Our third day in London and we walked our way through a range of quintessentially English experiences. Our first task after breakfast was to head to the Globe and see if we might be able to secure some last minute seats to a show – no one in the family is particularly a Shakespeare fan, but we did think seeing a live performance at the home of the Bard might tweak some latent passion. Unfortunately, it is the last week of the season and every single show was fully booked – including the standing-room-only stalls . On the way, we walked past a typically English pub, but we currently have a sensitive spot when it comes to English pubs and late-night music so we just snapped a quick pic and kept on walking. By the way, our hostel pub last night was not exactly “tranquil Tuesday”, but we all managed a reasonable night’s sleep with the aid of ear plugs.
On the walk across town to the British Museum, we encountered dozens of the unmistakable red telephone boxes and this cluster of five was particularly unusual, yet oh so English! There were also black cabs everywhere!
The British Museum was our main objective for the day – an impressive-looking building from the outside, but even more impressive from the inside with its light and lofty atrium providing access to its numerous just-as-impressive display halls. We could easily have spent a couple of days here, and while the artefacts we were looking at were clearly not entirely English, the children did particularly enjoy the Roman England gallery, which had a table staffed by a knowledgeable and engaging lady who gave them a range of relics to hold and ask questions about, and helped them understand the significance of the displays and where they fit in historically. After everyone’s interest being piqued from the Egyptian display at the Louvre, finding the Rosetta Stone was particularly relevant and informative….and we even discovered we were not mummy-ed out and spent quite some time gawking awestruck at these ancient men, women, cats, crocodile, baboon, birds and their cases. The African display was also fascinating, notably the brass plaque castings from 16th century Benin, Nigeria – and a range of masks and savage-looking knives that the younger boys were especially impressed by.
The European clock display was very different to anything we have previously seen and captured the interest of even the smallest in the family (although MamaBear did exit this display to the next display hall VERY quickly ).
We pulled ourselves away from the British Museum at 3pm in order to make our way to St Pauls for their Evensong service. We had hoped to be able to look around the cathedral before the service at 5pm, but for some reason the cathedral was closed for sightseeing from 3pm just today! Thankfully we were in time to queue for the service, and in fact we decided sitting through the one hour Evensong service was perhaps the ideal way to experience St Paul’s – from the impressive organ to the clear soprano choir-boys singing to the string orchestra.
All this did mean we were running later than normal, so dinner was agreed upon as another typically English affair – fish and chips! Fish and chips is one of those meals that has every potential to disappoint, but we are happy to report that the meal was exquisite and we drowned every last chip in gallons of vinegar! A great end to a great day in London.
Tags: 2012, postcard: England