Saturday, August 04, 2007

London Day Two!

We had quite a day yesterday. We began early, out in the crisp morning sunshine to wander about without crowds.

(Sorry for the sideways pictures- Kate's computer is doing something strange and she can't turn them. {take that Mac fans!}) Here's Kate in front of our little hotel. Situated on a quiet side street near Victoria Station, we are a quick walk to several forms of cheap transportation, most notably the tube. We are becoming quite proficient running around beneath London from one station to the next!
Leicester Square in the morning sunlight, very different from the nighttime when it's packed with people out for an evening of fun! It is here we purchased half-price tickets for our evening's entertainment, The Reduced Shakespeare Company doing the Complete Works of William Shakespeare in 97 minutes... Whew!

After we bought our tickets we headed, via tube, for the British Library, home to a collection of manuscripts and printed material to give one goosebumps. From a Gutenberg Bible to the Magna Carta, we were ready to be amazed. Upon arrival we learned that there is a special exhibit , called Sacred, that was also free for viewing. It's billed as "the world's greatest collection of Jewish, Christian and Muslim holy books. The atmosphere was very reverent and many people were quietly going from one display to the next as we made our way in. Suddenly, out of nowhere, Kate is grabbed by Raquel Garcia- friend from Florida!!! She and her whole family are in London for a couple of days dropping her sister off for school, and they "happened" to be in the same one of hundreds of museums as we! Raquel's Mom, Iara, had been in Bible study with me for a while in our church in Florida, so how appropriate that we meet in a room full of sacred literature.

From a piece of the Dead Sea Scrolls to the Lindisfarne Gospels to the Codex Sinaticus (the earliest complete new testament) to one of only three surviving copies of William Tyndale's New Testament in English, we were awed at the beauty and care and protection of God's word through the centuries. These and many others were on display along with Torahs and Qu'rans from many ages past; some simply hand written (actually not a simple task at all) and some painstakingly illuminated with glorious illustrations which demonstrated the devotion of the artists for the texts under their care.

So once we all finished with the Library (could one ever really finish...?) we headed out together for our separately chosen yet common destination, The British Museum!

But first- Pup Grub! We enjoyed a relaxing meal of "fish and chips" on a side street near the Museum. While eating, a Chinese couple and their son (maybe 10 years old) sat next to us. After looking over the menu for a bit, they had their son ask me if the fish and chips he'd identified on the menu was what we were eating- because it was what they wanted! Then they had him order their meal as well, too cute. We've seen tourists from across the entire globe here, in groups (ugh) or just families, people love this town.

There also happens to be a giant gathering of Boy Scouts from around the world here as well. Apparently it's the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Scouts and there's a jubilee jamboree happening! So many variations of uniform colors, but they are all recognizable, weather we see them on the tube or at an attraction, they are hard to miss!

So on to the museum...

The Rosetta Stone!
Great big Statue guys with wings. (I really hope I'm not offending anybody)

Alabaster perfume jars from Corinth.
Parts of the Parthenon.
Alexander the Great.
Little Egyptian kitty god- now that's living, right Milo and Emmi?!
And now for dying- mummified cats... ooh, ick.
A little bitty teeny weeny intricate carving from Ur- the city out of which God called Abram...
Clay pots from Nineva.

This lady is replacing the discus thrower who usually occupies this pedestal, but is currently on it's way to China for a temporary exhibit there. Bummer for our Chinese friends who came all this way to see him... We asked one of the museum staff if they ever put ferns in her hat or anything else decorative. Not to his knowledge, but he came up with some other ideas to ornament her headdress- how about a fountain?
Okay, after hours gazing at antiquities and treasure of the past I was feeling a bit giddy,... Actually I felt like how this guy looks.
We lost the Garcias in the British Museum, but our visit was precious while it lasted. After we dragged ourselves back to the hotel, via several tube changes, we cleaned up and headed back out for dinner and a show. Dinner was cheap and quick and the show was funny. Though we have memorized our dvd version, the newer guys performing have added their own twists to the script and we did enjoy the surprises.

Day three will be posted shortly, but with fewer photos- they take forever to load and I'm exhausted!

1 comment:

avalarue said...

Uncle Graham would have loved your stops today! He and Papaw had a grand time at the British Museum. I love all your little "side-lights" - just a bit apart from the usual touristy stuff!