London Day 4

Day 4 in London was set aside for the British Museum. I had been once before but it was late in the day on my arrival and I had only spent about 2 hours there. This time i figured I’d block the day off and see more of it.

A quick ride on the tube and a walk through a small park led me to the main entrance. The park had some flowers I’d not seen before. That really doesn’t mean much, because I don’t have a large sample to choose from, but I was impressed.

IMG_7716

I was also impressed by the building across the street that housed the Starbucks. The pharaoh below the center window is really cool. That’s one of my favorite things about London or any other city that was built during the pre-automobile age, buildings are built with many details that can only be seen on foot. Speeding by at 45mph you can’t see such details.

IMG_7734

The line (a queue in Britain, yeah I talk British, impressed?) was long but moved fast through security.  Once inside I remembered how big it was and immediately knew I would have tom come back again a few more times to see all the rooms.

Since I just returned from my first trip to Japan I made a beeline for the Japan exhibit and spent some time there. Ivory is bad (except for the animals who need it), but old carvings in ivory are beautiful.

Ivory CarvingIMG_7760

I also love Japanese wood block prints, and was able to see a few there. They have an exhibit on Hokusai this summer. I doubt I’ll be able to get back for that which makes me sad. I saw many families turning this particular Sunday. I can’t imagine having access to such things as a child. I can barely imagine having access to this museum as a middle-aged man!

Japan Wood Block PrintIMG_7762

One room I spent some extra time in was on Roman Britain. It fascinates me that farmers can plow through a field and artifacts can turn up from almost 2,000 years ago. Many of the objets were also found in the Thames River, which boggles my mind.

The Roman glasswork was something I was surprised by. My knowledge of Romans is pretty slim, I really should have taken Latin in school, and I had no idea they made glass. The exhibits explained why such little Roman glass exists. Broken items would be melted and recycled, so any items found were lost or buried intentionally as with these funeral urns containing cremains.

Roman Urns and ShoesIMG_7770Roman Shoes

I spent about 5 hours this day at the British Museum and still felt like I didn’t see anything. You can spend an hour in the gift shop alone. My advice if you want to visit is to get a guide map ahead of time and plot out what you have to see so you can be sure to hit those items first. The museum also stays open later on Fridays. No matter how much time you spend there, you are going to leave with the urge to return and try to see even more next time.

 

 

London Day 3

Yesterday I spent my morning as planned and went to the Portobello Road Market and walked around a bit. I grabbed some trinkets for the folks back home and had lunch at a small Italian place I stumbled across last trip.

I walked through a few neighborhoods and then caught the Tube to head to Stanford a bookstore that is all travel books and maps.

If there is a heaven for me, it looks a lot like this place. No pearly gates, just an open sign. Maybe “free-take one” as the listed price on all titles. My heaven is a bit complicated with specifics.

But this place plus a few other bookstores yielded a few gems I probably can’t get back home, especially a book about one of my favorite bands: Buzzcocks. I also got several guide books to London that are slowly making me realize over three trips to this city I have really seen nothing!

But I did see a nice monument to Agatha Christie yesterday. A lucky accident I stumbled across.


I also intentionally framed the shot to get the McDonald’s in the background. I can’t think of why I did, I just felt it helped set the scene.

Also, anybody heard of this Potter guy? Looks like he’s got some sort of show in London.

Potter

More later today or tomorrow.

Arrived

I made it to London. Virgin Atlantic Upper Class was more than I imagined. The crew was incredibly attentive. I also managed to get the most sleep I’ve ever gotten on a plane, but unfortunately that was only 4 hours or so. I’m 5’10” and I could just lay down with the seat converted to a bed.

During the dinner I also had what may have been in the top 2 best soups I’ve ever had, a great tomato-pepper. This either speaks of the quality of the Virgin Atlantic food or my bar for soups is pretty low. Nah, it was that good.  I find no shame in admitting one of my favorite soups was on a flight.

IMG_7481

Possibly the best feature of flying Upper Class was fast track through customs. That meant I was fifth in line instead of two hundred and fifth. Thanks to that perk, I’m now having coffee in the Revivals Lounge killing time until I can check into the hotel.

You would think I would have learned by now that arriving early in the morning is a bad idea, since you have to spend a few hours waiting for hotel check in. Having to haul luggage around tends to limit what you can do.

A nap will be in order before the show tonight.

 

 

Getting Ready for London

I have a quick trip to London starting tomorrow. The official reason for the trip is to fly Virgin Atlantic Upper Class for the first time. I got a great deal using points through Delta and I could not resist. Here’s the stats for this trip:

  • Atlanta, GA  (ATL) to London Heathrow (LHR) on Virgin Atlantic
  • Flight Time: 8h 20min
  • Days in London: 4 and some change
  • Book for Flights: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass
  • Music for Flights:  Silver / Lead by Wire (it’s fitting since I will be seeing them while there)
  • TV for Flights: Catastrophe Season 3 (thanks Amazon!)
  • My Mother’s Biggest Fear: I’ll get caught up in a terrorist attack
  • My Biggest Fear: Getting so spoiled flying Upper Class that I forget where I came from, which is definitely coach!
  • Plans for London: Checking out Virgin Atlantic Arrivals Lounge, Finally check ing out that pub in Hammersmith I saw on my last trip, City of London Museum, British Museum, Portobello Road Market, Old Spitalfields Market, writing and sending postcards, and blogging daily (this time I mean it!)

I also plan to finally get over my jet lag from my trip to Japan. I usually do not have an issue with it, but for some reason, it has kicked me in the head this time