Venommmm….

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Venom

We’re off to one of my favorite places, The Natural History Museum!  This time we are going to see the new Venom exhibition.

First of all, book tickets, the queue is something else entirely.  The size of it would strike fear in to the heart of even the most dedicated museum lover.  Luckily we have booked tickets, so with rather smug smiles we sidle past the massive line and straight in.

The exhibition, is beautifully put together, with lots of information and specimens as well as real life survival stories.  We spend a wonderfully morbid hour and a half perusing the fangs and barbs of snakes, jellyfish, spiders and all sorts of insects.

Get in before it closes, if you are a member it is free!

click here

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Elf in Greenwich

Greenwich has a lot to offer for a day out and is a great option any time of the year.

Head out of the tube and head towards to Cutty Sark… the boat you can see to your leftimag2264.  You can go in to this exhibition and learn all about the history of the tea clippers which were to fastest boats of their time.   You can also walk underneath the ship and fully appreciate its engineering.

Next head through the gates and out into the park that sits behind the Cutty Sark.  If you follow the paths you will end up amongst the buildings of the University of Greenwich.  These are some of the most beautiful buildings in London.  Really wonderful.

Head along The Avenue which will lead you up to the Observatory.  There are usually different exhibitions at the Observatory and of course the chance to stand on the Meridian line.  The view from here is beautiful and even on a cloudy day, worth the steep climb to the top.

imag2278My next favourite thing to do in Greenwich is the Maritime Museum.  Its free to go in to the main exhibitions and wander through the history of the maritime industry of London and the UK.  It’s a lovely labyrinth of galleries and exhibitions.

The café in the museum does some yummy cakes and pastries as well, just to round of the trip.

If you fancy something more substantial walk back into Greenwich towards the tube station and you will come across the food markets.  Lots of different things to eat and enjoy.

Singing…ish Elf

Ooo!  We’ve reached a milestone here at Elves About.  This is our 100th blog.  To celebrate here is something just for fun.

Here is a little film of the wonderful singing of the Natural History Museum lates team! Forgive the terrible camera work, I was laughing and trying to sing, multitasking…

Hope you enjoy!

 

Natural History Museum – Elf out late!

London is lucky to have some of the best museums and art galleries in the world.  One of my particular favourites is the Natural History Museum.  A new series of Museum lates has started, these happen at lots of the London Museums and there are different themes and exhibitions to attend.  This series at the Natural History Museum is “Dino Snores”.  we book ourselves in and head off to the museum after dark.

As we arrive we are assigned houses (I end up in Dino House) and head into the museum.  There is music playing, food and drink available, activities…and no children.  Now I’m very much aware that I will sound a grumpy miser for saying this, but, it’s absolutely brilliant without the kids!  I mean there are no tantrums, no trying to look sensible, no lines of people, no school groups taking up whole galleries… Nothing to stop us adults from being kids!

We take full advantage of the big kid atmosphere and we throw ourselves 100% into the face painting and mask making. imag2462

We start by watching the “Rocks The House” show with the messy experiments and fun camera work.  Next up is a stroll through the dinosaur exhibitions.  imag2464We make dinosaur themed t-shirts.

Our group takes part in the egg and spoon race with a little too much competitive spirit we skate down the hall, egg and spoon in hand and big fluffy dino slippers on.  It’s a photo finish and our friends in Panda House win the house points.

Next, we head into the observatory which has been blown up in the corals exhibition room.  It is magical, we sit on the floor and watch the milky way move across the ceiling above us.  The presenter is fantastic.  This is a definite highlight.imag2473

We assemble at the exit and sing a roaring chorus of “Circle of Life”.  This is joy affirming!

We also have tickets to the silent disco and spend the rest of the night dancing away in the museum to three great DJs.

Get yourself tickets to the next one.  One of my favourite nights out in a long time and a great opportunity to be a big kid.

More information here Dino Snores

Elf’s tip – cheaper tickets are available on some of the voucher sites. 

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More Munich

Munich has lots to offer for all sorts of travellers, you can make a trip whatever you want.  There are also plenty of options for accommodation, hostels, luxury hotels, mid-range hotels and pensions.  What we weren’t able to find were any Airbnb options that we liked although they might be fine depending on the number of your group.  Below we have chosen some of the things we enjoyed the most during our time in Munich.

For the outdoor person

Munich has a lot to offer and if you are an active and outdoor sort of person I recommend joining a free walking tour.  Most of the hostels are affiliated with a tour which will pick you up from the front door.  We walked with Sandeman’s free walking tour which started at Marienplatz, we walked for a good 2 hours though the different areas of central Munich, history, tales, culture and language all featured on the tour.  We do love a free walking tour (the concept, in case you aren’t familiar is that you tip what you think its worth at the end of the tour, this is how the guide is paid) and this was no exception.  Our guide was brilliant and pointed out lots of good places to eat as well as a few sites to see as well.

Sandeman’s tour information:

http://www.neweuropetours.eu/Munich/en/home?date=14/01/2017&tour=552

For the history person

Munich has looaaaaddddsss of museums.  There is a museum of hunting and fishing! We recommend the Municipal Museum of Munich (Muenchner Stadtmuseum).  The museum has changing guest exhibitions we chose to just see the permanent exhibitions the ticket cost 4 euros (2 euros if you have a student card – well worth taking around with you!) the ticket entities you entrance to ‘Typically Munich’ and an exhibition about the history of Munich as the capital of the Nazi movement.

The ‘Typically Munich’ exhibition stretches over several floors and explains how Munich was settled and grew as well as the culture of Bavaria.  It’s a wonderful exhibition and lots of information about the city and its people.

The exhibition about Munich’s darker past is also worth seeing.  Its illuminating and informative with lots of information available.  It is, in our current political climate in the western world especially worth viewing.

Elf’s tip – hold on to your ticket it gives you 50% of entrance to some of the other museums.

More information on Munich’s museums here:

http://museen-in-muenchen.de/en/home/visitorservices/info-neu-2014/combination-tickets/

For the arty person

There are three main art galleries in Munich all situated close to each other, the Neue Pinakothek, Pinakothek der Moderne and Alte Pinakothek.  You can get a combination ticket to all three which is the cheapest way to see them all.

We head in to the New Pinakothek, the gallery is beautifully laid out, we pass though rooms of wonderful paintings.  I linger in the rooms filled with Van Gogh, Monet and Manet.  There is even a beautiful and unusual Degas that does not feature a ballet dancer.  We spend several hours lingering in front bits of history and I thoroughly enjoy the relaxed and mostly empty gallery.

On this same link is information about the combination tickets:

http://museen-in-muenchen.de/en/home/visitorservices/info-neu-2014/combination-tickets/


Elf’s tip:  the audio guides in all the museums and galleries that we visited are free.

Something completely different

If you want to see something crazy, head over to the English Garden and follow the Eisbach which is a small river channel hat runs though the gardens.  Although you are not allowed to swim in the Eisbach you can…. surf!  A manmade wave has been created and we are told that whatever the weather you will find surfers here.  We head in that direction and to be honest given the -2 temperature and snow everywhere, we did not have much hope.  But, fear not the surfers are there is full wetsuits and boots, bright red faces, and amazing skills.  definitely very cool!

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Royal Elf

Windsor, official residence of the Queen.  Home to one of the most recognizable schools in the UK.  Set in lovely countryside and old lanes and houses Windsor is where we’re spending our weekend…because well why not.

The train from London Waterloo take 55 minutes, costs £10 one way and the trains run every half an hour or so.  The station in Windsor is practically in the centre of the town which makes it a very easy weekend away from London.

We head down on a Friday evening and after checking in to our little hotel we take a wander and stop at Golden Curry for what turns out to be a delish curry!  Saturday morning, we head of early to beat the rain and tourists and make a dash for the castle.

The original castle was built in the 11th century and there has been a Royal residence here ever since.  We head in and grab our tickets before the security.  We opt not to get the audio guide, but they seem popular and there are lots of numbers throughout the grounds and buildings so there is obviously a lot of information available if you fancy it.  We take our time strolling into the complex, enjoying the beautiful gardens and backdrops.  First stop is St George’s Chapel which is beautiful and has a particular type of fan vaulted ceiling which is rare and stunning.  But, what is the most breath taking thing about this building is the absolutely huge amount of history is jam packed in to the chapel.  We wind our way though and walk amongst the graves of British monarchs, lords and ladys.  It’s a strange physicalization of history that I really enjoy…slightly macabre I know.

Next we make our way in to the state apartments.  Very glitzy and everything you imagine a King or Queen would live amongst.  There are suits of armour, spears, gold leaf, famous paintings, chandeliers and much much more.  But for me the current Shakespeare exhibition was the highlight of the trip.  It is beautifully laid out, and there is something spectacular about reading the opening lines of Act One Scene One of Richard III from the first folio…breath taking.

We stop for lunch in the Three Tuns pub, yum!  The Three Tuns was built in the 1500s and was originally called the Guildhall before the Guildhall was built.  The new Guildhall houses a museum for the area.

After lunch we’re off for a walk along the river and up to Eaton School.  The school is closed but we stroll through the area and the church graveyard and enjoy the beautiful buildings despite the rain that did eventually appear.

We round of our day with the most amazing burger and ribs at Flaming Cow.  Honestly, eat here!  I had the Redneck and everything about it was amazing, so tasty.  Will a burger ever come close again…possibly not.