Learning about London in an affordable kind of way

What does one do for two weeks in London before starting work that is educational, yet interesting, worthy, yet not expensive?

Visit museums amongst other things.

Especially on those bleak rainy days.

I have passed the Imperial War Museum numerous times on the bus, so this time I got off.

It was 11am, so I thought I’d nail the floors in no time and be back in cosy Battersea by around 2pm for a late lunch.

My howling stomach walked by out at 5:30pm.

Who would have thought it would have been so interesting.

Floors containing the worlds most heartbreaking, horrific, yet strategic and resilient stories.

I had a tear in my eye as I took photographs of the shell of a Lancaster bomber that served in World War 2.

As I peered into the rear gunners turret, the full impact of a story I’m writing about a gentleman from home hit me . The position was such a vulnerable, prime and easy target for shooters below. How anyone survived in that glass bubble astonishes me.

Some interesting facts I learnt in a day:

  • Wernher von Braun – a German engineer who played the major role in creating the V bombs, which killed thousands of people in World War 2 and were made in Nazi slave camps was also the man who is celebrated for developing  rockets that gave America the crown for sending the first person to the moon. 
  • World War One – I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t realise the intricate motives behind each countries involvement in the war. In a very incorrect understanding, I thought it was the world versus Russia. So wrong. I’ll try to summarise – France and Russia form and alliance. Austria – Hungary’s heir to the throne is shot by a Serbian. Austria-Hungary, with the support of their friends Germany, declare war on Serbia. Russia stands in as big brother for Serbia. Germany declare war on Russia. France and Russia are mates remember, so France joins in the fight with Russia. Germany attack France, but has to get through Belgium to do it. Britain told Belgium it would help protect its borders so they declare war.  The story goes on and on (that’s why I was there for five hours), but eventually little old Australia and New Zealand are asked to support their Commonwealth nation. We enter the war on the shores of Gallipoli on the 25 April 1915.  I did love Modern history with Mr Brodie, but i obviously didn’t retain the information learnt in his lessons.

As a 28 year old female, I was quite shocked that I spent over five hours in this museum, but it shows the calibre of material presented.

If you are out of work, waiting for something to happen in your gap year, or the weather makes you feel like you need to stay inside with your socks on and Netflix playing in the background, go to a museum in London. It won’t cost you a thing, and you will appreciate the luxuries we have in life.

Thank you to BBC and Wikipedia for their help in recalling these stories:

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20140905-the-nazis-space-age-rocket 
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wernher_von_Braun
http://www.bbc.co.uk/timelines/zqbhn39#zyq4kqt

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