Monday was one of our “quiet” days. After several days of scheduled activities, it was time to slow things down a bit.
We had rescheduled seeing the changing of the guard from Saturday to Monday morning but when it came time to get organized and go, we decided that croissants, coffee, and juice at the apartment sounded better.
We did, however, bestir ourselves in the afternoon and we visited the Museum of London. It has just changed its opening days to include Mondays, so there were no crowds. This free museum covers the history of the area from (as they say) 460,000 BCE to now. We specifically wanted to see some segments of the wall that Romans built around Londinium. But we never did see the walls: we were gob smacked by the quality and content of the first sections of the exhibits and spent almost all of our time in the exhibits covering up to the Great Fire.
We saw informative collections of stone tools, building materials, ceramics, and information about how people lived in what we would call pre-history. I don’t think I knew, for example, that the island sometimes had a land bridge to the continent.
The section about the Romans was well-documented. It had a number of model of buildings and the port areas in addition to a large set of artifacts. Patricia and I have seen similar collections—from around the same time—in a museum in Córdoba, Spain. Roman colonization certainly had a wide impact. I was a little surprised that we did not see more about the Saxons in the museum.
Abby particularly wanted to find out more about the Plague. We followed the signs, but never found any exhibits related to it.
We could have spent much more time at the museum. We recommend it to any other visitors.
After a little snack in the museum’s cafeteria, we made our way to Buckingham Palace. Although we did not see the formal changing of the guard in the morning, we did manage to see the smaller relief of the guard posts where a small (4 people) formally march up to the sentry boxes, which are staffed by soldiers in red tunics and bearskin hats, exchange shouted commands, and the current sentry is replaced by a new one.
We did some people watching in Green Park (next to the palace) and while sitting on the steps of the Victoria Memorial (in front of the palace).
We are getting pretty good at using the Tube system and we were able to get from the place back to the apartment in just a few minutes. The weather was pretty good while we were out, but it is worth mentioning that the area between the Tube station and the Museum of London was like a giant wind tunnel. The temperature seemed much colder and the wind blew like a gale. I suspect that is due to all the tall buildings and winding streets.
Added new pictures to the pictures page.
Here is Abby’s contribution for today…
I really liked the museum! I wish we had more time there, though. I wanted to see the part where it talked about the Black Death. That really fascinates me, especially because we are living through a pandemic right now. I got to see a lot of other cool stuff though! The Roman exhibit was awesome. I liked looking at the amphorae; they had such a cool shape! I would love to go back there again someday. I had a lot of fun! Buckingham Palace was neat, too. It was interesting to see the carvings (I can’t remember the word, but I think that’s accurate) all around the palace. They were so ornate and beautiful. I loved it!
Below is a map that shows our travels on Monday. Whoops! It seems it only tracked a couple of minutes of activity…