Museums museums museums...

Trip Start May 30, 2008
Trip End Nov 02, 2008

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Where I stayed
Ange's place in Shepherds Bush

Flag of United Kingdom  ,
Thursday, June 5, 2008

Jumped onto the train to London yesterday, appropriately listening to the Clash on my Ipod. As much as I love staying with Mazza and Steve in Cuffley, I started getting very excited as the train approached Covent Garden station. I came out in the drizzling rain and was immediately asked by three different people for directions - so I'm obviously fitting in and looking like a local. Wandered about a bit drinking a pathetically crap coffee (shocking, shocking coffee here), and then made my way to the British Museum.
Can I just say, wow! As most of you know, I'm a bit of an Ancient Egypt nut and since half the stuff from excavations in Egypt were nicked by the Brits who refuse to give it back, their collection is amazing. Seeing the other halves of statues that I admired in-situ in Karnak, Thebes and Cairo was quite a trip, and felt a bit like coming to visit old friends. So after hanging with my homies Akenaten, Ramses II, and Thumoses III, I moved onto the ancient Greek and Roman sections, then wandered around a really cool exhibition on 20th century American prints.
After a bite to eat, I jumped onto the Tube (possibly the easiest, quickest and bestest public transport system that I've ever encountered) to the Science Museum. My inner nerd immediately went into over-drive and I spent hours losing myself in the science-ness. The first few floors were very kid orientated, with lots of lasers, flashing lights and shiny things. Ended up pushing small children out of the way to have a go at the various interactive machines which were there.
Then I found some really cool stuff on the top levels. Well, when I say it wrong for a 23 year old to get so excited about a 'history of mathematics' exhibition? I was there for ages, oohing and ahhing over tessellations, slide rules and mobius strips. Then onto a history of medicine exhibition, which was actually a bit creepy. Life size dummies were positioned behind glass windows, acting out scenes from medicine throughout the ages. The lighting was dark and I was the only one in there - so I actually freaked myself out and had to leave early in case the dummies all came to life and chased me.
Met up with Ange Garner at Hammersmith and she took me down to a lovely pub on the Thames for my first pint in England. She also introduced me to cider, which is delicious but, I'm sure, deadly, as you can't taste the alcohol. Then we caught a double decker bus to Fullum for 5 all you can eat pizza.
We caught the tube to St Pauls in the morning and walked over the Millenium bridge to the Tate Modern. I was really impressed by the collection of contemporary art. I'm not really an art person, but found the way the gallery was set up and the way the information was presented kept me interested for hours. I particularly liked the pop art of Andy Warhol and was suitably awed by Monet's Waterlillies, and the few Picassos which were there too.
Tubed it to Kings Cross and attempted to join the British Library (for a laugh). Turns out you need to provide them with a reading list of particular books you require for your studies before they'll let you join, so I backed out and ran away. But the library was very impressive.
Farewelled Ange, and headed back to Cuffley (after a 20 fine for having the wrong ticket, gah!). Spent the evening with Lauren and James at the Coach and Horses, drinking pints of bitter and cider, chatting and generally having a great time.
Overall, my little London jaunt was really really lovely. The weather's clearing up, my jetlag's over, and I've arranged to meet with a few old friends in the next week or so. Bring on Stonehenge and Bath tomorrow!
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timrie on

london eye
Make sure you go on the London Eye!
such fun

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