Today we want to visit the British Museum and the Tower Bridge. At 10 in the morning the British Museum opens and it is only a 5 minute walk from our hotel so we can sleep late. We gaze in admiration at all the beautiful collections they show. There is no entrance fee but they encourage everybody to make a donation.
British Museum & Tower Bridge
The museum is located in an impressive building and is one of the most prominent museums of the world. It is big enough to roam about for a few days and therefore we have made a selection of the exhibitions we want to see at any rate, for we have only a couple of hours. In the large public library (picture to the right) Marx wrote a great part of his famous work Das Kapital in the 19th century, a luxurious place to write such a work!
We choose to look at the Egyptian sections and some of the halls about the early Asian cultures. It takes us several hours, before our feet get sore (once again). But wait till you visit the museum in Cairo... (Teije has lived there for 3 years). It is really impressive what this culture, which lived on for thousands of years, has achieved and the monuments they left us.
But other rooms are as fascinating as well. Much attention has been given to the organisation of the pieces of art. Every day there are many guided tours (with and without charge) that only concentrate on one facet of our history. Don't miss this museum when you visit London, if only just to have a quick glance.
We walk through The City and then towards the Tower Bridge, the last big thing we have on our list. This impressive bridge dates from the end of the 19th century and is completely made of steel. However, both towers have been coated by Portland stone and Cornish granite, both to protect the underlying steelwork and to give the bridge a more pleasing appearance.
The Tower of London is mostly known for the presence of the Crown Jewels. William the Conquerer started the building in 1066 and during the 900 years after that it has been used as a palace, a prison, place of execution, arsenal and royal mint.
Both towers are almost 40 metres high. Every bascule in the bridge weighs 1.200 tons. Before the building started there was a lot of debate about the bridge, but the final result was then, and still is, a remarkable sample of technique.
The Tower Bridge Experience in the towers informs us about the history of the bridge, the preparations and the technology behind it. Life-size puppets, movies and other audiovisual material clarify all information and it is quite interesting. We have seen a comparable show in the London Dungeon and Madame Tussaud and our conclusion is that the English are really good at this form of combining entertainment with education.
To the right one has a clear view on the majestic dome of St. Paul's Cathedral, in contrast with the many new buildings London has. To the left the south bank of the Thames.
From the footbridge, 33 metres high, we have a nice view over the city. The pictures show the Tower of London.
It is a cheap and simple attraction, but we can't resist dressing like 19th century people when we get the chance.
After our visit to the Tower Bridge, we walk towards St. Paul's Cathedral. We have seen it in the twilight, on our cold bustrip, but we haven't been this close yet.
But we are tired. We have been walking a lot the last three days, seen a lot, experienced a lot of new impressions and now it is time to see some of the London pubs. So we don't enter the cathedral, but go to Bloomsbury, after a short walk through the City. And to be certain we make a stop at Liverpool Street to check if our train will be leaving at 8u50 next morning, as we think it should.
Travel through Europe and Africa
with Elisabeth and Teije