March 9, 2010
A chunk of the Berlin Wall outside London's Imperial War Museum.
If you’re interested in history or war or both, London’s Imperial War Museum is an educational experience for adults and children alike.
London's Imperial War Museum.
The collection boasts exceeding numbers of artifacts from the 20th century. The major exhibits feature World War I and World War II. Not only can one see letters, weapons, uniforms, and read about the tactics of the wars, but a unique trench experience is set up for those who want to walk through the model.
The trench experience.
While the exhibits are large, they also wind their way in circles. It’s easy to get a bit turned around, miss something, or look at things backwards rather than forwards.
Following the world wars are smaller sections on the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Cold War, and conflicts in the middle east. The most recent war highlighted in the Persian Gulf War, while even smaller exhibits highlight genocide and conflicts within the last few decades.
Some of the most ironic things about the museum is the British school children and teens touring around. While a light shined the words ‘Cold War’ on to a wall, a group of uniformed school girls took their picture below the sign; smiling in a line as if they were posing for a calendar. Around the corner at the Vietnam exhibit, a girl walked up to several TVs playing a montage of war and administrative footage to the music of Jimi Hendrix’s version of “The Star Spangled Banner,” and said, “Why do we have the same thing playing on three screens, and very weird music playing?” She turned away from the display and went on giggling with her friends.
Having spent a few days in Valencia for a trip outside London, booking a flamenco show was at the top of my list. Of course paella was way up there too, and I did have three paella dinners.
One night was spent at La Bulería where you could get a combo of a drink, dinner, and/or tapas with a flamenco show. My traveling mate and I booked a tapas plate and a show.
The atmosphere was great and the talent and food was too. Mind you that food is served at 9 p.m. while the show doesn’t start until 11 p.m. This is simply the way they do things in Spain. Expect few restaurants to be open between 4 and 8 p.m.
Anyways, here’s a small video clip of the talent. Enjoy.
It looks best at night.
I really hate to complain. Well, not really. But I hate to complain about such a great city like Paris. I mean, it’s the heart of France. Yes? No? There’s a lot of culture. International recognition. It boasts of Napoleon and the Louvre. The Louvre! But there were several things that I see as the downside. They kind of disappointed me. Maybe London has spoiled me (not that this is an English verses French kind of thing).
What Mona sees everyday.
10 Reasons Why Paris Disappointed Me:
- Watch out for land mines because there’s dog poopy everywhere
- The winter gardens aren’t as well-kept as other cities like London
- Smells similar to a waft of air from sewage plant
- There’s an exceptional amount of litter
- If you attempt French out of courtesy, you’re still greeted with hostility
- The metro smells worse than the waft of airs outside
- Lots of gypsies come up to you asking, “Do you Speak English?”
- There’s a startling number of homeless people, or at least that can be seen
- The automatic metro doors wait for no one – don’t get your head slammed
- The Louvre is more busy than a shopping mall
Entertainment for the kids.
Too bad you have to pay... more than its really worth.
If you take a boat ride, do it on a sunny day.
More free entertainment for the kids.
Update: March 9, 2010, 10 p.m., London
FYI – Major Cities I’ve been to:
- New York City
- Quebec City
- Washington, D.C.