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Travelog – Saturday, 3 March

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Saturday was our last full day in England.  Having been there twice before, I didn't feel the need to see a lot of the same old sights again.  Jon, being the history buff that he is, suggested we visit the British Museum.  In a word, it was awesome.  I don't think we saw half of the stuff in there.  We visited the Egypt and Ancient Near East exhibits, then moved on to Greece and Rome.

The visit is best illustrated through Flickr, where you can see the magnitude of the collections they have at the museum:

The actual Rosetta Stone

Many colossal statues in the Egypt wing

Lely's Venus

Frieze from the Parthenon

Somewhere among the world treasures I had another small breakdown, brought on by fatigue (still jet-lagged, remember) and Jon (lovingly) mocking my heritage – the Levantine sculptures were among the oldest, and thus the ugliest, sculptures we saw.  I recovered quickly, and we continued on our way.

We decided to walk to Covent Garden, which wasn't far.  It also was much more crowded, and less impressive, than I remember from my previous trip (note to self: don't spend time visiting things you've already seen; they will always lose their luster).  They did have a Punch and Judy show going on though, which was kinda cool.  On the way, we walked down Drury Lane (do you know the Muffin Man?).  We had some mediterranean food, and kept walking until we reached an Underground station.  It was crowded beyond belief.

The next stop was Parliament Square.  It was about 4:30 in the afternoon by this time, so everything was closing, but we did get some fantastic pictures of Big Ben and the surrounding buildings:

Big Ben

We walked around Westminster Abbey and the buildings of Parliament, then into the Victoria Tower Gardens where we got a great view of the River Thames.

The London Eye

After all this walking, we were quite tired, and got back on the Underground (more London transportation shenanigans!).  We had to transfer once to get on a line that went to Kensington, but a train never came.  There were announcements saying something to the effect that there was a malfunction, and we could wait for a train, or we could get home some other way.  We waited for about 20 minutes, then decided to start walking.

We started walking in the general direction of where we needed to go.  Along the way, for at least a mile, every bus stop was full of people waiting to get on – this wasn't just the one station shut down.  That weekend, two of the main lines through Westminster were under repair, and the line that was malfunctioning happened to be the line most people were using to get around the construction.  We kept walking.

Having started on this walk already tired from a day of walking, by the time we made it back to the hotel, we were exhausted.  We took a nap, planning to hit a local pub later in the evening.  When later came, we were still exhausted, but slightly hungry.  Not wanting to leave the hotel at this point, we ordered room service – chicken tikka masala, yay!

Thus came the end of another day.  I am sorry to admit that I just didn't like London as much as I did the two previous times I had been there.  Maybe it was just the mood I was in.  The museum was great; Oxford was great.  Wow, was I getting tired quickly of heavy, greasy, meat-and-potatoes food.  I am so spoiled by fresh produce California cooking.  I was looking down the rest of the trip – French food, then Italian, then German?  I wouldn't see steamed vegetables for another two weeks 😦  I would, however, see my sister for the first time in over a year, the next evening.  Happy!


Written by Sarah Levantine

April 8, 2007 at 7:18 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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