door. There is a new entrance since I was there last fall and they have moved a lot of paintings around. I think every school child young and old from London and Paris was in the museum! What an abundance of different school uniforms, languages, and teachers chaperoning. With the advent of The Chunnel it's so easy for the schoolchildren to come and visit these cities for a day trip.

We spent the afternoon admiring paintings by Monet, Cezanne, Pissarro, Turner, Ingres, Seurat, Raphael, and Rubens. The highlight was seeing Van Gogh's Sunflowers! I've now seen his sunflower paintings in Tokyo, Paris, London, and Chicago.

We found our bus back to the hotel and stopped at Patisserie Valerie and had late tea for our dinner.

Our hotel is lovely and we are enjoying meeting people at breakfast and in the elevator. At night we regroup and plan our next day's adventure! We need more time.....there are so many wonderful things to see, places to go, and people to meet. Walking around 4-5 miles every day!!