The British Museum and “Billy Elliot” – only two events, but making for a full day.
While Gerry wrapped up at APPEX this morning, I headed off to the museum. We made plans to meet at the information kiosk in the early afternoon, so following the self-led tour described in Rick Steves’ book, I wandered solo through Egyptian and Assyrian history: saw the actual Rosetta Stone, learned more about the veneration of cats in ancient Egypt [ : ) ], and was almost crushed by English school groups in the Mummy Room – it seems elementary and middle school students are intrigued by mummies.
A mid-morning docent-led tour through the religious history of England
and an early afternoon gallery lecture on the Roman mosaics of Carthage provided variety and interest. I actually “took tea” (with a raisin scone with butter and jam – nice!) and found it remarkably rejuvenating.
Greek history and the Elgin marbles had to wait for Gerry’s arrival; we wanted to actually see the antiquities we’d only heard about while in Greece in January. The final docent tour of the day led us through some Assyrian palace reliefs depicting lots of lion hunting and slave conquering. As both of us were beginning to flag, a stately tour of the English Exhibition Hall was just the antidote; the library-like surroundings and tasteful displays were just what we needed.
Tomorrow, our last day in London, is set aside for Gerry’s choices: the Natural History Museum’s gem and mineral display and the English War Museum. We’re aiming for Evensong at Westminster Abbey to round out the day.