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Don't Stop Me Now

UNITED KINGDOM | Thursday, 16 June 2011 | Views [614] | Comments [3]

British Museum Great Court

British Museum Great Court

I finally had my big British breakfast this morning: bangers, chips, toast, bacon, egg and beans along with a cup of tea all for 5 pounds.  The sign outside the restaurant said “Fish and Chips,” but when I stepped inside it was very much a Middle Eastern restaurant that also just had to serve British staple food.  London is definitely a lot more international than I thought it'd be.

Then since it was raining hard this morning, I made my way to the British Museum where I spent my entire day.  Its context is the history of the world, but over 90% of it is Europe/Middle-Eastern based.  Since the museum is so large I was planning to come back tomorrow because it stays open late on Friday nights, but of course once I was inside I felt like I had to visit every single room – and this took over 6 hours.  I was pretty energetic at the beginning since I always found ancient civilizations interesting in school.  The Central Court is a huge indoor plaza and the first room I turned into had the Rosetta Stone front and center.  The museum also had parts of the Parthenon and Cleopatra's tomb, but after 20-plus rooms of ancient Greece, Egypt and Rome, I was exhausted by the way I finally made my way to the 2nd floor.  I basically breezed through most of Medieval Europe and sped through all the art exhibits.  It was also very crowded today, with children on school field trips and tourists from all over the world.  The way the museum is set up, a lot of the statues are not bound or partitioned off, which is nice because you can actually get decent photos of the artifacts.  But then I saw little monster kids leaning against them or just running their hands alongside the whole wall of hieroglyphs just to touch something.  I saw an adult place his cup of coffee on top of a sarcophagus.  If this were the first international trip I were taking, I'd believe tourists are a horrible bunch but I think it's just the quantity here that is overwhelming.

Awkward cultural difference moment #2 of London: not knowing that programs and guides all cost money over here.  This museum worker was standing in front of the entrance asking who wanted a map of the museum.  I said yes and she said, “Two pounds.”  Why does every map/program have to cost money over here??  Of course after I paid for it I walked inside and there was a cheaper map that was donation-based only.  This happened last night at the Jersey Boys show as well.  The theater worker was standing in the center asking who wanted a program, I said yes, and he stared at me and said, “It costs 3.5 pounds.”  At which point I said exactly, “Oh... no thanks.  So my seat is in the left hallway, then?  Cheers.”

After I left the museum I decided to head back to Coventry Gardens to get some paella because I had seen them making it yesterday in these giant steamy pans and it looked really good.  I paid 6 pounds for a medium because everyone else I had seen were getting smalls and mediums, but yeah, it's still pretty small compared to an American portion so I was still a bit hungry afterwards.  So I headed to Leicester Square to get some homemade ice cream.  And then I got kind of bored because it was still sunny outside, but all the places to visit outside of bars and restaurants were already closed.  And this being a solo trip, those kind of places open at night are not going to be that appealing.  I half-thought about going to see a movie just to spend another relaxing evening doing normal city stuff, but nothing was that interesting for me to go out of my way to pay extra money for.  So I decided to head back to my hotel (after visiting the Starbucks across the street) and just rest up for tomorrow.

Tomorrow is my last full day in London.  I think I might hit some of the smaller museums, maybe finally do the big red double-decker bus tour even though I've gone to all the tourist locations already.  Maybe I'll finally hit one of the top recommended pubs for some fine pub-dining.  I don't think I am going to buy any souvenirs here on account of my limited luggage, so sorry folks no stuffed teddy bears dressed up like Buckingham Palace guards for you!  I feel like I crammed so much into my first few days here, so now I'm sort of recovering and not sure what else is a must-do activity in London.  On Saturday I am flying to Reykjavik, Iceland, so I need to start planning my itinerary for that and also start reading my Icelandic language book as well.

Comments

1

Cool photo

  Louise Jun 17, 2011 7:51 AM

2

That photo looks like you photoshopped 2 buildings into 1 picture. Its trippin me out.

  Huy Jun 17, 2011 11:30 PM

3

I hope you did the double-decker, its cheesy, but its really the best way to see all of london's distinct neighborhoods and get a feel for it on a larger scale :)

  Michael Jun 18, 2011 3:21 AM

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