Our last day in London – we leave early tomorrow for Brussels on the train through the Chunnel. Our hotel is quite close to the British Library and the British Museum, so those are our destinations for the day.
We’ve kind of checked out the area, remembered to use our Google Maps while we still had wifi in the hotel, and ALSO asked directions. Surely we couldn’t get lost after all that, could we? Well, we did, but like so many of the other times we were lost we came across some little gems that we otherwise would’ve missed. Getting lost isn’t so bad IF you have time to be found again!
One of our lucky finds was a community space. Apparently, there were plans to erect a huge office building in a vacant lot, but the community rallied together and convinced the powers that be that the space should be kept for the residents. They’ve transformed the lot into a wonderful area with walkways, streams, and a play space for children. There are community garden boxes, a composting area to make the gardens completely self-sustainable, and a little cafe where some of the produce grown in the garden is transformed into goodies for sale. It was completely charming and a peaceful break along our way. (There a lot more really cool things than just the benches seen below, but my photography skills didn’t allow for any great pics!)
We found our way to the library and were wowed by the outside first of all, and then equally wowed by what was inside.
“Spanning nearly 3,000 years, the British Library’s collection exceeds 150 million items representing every age of written civilisation. It includes books, journals, manuscripts, maps, stamps, music, patents, photographs, newspapers and sound recordings in all written and spoken languages.”
The library has …”some of the most fascinating and treasured objects in the world. From beautiful illuminated manuscripts like the Lindisfarne Gospels to the world’s earliest dated printed book and world-renowned items such as Magna Carta and Shakespeare’s First Folio.” https://www.bl.uk/highlights
Shawn and I didn’t have near enough time to visit more than just a small sliver of the many treasures in the library, but they included the Magna Carta, ancient maps, one of the first Gutenberg bibles, lyrics by the Beatles, and many classical musicians, letters from royalty like Queen Victoria and Elizabeth I, and what seemed like a gazillion other items that boggled the mind. It was mind-blowing to imagine the actual living people creating these documents hundreds of years ago.
As for the British Museum…. wowzie, wow, wow, WOW! Again, we only had a fraction of the time needed to even see one section let alone the whole thing. THAT would take days and days! We aimed for the Rosetta Stone and the section on the early, early history of what is now Britain. SO interesting! And SO many people!!!!! Aaaaaaahhhhhhhh! Let me out of here!
But, really…. what did we expect? It’s free. It’s one of the largest museums in the world, and we went on a Sunday afternoon…. DUH! What were we thinking?
We actually had to leave the Egyptian exhibit as it was just too hot and too crowded. Any interest I had, left quite quickly after about 15 minutes in there. Anyway… why look at an Egyptian exhibit in London, England, when we’ll be going to the origin in less about two weeks!?
Mummy, I can’t wait to see you again!
All in all, London was a blast. We walked for MILES, and saw so much. There is, though, SO much more to see. As Vera Lynn would sing, “We’ll meet again, don’t know where, don’t know when, but I know we’ll meet again some sunny day!”