Saturday, July 08, 2006

Museum Hopping

We started off tubing it up to South Kensington and London’s ‘Museum Row’ to visit the Natural History Museum, as Jim had expressed an interest in the dinosaur exhibit there.


Here's Brett and his dad as we emerged from the Tube…


…and here they are as we approached the museum; I think it’s clear that the Japanese-tourist gene is a dominant one in Brett’s family’s genetics.


Once inside the museum it was then necessary to locate the dinosaurs…


The display was quite nicely done; lots of reconstructed skeletons as well as ones displayed still embedded in rock. They also had some convincing animatronics of a couple of the smaller pack-hunting carnivores (whose name escaped me) and, after a bit of a build-up, a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Of the two, the smaller ones looked more vicious; the Tyrannosaur was probably too big to move at a life-like speed, so it just slowly waved its tail and swung its head around in a somewhat bovine way while eyeing us up for lunch. Unfortunately I didn’t get any photographs in the dinosaur gallery, so I’ll have to check out Brett’s video footage to see if I can lift any stills.

After we’d tired of dinosaurs and seen the Blue Whale, we headed further east to Bloomsbury for the British Museum.


We started off with a light lunch in the Great Court Café, during which Ping joined us for half an hour.


Then we had a quick look at the interior of the British Library Reading Room (which is in the centre of the Great Court)


After that we joined a 90-minute tour of the highlights of the museum which whisked us through highlights of the Egyptian, Assyrian, Turkish and Greek Collections. This is Jim trying to hear what the guide is saying while taking the weight off his feet.


The tour finished up in the recently refurbished Oriental Gallery. Apparantly the refurbishment was funded by a Hong Kong millionaire patron. The walls are covered in gold-leaf - which was cheaper than the wallpaper originally chosen for the room...


The Blue-Badge guide was certainly very knowledgeable but, although I found a lot of it fascinating, I was ready for a coffee break and a sit down afterwards, as was everybody else!

We spent a while looking at the Elgin Marbles and then the Pre-Historic Europe Exhibition before hopping on a bus to Waterloo and then a train home.





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