London welcomed us with a blustery and rainy day. After a safe arrival (with our luggage too), we slept our jet lag for a few hours in the deluge at the hotel. Then, we decided to brave the weather and explore the great indoors. This was greatly facilitated by London Tube. In this case, the great indoors was the fabulous collection of the British Museum. From the halls of Mesopotamia to Rosetta Stone, to the chessmen of Kent, to the controversial Lord Elgin Marbles (the Greeks are still sore and want them back), to the fabulous mummy room (including a few cats), to the reconstruction Temple of Nereid, and then to a fake Crystal skull (which in no way resembles the elongated one seen in Indy IV) but likely one of the sources of inspiration for Lucas' new movie.
Today, as if we weren't mummied out, it was off to a special King Tut exhibit at the new O2 venue out near Canary Wharf. Less is more is the theme here and thankfully so. Choice pieces of the boy king's tomb were on display with excellent presentation marks. Gorgeous jewellery, be welled daggers, very rare portable chests, an engraved car touche chest and so many incredible treasures made this exhibit a highlight of the trip. Strangely, the elongated skulls of Nefertiti and other members of Ahkaten's family (King Tut's alleged father), resembled the crystal skull of the new Indy IV movie.
It was off to explore the sites of Westminster city including the Abbey, Parliament buildings, Jewel tower and the views from the Embankment. The meal of the day was a traditional greasy fish and chip lunch (delicious from Fryer's Delight) To walk off this meal, we headed down from Inns and Temples of the Law courts to the South Bank. Taking the Tate Museum (newly graffiti ed by design), the Shakespeare Globe and then a few ales/Guinness at The George (an inn which was entertained Shakespeare and Darwin).
Dinner on our first night was a thali meal at a local curry house (actually a good restaurant) called Marsala Zone. The meal consisted of butter chicken, chicken Marsala, chapattis, two curried veggies, Dal and a yogurt dessert....delicious washed down with a splendid mango lassi.
Now it is off to the land of ancient Pharaohs!