After visiting the Tower of London, we said “Goodbye” to our “Midwest Nice” and brought out our city sides, meaning we refused to let anyone push in front of us, to make our way onto the iconic red double-decker bus, and headed to Trafalgar Square. After checking out the Square for bit, even catching a glimpse of Big Ben, we went into the National Portrait Gallery.
The portraits included royalty, politicians, writers, musicians, artists, actors, and scientists from the 16th century to the present day. There were painters, sculptures, and photographs. Wordsworth, Coleridge, Shelley, and Shakespeare were just a few among the British writers displayed there. After an hour in the National Portrait Gallery, we went around the corner of the same building to visit the National Gallery.
The artwork in the National Gallery spans from the 13th century to 19th century and includes a vast number of well-known artists. These artists include da Vinci, Monet, Degas, Cezanné, Renoir, Rembrandt, van Gogh, Titian, Van Eyck, just to name of few. A few of the most popular masterpieces are Botticelli’s “Venus and Mars,” Monet’s “The Water Lily Pond,” da Vinci “The Burlington House Cartoon,” and Titian’s “Bacchus and Ariadne.” The Gallery’s architecture is quite the site to see as well. One could easily lose track of time and get lost strolling the halls and exploring the hundreds of pieces of art. Unfortunately, we had only an hour and a half. After exploring the National Gallery, we picked up food for dinner and to the bus back to St. Paul’s Cathedral. Some people enjoyed their dinner in the almost rare London sunshine and ate on the grounds of the Cathedral and others just went back to the hostel.