“Busy Day in Londontown”
Posted by Favorite Daughter (penguindust)
We started off this morning by going to the British Museum, and, for those of you planning travels in the future, we cannot recommend it highly enough. This is the museum that houses the Rosetta Stone, and about a million mummies, and artifacts from the world over, and – this is the best part – the museum has been totally free to the public since the 18th century.
A donation is recommended, but, trust us, after you see this museum you’ll want to cough up five pounds or so. Still cheaper than the Louvre.
Then we spent the early afternoon searching for an elusive book that Kiki wants to read on the way home, and we realized something, something both about London and about ourselves: London bookstores are more addictive than heroin. They are vacuums where time and space are suspended, places with spiral staircases and good papery smells. We spent a lot of time in them, just enjoying being there.
Then, in what may be the most exciting achievement of the day, we purchased tickets to something. I’ll avoid telling you what until the end of the post, just for suspense’s sake.
To cap off the day, we went on another of our free walking tours with the redshirts. My, but they are fabulous. We were treated to a springy, nervous talker named Ed, who loved cricket and kept us apprised of the Ashes score via the text messages he kept receiving from a friend.
Delightful things he told us:
Nell Gwynn was a famous actress, but she was more famous as the mistress of Charles II. Charles has many mistresses, in fact, he used to cut through Green Park next to Buckingham Palace to see them, scooping up armfuls of flowers as he went.
Legend has it that the queen, who was no fool, ordered gardeners to pull up every last flower in the park out of spite.
There are still no flowers there.
Anyway, most of Charles’ mistresses were French Catholics, and the protestant public wasn’t very happy about this. One day they saw a coach coming down the road, obviously headed in the direction of a liaison, and surrounded it, shaking it and throwing things. Read the rest of this entry »