Fri 28 Dec 2018
Today is my day out alone as I wanted to visit some museums and its best for the kids to follow mommy. The plan was to visit the Imperial War Museum (IWM) London, followed by HMS Belfast.
I had breakfast at C’est Ici, a french cafe near Barons Court tube station. The coffee and pastries were good. From there, I took the tube to IWM London. The ride was about 25 minutes.
IWM London is part of the 5 museums under the Imperial War Museum (IWM) collection. The other museums are:
- IWM London (28 Dec 2018)
- Churchil War Room (visited in October 2013 – blogpost)
- HMS Belfast (28 Dec 2018)
- IWM North
- IWM Duxford
IWM London is located near the Waterloo station. It was a 10 minute walk from the station to the museum. The museum, as shown in the photo above, has an impressive facade. As I entered, I was surprised to see the interior of the museum as it looks much bigger than the outside.
I started my tour from the bottom floor, slowly making my way up. Among the exhibits that caught my attention was the Enigma, and the formation of the SAS.
The Enigma is an enciphering machine used by the German armed forces to send messages securely during World War 2. There was a movie made on it recently, called The Imitation Game.
The other interesting exhibit was on the Special Air Service (SAS). Unknown to many Malaysians, the SAS was formed in Malaya (pre-independence Malaysia) in 1947. The main intention was to preserve and develop the battle techniques acquired from fighting in the thick Malayan jungle (which is way different from the warfare seen in European forests).
After the museum, I headed to the tube for my next visit. I took the tube to London Bridge station to visit HMS Belfast. I walked along the riverside near City Hall. It had a nice view of the Tower Bridge.
There was hardly any queue at HMS Belfast. I bought the tickets, along with a guide book, and started the tour. Completed in 1938, HMS Belfast is a well preserved world war 2 cruiser that has been fully converted into a museum.
It was very interesting to see the interior of a war ship. I didn’t expect there to be a dentist, and a cat, on board! I also thought some of the technology (such as radar sensors) seemed quite advanced given the year the ship was built.
After my tour, I headed back to join the rest of the family at Covent Garden. We had late teatime at Le Pain Quotidien. The hot coffee and waffles tasted really good in the cold weather! After checking out the shops in the area, we later went back via taxi as the kids were really tired.