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28 January 2013 @ 09:49 pm
London!  
Ted and I went to London last weekend to visit bryant and michele_bluewho were visiting. We flew in Saturday morning, and I had a Clever Plan, darnit. My clever plan was that I'd printed out instructions for the one-shot Tube trip to our hotel, because Ted gets notoriously stressy when he's in a new city and doesn't know exactly where he is or where he's going. Turns out that it's only the first time in a city that he's stressy, and this was his second time in London, so my clever plan was less necessary than I imagined. Good thing, too, because they were doing work on the Picadilly line and my best-laid plans etc etc etc. Ted said *I* seemed stressed over it, which wasn't exactly true. I was piqued. It had been a good plan!



So the first time Ted and I went to London together, we went in the back entrance of the British Museum. We didn't know we were going in the back. We spent about four hours there, tromping through exhibit after exhibit and growing more and more exhausted and never finding the Rosetta Stone. Finally, we went around a corner into yet another display of Egyptian artifacts, stared at it numbly, then turned around and worked our way back the way we'd come, too tired to go any farther.

Turns out that last display room was in fact basically the first room if you come in the front door, and we had been within a hundred meters of the Rosetta Stone without ever knowing it.

This time, we went in the front door. Which we first stopped to admire:

The British Museum


It's a good front door. Imposing, and things. And then you walk inside to great and tremendous beauty, because the foyer area is stunning and airy and light, even on a dismay grey snowy day, and you are greeted by creatures like this:

British Museum Lion


It took us a remarkably long time to get past that fellow and into the first exhibition room, where we found what we sought:

The Rosetta Stone


It's not a great picture, but it's hard to get a good one, especially since there are constantly at least fifteen people jockeying for position in front of it. Many of them apparently didn't know what the Rosetta Stone was, which does my head in. But wow, the inscriptions are so tiny, so delicate. The craftsmanship blows my mind. And I kinda like that my reflection is faintly visible in the photo. :)

I took a lot of pictures. Most of them weren't very good, but a few were good enough or of subject matter I liked enough to post anyway:

Horus   British Museum statue

The Infamous Crystal Skull   Easter Island head


I think we spent a couple hours there without going past the exhibitions off the main foyer. Most astonishingly, that wasn't even too bad, because that stuff alone was just wonderful. Then we took ourselves back to the hotel room, where I--being made of stern stuff, you understand--took a nap until I had to get up to go to dinner.

Which was at a Moroccan restaurant called Souk Medina, and which was very, very good (aside from the fact that our host spoke directly to Ted every time he approached us, rather than to both of us or to me. He did, however, at least respond to me when I spoke to him). We ordered the non-vegetarian appetizer and two mains, but the host pursed his lips and said, "I will put the order for the mains in after you have had your appetizer," and we were all like "ooh la la!" but he was right. *laughs* We ended up sharing a main between us, and that was quite sufficient. And left us room for dessert, which was worth having.

Then we went to see Phantom! I've seen it before (possibly as many as five times, if you count the 1925 and 2004 films), but Ted hadn't (at least not on stage), and we got quite terrific seats, 10th row stalls. Slightly too far to house left; some of the view was blocked, but very little, so we were quite happy. And knowing Ted, I caught some of his reactions and could tell exactly what had triggered them (he was Displeased with the cacophany of "Prima Donna", for example, and startled out of his skin a couple of times in the sewers scenes). He preferred the ambiguity of the Phantom's character and story in the 2004 film, but vastly preferred the staged version of Raul. So it was a good production, and to my relief, the audience didn't feel compelled to offer a standing ovation, which they often do even if I don't think it's worth it. I'm glad we went to see it.

And now it's past my bedtime so I'll write more about Sunday in London later. :)
 
 
 
kitmizkit on January 29th, 2013 09:19 am (UTC)
You could go to London for a week and do nothing but visit the British Museum and not feel you'd wasted a minute of your time. :)