Sunday, January 29, 2012

British Museum and British Library

Continuing our adventures from Wednesday the 21st, we left Buckingham Palace and took a taxi to the British Museum.  The only reason we took a taxi was because Frankie wanted to.  He said that being in London meant that we had to take a ride in one of the black London cabs at least once.

We arrived at the British Museum and headed in.  One of the nice things is the fact that it is FREE! I love that!  There is so much to see here too.  The age of the relics in the British Museum is astounding!  It is hard to even wrap my mind around the age of  some of the pieces.  Let me share some of the things we saw while there.

British Museum
The entrance to the British Museum is rather plain considering how much stuff it has from all over the world!

Great Court
Great Court with its glass covered ceiling.
Lion of Knidos
Lion of Knidos (modern day Turkey) from either  170's AD or 390's AD
Rosetta Stone
THE Rosetta Stone- Three different language saying the same thing.
This allowed Egyptian hieroglyphics to be understood for the first time in the modern world.
Statue of Ramesses II - Ruler of Egypt starting in 1279 BC and ruled for 67 years
Giant Egyptian scarab from what is now modern Turkey from around 330 BC
Winged Lions
Winged Lions from the North-West Palace of Ashurnasirpal II about 883-859 BC
Dancing Woman
Ancient Greek or Roman Woman that was beside....
Drawing Statue
....this other statue.  The lady was sketching this one.  Want to see what she had drawn?
The Drawing
Er....I don't see you?  I stood over this poor lady's shoulder to get this picture.  She had no clue I was there!
Gun Show
I have no idea what this one is called. I could look it up or I could tell you my title.
You are getting mine!  I call this, "Welcome to the gun show"!
Horse Head
We must have been getting hungry because we started to get silly.  Zoom in and you can read the
real description or you can go with Frankie's which was the bloody horse head from the Godfather.
Frankie Giving a Look
Show down at the British Museum.  Yep, hunger had really set in.
Wing Head
I wish I could give you more detail on this besides the fact that I liked it.
The museum is huge and winding and full of articles.
 I tried to retrace our steps using the British Museum website,
but with  my limited knowledge it was hopeless.
Molossian Hound
Molossian Hound - The Mastiff is a descendant of this breed.
Hound Head
But really, all I saw was a puppy (all things cute are called puppies in my world)!
Awwwh!!  He looks so happy!
Man and Wife
Together for eternity....double awh!
Temporarily Removed
Drat!  That was the one thing I really wanted to see!
The Gneiss sphinx of Ammenemes IV...didn't you want to see it too?
Granite Lion
I took this one because this is the face my cat makes when I scratch him under his chin.  So cute!  
Very very interesting or very very scary....I can't decide.
Baby Rattle
It is amazing that this baby rattle has survived as long as it has.  I am sure that
babies threw things like they do today back in the 3rd and 2nd century BC!
Baby Feeder
And then they used it as a neti pot....
Boxing Vase
The guy with the big butt on the right got a good punch in on the guy on the left.  Look at the blood!
I did find out that this was from around 520-510 BC by the Nikosthenes painter from Greece.

Acrobatic Statue
Umm...yeah.  This one I was able to capture the description...thankfully.
It is Roman statue of an African acrobat on a crocodile from the 1st century BC
or 1st century AD. That time period where it went from BC to AD had to
be a very confusing time...just look at the art it produced!

  Yours for 1650 Pounds
Remeber the Godfather horse head?  You can have your very own replica for only 1650 pounds ($2595)!  I think
that is a bargain! Seriously, they had this for sale in the gift shop and I wasn't the only one who took a picture!
After all the excitement and giddiness at the British Museum we left to find something to eat.

Onion Restuarant

I think the London city air did something to my brain.  I ate a place called Onion.  I HATE onions and avoid them at all cost!  But let me tell you what, it was a nice sandwich shop!  Not sure why they would call themselves something so disgusting, but they made up for it with some good food and the fact that they served Lavazza coffee (Italy's #1 one brand of coffee)!

Tuna Cibatta
Tuna Melt on Ciabatta Bread
Lavazza Latte
Caffe latte made with Lavazza
With our bodies nourished and the giddiness wearing off, we took a bus to the British Library. When the bus pulled up we saw the coolest gate leading into the library's outside courtyard.  I want a courtyard at my house like they have at Middle Eastern houses.  I love those! Ok, back to the library.

British Library

Using a Compass
Eduardo Paolozzi's rendition of a print by William Blake titled Newton.
The sculpture and the print illustrate how Isaac Newton's equations changed
our view of the world to being one determined by mathematical laws.  I heart Newton!

Book Bench
Seen in the library foyer. It's a book.  It's a bench.  It's a book bench!  Awesome!
I couldn't take very many picture inside the library, at least not of any of the cool stuff that I wanted to take pictures of that is.  So let me give you are run down of the magical things we saw.

We saw original works of literature, musical scores, and lyrics written in their own handwriting by George Frideric Handel, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, The Beatles, Jane Austin, Leonardo Di Vinci, Lewis Carroll, Charlotte Bronte, Sylvia Plath and Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbery Tales. If you would like to see some of these online, follow this link to the library's Turning the Pages system.  We also saw the original Magna Carta and some of the earliest Bibles.  You can see more about the Magna Carta and other artifacts from the library's Treasures in Full link.  It was an amazing place!

We saw a lot of history today and not just London history!  We called it a day and headed back towards the hotel.  I wanted to eat supper at the Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese Pub because of the history of it and it was close to the hotel.  Plus, having the word "cheese" in the name didn't hurt!

Cheshire Cheese

There had been a pub on this site since 1538!  Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese was destroyed in the great fire of 1666, but was rebuilt by the next year.

Cheshire Cheese Years
This is the list of all the Kings and Queens that have ruled since the rebuilding of the pub!
We tried to go in but it was packed.  I am not a fan of large crowds so we backed out to find somewhere else.  I am glad my husband understands my strangeness and doesn't try to fight me on them! 

We went to Itsu- a healthy Asain inspired restaurant instead. I had the superbowl which had spinach, French beans, mushrooms, peppers, bean sprouts, carrots, leeks, tofu, cashew nuts, seedweed, and brown rice, in a fragrant Thai sauce and a cup of cold thai basil lemonade. It was so yummy!  AND I even ate it with the chopsticks!  That was the first time I was able to do that.  I felt so worldly! 

Wait, not worldly in the sense of sex, drugs, and rock and roll!! But more like....well...I can't think of the word!  So let me do this...  I felt so cultured!

Frankie ordered some sushi and prawn potsu (whatever that is) which had prawns (shrimp), seven vegetables, a free range egg, and udon noodles in a broth.  He didn't really care for it.  I think that it might have been because the noodles where much thicker than we are use to and it turned him off from it.

Basil Lemonade and Super Bowl
My yummy meal!
Sushi at Itsu
Frankie's sushi.  Do you see the tiny little bottle of soy sauce?  So cute!  He said these were good.
Prawn Potsu
Frankie's Prawn Potsu
Now that we were full of history, culture and food; we called it a day.  The next blog post in this series will be our visits to St. Paul's Cathedral and Wimbledon Tennis Museum.  Stay tuned!  :)