Temporary Brit

My three months of adventures in London!

British Museum (and a rant) August 4, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — temporarybrit @ 9:43 PM

The weather was kind of nasty today (much colder and rainier than it has been), so  I thought today might be a good day to make my first visit to the British Museum.  I figured that I wouldn’t be the only tourist with that idea, and boy, was I ever right!  The place was absolutely MOBBED.  I didn’t mind all that much, since I’m planning on multiple visits and didn’t need to see everything today anyway, but I have to say….I’m starting to see why some people get so annoyed with tourists.  Seriously….I felt like I was the only one there who was aware of the other people around me and who tried to respect them and their space.  I can’t tell you how many times I saw people pushing, stepping in front of other people, and stopping in the middle of busy aisles, entryways, and walkways.  It was ridiculous!  It was almost as bad as when I accidentally ended up near Buckingham Palace during the changing of the guard; all I wanted to do was get to the park (which eventually happened), but while I was trying to make my way through the crowds, I was pushed, elbowed, stepped on, sneezed on, and my toes were run over with a stroller. I don’t hate crowds, by any means.  I wouldn’t be in one of the biggest cities in the world during the height of tourist season if I did!  What I don’t like are thoughtless crowds.  Seriously, people….if you’re visiting another city, just be aware of who and what’s around you!  Don’t push people out  your way, and be patient! Whatever you’re trying to see/photograph/do will still be there if you wait 30 seconds for the person in front of you to be done.  To all of you who DO try and be good visitors…keep up the good work! 🙂

 

Okay, rant over; onto the museum!  This was one of my favorite places when I was in London before; the sheer size of the place, and the amount of objects and artifacts is mind-boggling.  After visiting the V and A and the Museum of London this time around, though, I actually started to wonder I might actually end up liking one of those museums better.  That didn’t happen; the British Museum impressed me just as much this time around.  I’m usually kind of obsessed with trying to see everything that’s on display in places and getting my money’s worth (even when the place is free), but it was actually a relief to not have to do that this time.  I definitely made sure to see the Chinese rooms; they were my favorites last time around.  I particularly liked the snuff bottles, but I couldn’t tell you why!  They’re just tiny little things, only about 2.5 to 3 inches long, and I have no interest in tobacco. They just caught my attention the first time I saw them.  Here are a few from today:

The Greek and Roman exhibits are pretty fantastic, too.  I only took a brief look around today, but here’s a couple of pictures:

Nereid Monument

Thalia, goddess of comedy

The British Museum also has a fantastic Egyptian collection.  I visited parts of it back in 2009, but I have yet to see the mummies.  That’s because their room is always PACKED.  If it’s not packed with tourists, it’s packed with school groups. I don’t understand why; the whole museum is so interesting! Unless you’re REALLY Egypt-mad, why would you stuff yourself in there with 235478457 other people when there are tons of other great things to see?  I WILL get in there eventually, though, and I will post pictures of the Egypt stuff, since I won’t feel like my British Museum experience in complete until I do. 🙂

 

Last but not least: take a look at these chessmen:

Do these guys remind you of anything?  They did the first time I saw them.  They’re not an exact match, but methinks they may have provided a little inspiration for something. 🙂

 

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