Travel Journal March 10, 1999
The British Museum and a Night Out.

London, cont.

My first stop was Cyberia to check my mail. From there, the British Museum is about 8 blocks away, so I started walking.

One curious incident occured. As I got near the museum, there was a quaint little bookstore that caught my eye; Specifically, there was a book on stone circles in the window. I tried to open the door, but it wouldn't open. (I have a lot of problems with doors, especially in Britain, because it always seems that places where I expect a door to open outward, it opens inward, and vice-versa.) Then I noticed a small sign saying "please pull this knob to open the door." This knob turned out to be a small secondary latch on the door. I went inside, looked around, but didn't find what I wanted. Nor did I find a proprieter - there was "no one minding the store" as far as I could tell. So I left...or, rather, I attempted to leave. Again, I could not open the door, but there was no lever on the inside of the door! I was effectively locked in. I wondered if this was some curious means of insuring that passers-by didn't just walk off with books while the owner was taking a snooze. If so, it is singularly ineffective, for I was "rescued" by the next customer who came in a few minutes later. After warning him about the latch, I made my way across the street to the museum.

You'll notice that I didn't take very many photos. The reason is simple: In order to really do justice to the immensity and scope of the British Museum, I would have had to spend the entire time looking through the camera lens, and I wanted to see the museum, not simply record it. So I only snapped a few items which I thought were particularly photogenic.

Also, I can't possibly remember what all of the correct captions for these pictures should be, so if I miss a few details, bear with me (polite criticism is always welcome!) Now I kind of wish that my camera had the "audio note-taking" feature that some of the other digital cameras have.

Burial remains, part of the Ethnographic exhibit. One of the "beaker" people.

Roman bowls, found in Britain.

Beautiful items from the "Roman Britain" exhibit.

  Jug with celtic decorations.

Roman tools.

Celtic torcs.

A riveted sheet-brass cauldron. Celtic.

A warrior's shield, from the same exhibit.

A greek helmet.

Greek statuary.

The Parthenon gallery.

These next items were from the "western asia" section.

Afterwards, I went to the museum book shop and got a guidebook to all of the stone circles in England, Scotland and Ireland, with extensive maps.

The primary limiting factor on my sightseeing for the last few days has been sore ankles. It seems that I can only go about four to six hours of walking around (even with intermittent resting) before I have to call it a day. Hopefully my legs will toughen up over time. After wandering through the museum, I realized that what I really wanted would be some form of entertainment where I could sit down for a few hours. So, inspired by my conversation from last night (and from reading the Time Out entertainment guide), I decided to spend the evening at the "theeatah".

More specifically, I went to see the play Les Miserables.

This was great. Absolutely fanstastic. And, I had very little problem understanding the lyrics (which generally seems to be more of a problem for me than for most people.) I would recommend this play to anyone who has a night free. I paid £35, which is for the best seating. (The cheapest is £7.) This was less than what I paid for that idiocy last night, and was a thousand times more entertaining.

One word of advice: bring a hankie. Even if you're a cynical, jaded old sod like me.