Day 9: A Day of Cultural Highs in London

After hearing about David’s visit to the Victoria & Albert Museum yesterday, we decided to head back there to finish the tour he started. There’s an entrance to the museum right off the tunnel of the Underground and the contrast is staggering. You step from a bland white busy tunnel that smells of tar into a world of elegance. David showed me all the highlights from yesterday and they were exquisite. 

My favorite room was the Cast Room. During the 1800s people wanted to see magnificent statues but most could not afford a trip to Rome or Florence. As a result, these plaster cast reproductions were created.
Lunch today was just down the street from the British Museum. The Museum Tavern was an atmospheric pub with an old world style. We met a couple from Florida who was going on a cruise. They are the first Americans we have met in nine days.

This was our second trip to the British Museum. Highlights for me included the statue of Ramseses II as well as all of the mummies. The caskets were so well preserved that a tourist asked David if they were all reproductions. She was astounded to learn they were all authentic.

The inside of the British Museum

King Ramesses II

British Museum: Egyptian mummies

British Museum- mummy

I always enjoy seeing shabtis who were servants for the afterlife. The museum was so crowded we had to dodge people to see the other side of the display cases.

British Museum- Shabtis

Tourists at the British Museum

The British Museum has an amazing collection of marble statues that once adorned the top of the Parthenon. I often wrestle with the idea that these artifacts really belong back in Greece, but at the time they were taken, it was an opportunity to protect them.

Assyrian Lions – British Museum

Greek Temple – British Museum

Greek statues from the Parthenon- British Museum

British Museum – Children on tour

British Museum- Greek statues

British Museum – Tour guide at Ancient Greece exhibit

British Museum- Roman statues

British Museum- Greek columns

British Museum London

By 7:00 pm we both had museum feet, but we persevered and went to the National Gallery. It had an incredible collection of paintings from all of the masters including Renoir, Van Gogh, da Vinci, and Monet. While studying the paintings I heard some classical music outside one of the galleries. Everyone gathered around wondering what it was about. It turns out it was a 45 minute tour where the guide had put music to each of the masterpieces as a way to help people relate better to the art through music.

National Gallery London

National Gallery- da Vinci

National Gallery London

National Gallery- Renoir

National Gallery- Van Gogh

National Gallery- Van Gogh

National Gallery- Monet

We ended the day with a pizza dinner back by our hotel. It has been an amazing day. Tomorrow we fly to France.

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