I got an early start on Sunday and I had the whole day in front of me. I figured I could have stayed at home and veg out on the couch, but I had this feeling that should go out and be a tourist. I looked through my TimeOut London book and flipped through the pages and picked out a destination to see. I decided on the British Museum. I figured I could learn something about world cultures and finally see the Rosetta Stone.
My experience with museums is that I get bored really fast unless I have a sense of structure. Usually I have a list of exhibits that I want to see or learn about, but since this was all spontaneous, all I really knew about was the Rosetta Stone.
So I walk in and its this beautiful indoor courtyard. I walk toward the Persian exhibit and notice on a plasma screen that a “Highlights Tour” would start in a few minutes. So I made my way to the box office and purchase a tour. Finally, the structure I need. Taking into account that the museum is so huge, I figure a tour that covered the highlights would be perfect.
And sure enough it was. In about 2 hours the guide lead us all throughout the museum revealing interesting facts about the various exhibits that you couldn’t read on your own.
I found out that the courtyard I walked into is the largest indoor courtyard in Europe. It was pretty impressive to walk into. I learned a little about the Assyrian Empire, a little about Greece, and even visited Egyptian mummies, including Ginger! Did you know it takes 70 days for the whole mummification process to take place? Did you know the Rosetta Stone was the key to deciphering hieroglyphics?
I few other observations. What is it with tourists and camcorders that have to record everything? I understand recording certain specific exhibits? But there are some tourists out there that I was watching that would literally record everything!
I also love the tour guide squatters. I’m been guilty of this. Basically this involves spotting a tour that is taking place and listening in and taking in all the information that the tour guide is providing. The key is to not make it obvious that you are listening in. But a few people were too obvious that the tour guide would specifically ask members of the tour to follow her.
A short week
For the States!! Thanksgiving week has hit and guess what? I’m working the whole week! Bah!