London (D2): Right Posh

Things Must Be Slow

Bookings must be way down if even I got a suite at the Hilton.

Trust me, not complaining here.

It’s a great hotel located about a ten-minute walk from the Wembley Park Tube station and adjacent to Wembley Stadium.

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And, Wembley is ten quick stops north(ish) of Bloomsbury, my hangout for the day.

The construction of Bloomsbury Square dates from the 1660’s, also the time of the Great Plague and Fire, an inauspicious moment to be in the real estate business.

Victoria-House-Bloomsbury-Square

It is also the home of the British Museum.

Sir Hans Sloane

Great Court, British Museum

Great Court, British Museum

Tottenham Court station is closed and coming up out of the ground at Bond Street was a bit intimidating what with the bustling crowds and close in streets.

But, with the miracle of GPS and crossed fingers, I soon found myself on the steps of the museum even if it was the rear entrance.

The museum has been open to the public since 1759 and was originally largely the collection of a physician and Scientist Sir Hans Sloane.

Though free, a five pound donation is urged.

The building is gigantic and the collection is mammoth: 8 million items.

Where to start?

The museum is “dedicated to human history, art and culture” and there over 80 galleries covering every conceivable period and place.

Romans in Britain

They have all these galleries on Rome and then separate galleries on Britain so I thought I would save time and just see “Roman Britain.”

I seem to always be interested in the details of daily life and I was not disappointed.

They showcase objects related to iron-age medicine, farming and even cosmetology.

Here’s a beautiful vessel, possibly used for the storage of food but ultimately the container for cremated remains from 80 AD.

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Many of the items are opulent and are also relatively recent finds, often through the plowing up of fields to (accidentally) find  troves of golden jewelry and roman coins during planting.

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Perhaps the find of the day was a very small part of the Ishtar Gate, now located, nearly in full, at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin.

“The Ishtar Gate was the eighth gate to the inner city of Babylon. It was constructed in about 575 BC by order of King Nebuchadnezzar II.  (Wiki)

Ishtar Gate Detail

Ishtar Gate Detail

In Search of the Brigade

I wandered out of the museum and found a City of London information guide who sure seemed Italian to me which makes perfect sense if you think about it.

I asked where the closest fire brigade station was and after telling me I was the first person to ever inquire about that he rapidly located one and pointed me down winding and curving Shaftesbury Avenue towards Chinatown.

Sure enough, after about ten minutes a rather large (and new) fire station appeared.

With timing either very good or bad, they caught a run and two pumps were out the doors in about 30 seconds.

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One station door closed and other did not so I wandered in to see if anyone was about.

I had no luck so I’ll keep trying.

 

2 Comments

  • Butch Carper says:

    Have been to London numerous times, what beautiful old city. The Soho station is one of the busiest in London and the firefighters are always gracious and friendly. I stayed in Northwest London in Swiss Cottage and became great friends of the members at the Belsize station which is now closed. It was one of the oldest.

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