“This is the greatest consolation in life. In poetically well-built museums, formed from the heart’s compulsions, we are consoled not by finding in them old objects that we love, but by losing all sense of Time.”
― Orhan Pamuk,
When life gets too busy, there are only two public places I can think of that can give me solitude and peace. In a way, they are my sanctuary. The first is bookstores and the other is museums. One of my favourite museums in London is the beautiful Victoria and Albert Museum in Cromwell Road.
It’s quite easy to fall in love with V&A. Its beautiful collections of silverware, snuff boxes, watches, clocks, costumes, photographs, tapestries, and of course, paintings, each is displayed in beautiful cases and hanged in gorgeous galleries. My friend told me that women usually love V&A, I think he’s quite right. I spent four hours on my first visit and another three on my second. The best thing about British museums is that they’re free so I don’t feel the need to complete my tour in just one visit. I can always go back when I want to.
On my first visit, I went alone, desperately wanted to escape my course demanding works and routines. Some friends invited me out but I knew my limit in socializing has reached its highest bar so I said no and went here. London was raining and windy, just the perfect weather to stay in and warm. More importantly, I needed to be able to hear my own thoughts. Museums always give that to me and walking around V&A galleries really calmed me down. Museums, like bookstores, are best visited alone. Only when you are alone then you can experience what Orhan Pamuk said in the quote, you’ll lose all sense of Time.
You can check their opening hours and their programmes on their website. V&A also has a tunnel entrance so if you come by tube, you don’t have to go overground to enter the museum. Pretty handy when it rains and windy. Another thing you should visit after the tour is their shops. I absolutely love their collections of tote bags (I am one guilty tote bag addict).
Here are some snaps from their galleries: