Visiting Crystal Palace Park

Today we went to Crystal Palace Park (cue Jurassic Park theme tune).

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Visiting a park is a pretty ideal way to spend a sunny Saturday, but a park with dinosaurs?! How could it not be amazing?

Crystal Palace is about a twenty minute train journey from where we live. After grabbing a coffee and apricot pastry we were all set to go (even if I was slightly regretting wearing such a light dress — it was unexpectedly windy out!)

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The park is right next to the station, so after arriving we excitedly headed for the dinosaurs. Right after taking a picture with this dinosaur mural, that is…

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The park itself really was beautiful. Having read some more about it since getting home, I found out that the life-sized dinosaur models were built by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins and completed by 1854 (thanks Wikipedia!) These particular dinosaurs were newly discovered at the time.

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These weren’t the only sculptures built back in the 1800’s though…

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The above is called a megatherium! Also known as the largest ground sloth. I couldn’t get a better picture of it annoyingly, but like to think this back-of-head shot has more of a mysterious quality to it.

And then there was this majestic stag…

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… that was right beside a pedalo ticket office, which would have been great if we hadn’t forgotten to bring any cash with us :(. So instead we went for ice cream (which luckily did accept card AND had mint choc chip!)

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I couldn’t not photograph this creepy cute lil’ elephant ride outside the cafe too.

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Other strange sights seen include this headless statue…

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And a gorilla

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It was just so nice to be outside with a camera! I’m definitely planning on visiting this park again too, and if you’re in the south London area and looking for an unusual park to visit, this is the place to go.

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Thanks for reading — RAWR!

A Visit to The Cartoon Museum

Today I woke up late, had a quick shower, slipped on my bone leggings and a fluffy jumper, and caught the train into central London. My boyfriend and I were heading off to the Cartoon Museum in Little Russell Street to meet some friends and amble around the city, drinking a coffee or two. It was all going to be very cultured!

20140111-224723.jpgWhen I was younger I’d spend a fair amount of time looking up cool stuff to do around London, as would my best friend, and whenever either of us spotted anything kind of novel or strange we’d make it a plan for the weekend.

Sometimes we’d find a variety of things and have an entire day dedicated to a schedule of seeing random sites. It was often exhausting, with all the wandering and getting lost just to find a shop warehouse or try something like bubble tea (I have no sense of direction and there was no iphone GPS around to save the day at this point!)

Whenever we got home though it felt like we’d achieved something through finding unique little things that might have slipped under the radar for others. It was a bit like being explorers of quirky places, or something.

I haven’t done as many of these outings over the last few years. mainly because of University, and also because of stressing over other things in life and not finding the time to look up, or even notice the interesting events happening around me. This year I plan on changing that because going for days out to educational or unusual places makes me so happy.

The Cartoon Museum

So, onto the day itself. We arrived at the museum for about 2 o clock. It was a tiny little place surrounded by the delicious aromas of nearby Japanese and Korean eateries. I was craving ramen bad.

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It was £7 to get in, which may seem a bit steep for such a small museum, but it’s worth it. Especially if you’re interested in animation or the history of cartoons. It was also really quiet inside, which made wandering around and taking in everything a lot more relaxed.

20140111-232102.jpgThe art takes up two floors, and this works well as I can sometimes find exhibitions and museums a little overwhelming. Here it felt more manageable, giving you more time to concentrate on the detail of each piece, reading the dialogue of graphic novels and admiring the weirdness of certain comics.

There was also a nice interactive element to the museum, with the chance for kids to make their own comic, which I was pretty jealous of!

My favourite of the things I saw was probably the following:cheeky

Image courtesy of Yersinia pestis on Flickr (as I wasn’t sure if you could take pictures within the main bit of the museum). Seriously though, how incredible is this bum bench thing? I want one.

hugo_tateThis was another one I really liked. It’s Hugo Tate by Nick Abadzis. It made me want to read graphic novels again as I haven’t for a long time.  I especially love the cover of this.

Chai tea and halloumi burgers

20140111-231619.jpgAfter we’d had our fill of cartoons and a healthy browse of the shop, it was off for coffee (or a chai tea and pastry in my case!) We chatted and chilled and then – more food! I’m a big fan of diners and frequent Ed’s Diner quite a lot, but today we went to ‘The Diner’ instead, which is a branch spread around various parts of London (and possibly around other parts of the UK too!)

20140111-232209.jpgEveryone inside was dressed super trendy and there was the smell of good food all around. I ordered the halloumi burger and sweet potato fries, and woah mama was it tasty. There was even avocado and pesto with the halloumi! Basically my dream meal.

Astrology Shop and Adventure Time

20140111-223423.jpgLastly, we went for a wander as the shops were shutting. This astrology shop was nearby and still open. The ambience was totally mellow inside, with healing stones, buddha ornaments, unicorns and even more to my delight – holographic planets! I ended up buying a Saturn magnet and moon postcard, along with the  lunar calendar to the left, which now lets me know handy stuff, like that i’ll have a crescent moon on my birthday. Pretty nifty. 

Of course no day out would be complete without at least one silly purchase, and today that was a surprise Adventure Time figure. I was really hoping to get the glittery Lumpy Space Princess one, but there were only three bags left and the shop was shutting so I had to just grab one. I got Ice King, which ain’t too bad I guess. At least he looks great chilling with my harp seal beanie. I think collecting these might be a thing for me now.

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So that was a brief summary of my Saturday. If you get a chance then I’d definitely recommend a visit to the Cartoon Museum, followed by some diner grub!

Have a lovely rest of the weekend 🙂