Posts Tagged ‘Book of the Dead’

This morning, our group separated, so everyone could choose an option that they were most interested in seeing: a group went to the National Portrait Gallery, another to the Imperial War Museum, and a third to the British Museum. The gallery is housed in a building dating from the 1800s, and is was originally intended as a historical feature rather than an artistic one. However, your narrator explored the British Museum–home of the Rosetta Stone, the Elgin Marbles (originally from the Acropolis complex in Greece, mainly the Parthenon), many mummies and ancient Egyptian artifacts (including The Book of the Dead), and countless other cultural treasures from around the world (ancient samurai swords from Japan, huge amounts of Greek and Roman artifacts, the library of George III, and a temporary exhibit focusing on the history of horses through the ages via artwork).  As we discovered, the museum requires at least two days to see properly–the sheer volume of artifacts on display is overwhelming. After doing our best to see the exhibits which interested us the most (and vowing to come back and devote the appropriate amount of time), we headed off to lunch and to meet back with the others for a tour of London on a double-decker bus.

The bus tour was valuable as a quick overview of the main historic district of downtown London. We passed the Albert Memorial and the Royal Albert Hall, both commissioned by Queen Victoria after her consort Prince Albert died of typhoid in 1861. We also saw the Natural History Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum, and stopped near Westminster Abbey to briefly wander around Parliament Square and see Big Ben nearby.

After the bus tour was over, everyone had some free time before dinner. After the meal, the Jubilee concert was to take place, including performers such as Stevie Wonder, Elton John, and Paul McCartney, and a speech by Prince Charles.  Since getting anywhere near the actual concert (held at Buckingham Palace) was impossible, some chose to brave the crowds in Hyde Park to watch it on a jumbo screen, and others opted to watch it on television from the hotel or a nearby pub.

Group at the Imperial War Museum
photo by Tim MacDonald

 

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