Before we went our separate ways by train and plane back to our uni’s, we had a few hours left to enjoy some more culture.  Because we are cultured.

And very mature.  Yes, we are very mature.  She’s just washing dirt off her boots, not playing in the fountain.  Really.

Okay, maybe playing a little bit in the fountain, but it was the kind of fountain that asked for it.

We were on our way to the British Museum, where, I had been assured, I would find everything.

Watch out!  They’re out of control!  We cannot vouch for your safety in this area!

The British Museum is very grand.

And now for some more explanation of artefacts.

I thought this one was cool because it is a ram (or a goat maybe) caught in a bush.  It is from Ur.

If you know your Bible stories, you will remember a certain character from Ur who later comes in contact with a ram caught in a bush.

Obviously this is not directly related, but it did make me think of that story.

It’s from 2500 BC, so kind of old, too.

And here’s a game that Abraham might have played in his spare time!  It was considered the Royal Game of Ur and was played all over the ancient Near East for thousands of years.

Must have been a good game…

This terracota prism was found in Ninevah and contains records of the reign of an Assyrian king.  Among the things written on it is mention of tribute paid by King Hezekiah of Judah in 701 BC.

And this one was just pretty.

Excellent shield, but I still don’t understand the appeal of the helmets.  They look so silly.

The plaque said the design would help deflect arrows.

I still do not understand.

Some big, impressive stuff…

This inscription records King Artaxerxes III’s rebuilding of a staircase in the Palace of Darius.  I just find it so very interesting when names from the Bible pop up in these amazing artefacts.  It makes the history of it so much more tangible.

A gold cape that was undoubtedly extremely uncomfortable… It’s from Wales!  (We moved on to a new culture, by the way)

Very old and pretty weaponry from the British Isles.

Torcs!  This is all from what is called the Snettisham Treasure found near Norfolk.  Buried around 100BC.  Someone was going to the Otherworld with some series shiny.

Beautiful mosaics from a Roman occupant of Britain in the first century AD, London.  They found it under the Bank of England in London. 

This reminded me of the good old days studying Greek tragedies.  It’s the Maenads and the god Pan.

Painted walls from a Roman villa in Britain (300’s AD)  I liked the Chi-Rho monogram.

This was a very disturbing moment for Nap.  We found Napoleon Bonaparte’s death mask.  Nap is not happy.  It does not fit at all.

This poser Napoleon was not nearly as impressive as Nap.  And he is much tinier too.  Nap is somewhat relieved.

Pretty diamond tiara!

Most excellent dishes.

Another tiara.  I like this one a lot!

Random shots of a room full of beautiful things.  There were so many rooms… so many beautiful things!

Big Aslan and three little Aslans…

And pretty mosaics with turquoise in them! Yay!

Enamel cameos.  They put them on everything.  This one is from Vienna.

Oh look, what a surprise!  It’s George killing the dragon again.  They can’t give him a rest, can they?

Our good friend Will Shakespeare!  Terracotta  bust done in the 1700’s by a French sculptor named Roubilac.

Brilliant Collar of the Order of the Knights of the Garter.

With George slaying a dragon.

Because they have no imagination.

Bah!

I liked this little poem on the pot:

“When I was in my native place, I was a lump of clay, and diged was out of the Earth and Brought from thence away, but now I am a Jugg become, by Potter’s Art and Skiel, and now your servant am Become, and Carry all I will.”

That is seriously dramatic for a pot.

Egyptian room!

Egyptian guy being awesome and killing a monster, maybe?

Asian room!   The fat one looks jolly, I suppose…

These two statues represent the Judges of Hell.  The one on the left is holding all the good deeds and the one on the right is holding the scrolls filled with all the bad deeds.

I am so glad that these guys will not meet me when I die.

Creepy, creepy, creepy, and more creepy!

I like this one.  It’s a dancing man standing on a three legged frog!

The guy on the frog is Liu Hui, associated with wealth.  The three legged toad has to do with immortality.

Don’t ask me how.

Beautiful miniature temple.

The doors to a Balinese palace.  We can only hope that they have new doors now.  Otherwise, this would be kind of mean…

Spotted this amazing library (an ode to enlightenment, I believe) on our way out.

This is what our uni’s library should look like, but doesn’t.

Athena.

Books, books, books! So many books!

We thought we were leaving, but then I saw this sign in a room off to the side near the entrance. 

See, earlier, I had been quite devastated because the room that was supposed to be filled with the Celtic related stuff was empty and we didn’t know why.

But then I found this room and I felt a little better.

This helmet ends up on the front of half the books on Celtic history/mythology.  It’s quite famous.  And now I have seen it.  I am pleased.

Brooches and pins and beautiful jewelry.  The plaque said that the style was distinctively Irish, but influenced by the Vikings who started showing up and doing their usual pillaging and whatnot.

This room was definitely worth the detour.  So much shiny!

And a Christmas tree as we left.  It seems a little… hairy?

Aslan says goodbye.

The outside of the museum.

We were walking back to the tube when I realized that now I had an opportunity to do something I’d been meaning to do for a while – get a picture inside one of the iconic red phone booths.

But they are very dirty.

And they smell weird.

And there are germs.

But I was determined.  So I did it.

I spent about five seconds in there though.

And never again.

Because it was that gross.

Back at the Victoria and Albert Museum for a bit because there was so much left to see.  And we definitely didn’t see nearly all of it by the time we went through.

A beautiful harpsichord made for the Strozzi family in the 1500’s.  There was a covering over the keys, so I guess they frowned upon visitors attempting to play it…

A tapestry depicting the Battle of Roncevaux when Roland fought King Marsile (the story is in the Song of Roland).

A jousting tournament!

Made with wool and bits of silk to achieve a really soft, rich texture. Much cheaper to make that way, but the product was much more valuable.

Beautiful books!  These are printed, not hand written, but still lovely.  All books should look this way, I think.

The funny hanging sculpture thing from up above.  Still looks like a mutant party decoration.

The only remotely Celtic looking thing I saw here… A wellhead and a cross from around the 800’s.

The plaque mentioned that freestanding crosses were a unique phenomenon of the British Isles and Ireland.

A chunk of wall and window…

This is a model of the tabernacle, which emphasizes Christ’s redemption of mankind and fulfillment of the Old Testament.

From the 1180’s, probably used to hold the bread for Mass.

This is called the Becket Casket because it portrays the murder of Thomas Becket.  It was commissioned just ten years after Becket was killed.

At last, we had to leave, go back to our hotel, grab our suitcases, run back to the tube, and part ways to make our flights and trains for the trip home.
I was every so lucky to arrive at the train station early, only to find out that every single train was delayed by about two hours.  It was insanely crowded, so I huddled up in a corner and waited for my train.  I have never been so happy for the arrival of a train.
All in all, London was a marvelous adventure.  And clearly I took a lot of pictures…
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