Checking out exhibitions is always something I look forward to when I’m in London.

Last week, during a quick visit to the Big Smoke, I managed to go to a few of my favourite spots: Design Museum, National Portrait Gallery…

One of the best things about going to museums is when you get surprised. And what a surprise two of the shows currently on are!

For someone who has no interest whatsoever in bicycles, to thoroughly enjoy the Design Museum exhibit Cycle Revolution was completely unexpected.

I didn’t even know it was on, but making a point of always popping by the Design Museum when in London, I dutifully crossed Tower Bridge to pay my respect to the temple of modern design.

Once you’re inside, there are really no excuses not to have a look at what’s on offer.

I’d already seen Design of the Year 2015 (albeit, quickly), so after another look, I made my way back downstairs for what I thought would be 10 minutes of just breezing through Cycle Revolution.

It wasn’t to be so.

A good exhibition teaches and surprises you. Cycle does both. Who knew I would enjoy looking at super high-tech bikes and not fall asleep instantly?!

Another great surprise was the British’s Egypt: Faith after the Pharaohs. I knew it was going to be good (how often are the British’s exhibitions NOT good?), but let’s be honest: the subject wasn’t really getting me excited.

Thanks to a 2 for 1 ticket, I decided to go check it out anyway. I wasn’t disappointed! I realise I really didn’t know anything about the post-Pharaohs Egyptian period, and it made me want to find out more.

Whilst it was perhaps not as much of a surprise than the Cycle Revolution show, Egypt was nonetheless a great “discovery.” I am always weary of exhibitions about faith, but this one gets a big thumb up.

In a very weird way, these two will probably stay longer with me than the Celts or Giacometti, two other shows I went to, not in a “why the hell not” way. I scheduled in both of these, and I loved them. However, I not only already knew stuff about it, it really wasn’t a shock that I enjoyed them. I knew beforehand these were “my” shows.

Bicycle and Egypt, on the other hand, gave me new things to like, new interests to research, and made me want to acquire new knowledge. And that is, without a doubt, the best thing an exhibition can do for you.

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