We took the train to London on Sunday, with the idea that we would start by going to the British Museum first, and then just wing it.
The train was fast and comfortable, a great way to travel, I wish it were cheeper!
We came in at Kings Cross, and decided to walk to the British Museum. We got to see a bit of London on the way. Alex took photos. (I know, I know, I took photos too, but with three cameras, he takes way more than I do.)
This is in Russell Square.
One of the things that struck us right away was the new scheme for renting bikes in London.
These stands are everywhere! The system has only been working for a few months, and on a Sunday it was hard to see how much use it gets, but I love the idea. The rental rate is cheep, free for members for the first 30 minutes, for example. There is a lot of winging online about how much this cost the taxpayers to set up, and what a silly idea it is, but honestly, I think it is brilliant, and I hope it works.
The British Museum and BBC Radio 4 have teamed up for a radio show/book/exhibit telling the story of the history of the world in 100 objects. Rather than gathering the objects together, however, they are spread out all over the museum, in the places they would normally be. There is a leaflet to tell you where they all are, and they each have a new explanation. The book is HUGE, and costs a lot, so I didn't get it, but the radio shows, which were on last year, can all be downloaded as podcasts. It is an interesting idea, I wonder if students would pick similar objects if set the exercise in a world history class?
I love wandering up to a case and finding something I have read about hundreds of times, but never actually seen. This is the Wedgewood Anti-Slavery Society plaque. Thousands were sold.
Here I am with a large statue of Sekhmet. We noticed much more of the Egyptian collection having just finished reading Rick Riordan's Red Pyramid to the children.
Cleopatria's Needle is also an important part of the Red Pyramid, and we stumbled on it without really meaning to as we walked around.
One of the great things about London is the layers of history. This is an ancient monument, given to Britain as part of empire and war, and it shows damage to the base from bombs dropped by the Germans in the Battle of Britain.
Panorama (thanks Photoshop!)
The light was really beautiful.
We couldn't resist the Future photo with Alex, especially because it was at the Korean Cultural Center.
In Trafalgar Square we noticed a new item, or at least we were sure we had never seen it. It is called "Nelson's Ship in a Bottle" by Yinka Shonibare. I read about it today, and it is new. The idea is to rotate what goes on this "Fourth Plinth" which stood empty for a long time.
We went into the National Gallery for a little while, and when we came out it was dark.
We took the tube back to Kings Cross and caught a rather crowded train back to Cambridge. A good day out.