The British Museum & Paddingtons in Soho

A couple weeks ago I realized that London is jam packed with fantastic museums and I’d only been to a few.   Just off the top of my head I could think of several major museums, The National Gallery, The Tate Modern, The British Museum, The Victoria and Albert Museum, The Science Museum, The Museum of London…  Anyway, I thought- it’s time! I better get started! 

I let Simon play hooky from school and we made a day of it. I knew that we would only get a small taste of the museum, due to our window of time being small and Simon’s attention span even smaller.  But we saw a German history exhibit and poked our heads into a few other exhibits.  

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and let thy feet millenniums hence be set in midst of knowledge -Tennyson

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Germany: Memories of a Nation

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A piece of the Berlin Wall.

The exhibit consisted of objects and their context and relevance in German history. There was artwork, elaborate clocks, coins, clothing, fashion and war artifacts.  It was interesting, although a bit depressing.  Poor Germany.  It’s impossible to talk about the history of Germany without talking about the two World Wars, and the Holocaust.  Which is ultimately a serious downer.  

We had to see the Rosetta Stone, because it’s practically obligatory.  To be totally honest, before I saw it I had no idea what it was or why it was famous. In case you’re like me- it is an ancient Egyptian stone, from 196 BC that has a royal decree written on it in three different languages.  (Ancient Greek, Demotic and Egyptian hieroglyphs.) Because the content of the inscription is the same, it was key to historians for translating Egyptian hieroglyphs.  

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While we were in the Egyptian wing, we checked out a few sarcophagi.  Eli has been learning all things Egyptian, so I’m sure we’ll go back and see more, but Simon was all about the mummies.  

And while I’m confessing, I also had no idea what a sarcophagus was until Eli told me.   A few weeks ago he checked out a book of Egyptian themed art projects from the library.  He kept asking me if he could make a paper mache sarcophagus and I kept putting him off.  Eventually he just took matters into his own hands, and did it almost entirely by himself.  He was so proud of it, and I was so proud of him for his diligent efforts. 


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Sarcophagus of Merymose 1380 BC

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Ramessus II – 1270 BC

After entertaining myself for a couple hours we went back on the Paddington Trail to entertain Simon for a bit.  
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#33 – Bear Necessities (Designed by John Hurt, a popular British actor, probably best known to Americans as Ollivander in Harry Potter.)

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#22 – Little Bear Blue (Designed by Intel. He twinkled.)

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#20- Parka Paddington (Designed by Liam Gallagher, from the band Oasis. “Because baby… you’re gonna be the one that saves me…”)

We ended up in Soho, where we ate some lunch at Paul.  

(I don’t always eat at French cafe’s, but when I do I order something with cheese.)  

Then we walked down Carnaby Street.  Possibly my favorite street in London so far.  I’ve been there a couple times when we have visitors and it’s always decorated and festive.  There are unique shops and restaurants and it’s clean and well-kept. 

Then we went to the over-stimulating and colorful exhibition that is Hamley’s Toy Store, to see one more Paddington.  At this point we were short on time before we had to pick up the siblings so we cruised to the top floor to use the loo and then made our way back down all five floors, with Simon ooo-ing and ahhh-ing all over the place. 
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#21- Bearer of Gifts

It was a really fun, London-ish day.  

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