The British Museum


The British Museum is one of the oldest, or the oldest museum in Europe.

I think you get the idea. I am very jealous of the school groups I saw in the museum today. I never had the chance to see a real mummy when I was studying world history. I didn’t even start studying world history until I was in high school, these kids were in 4th year (same as grade 3)

The Egyptian collection and the Rosetta Stone were the highlights form me. To actually see not just one mummy but almost a dozen blew my mind.

The British Museum has collection dating from prehistory to modern times. Greeks, Romans, Medieval Europe, the Renaissance, old British burial sites and everything in between. The collection is amazing!



I needed a break from the madness of London, something a bit calmer. I explored Horsham, the city I’m staying in.

It seems that there is almost as much history here as there is in London. Horsham is over a thousand years old, closer to 1500 years old. .I explored the historical museum, and the shopping areas. Unfortunately it rained…wouldn’t you know it, the one day I want to relax and explore I can’t because of the weather.

Horsham have been a city since roman times, mostly as a center for trade of some form or another. Farming and light industry made up the bulk of the trade.

I was also able to do some urban exploration we explored a 100 year old minister’s house. The house is slated for destruction to build apartment buildings. I suppose when your city is over 1000 years old, a 100 year old building is not that old.

Due to rain, fire and a lack of concern, the house is collapsing allowing more rain and weather to get in. I will post pictures when I have better access to the net.

History is relative. With Canada being 138 years old, and Montréal being about 360 years old, we are very young when compared to the major cities of Europe. When Montréal was founded most of the major European cities were already big and bustling. I am not trying to minimize Montréal’s importance as an important city or as my home, it’s that Montréal’s history isn’t very long.

Most of the cities and town I pass on the train are still filled with old Victorian buildings; in fact I’m staying in a Victorian house, modernized of course. That doesn’t exclude the drain pipes running down the outside walls. I’ll have pictures later.

The walls are not thick enough to have the pipes running inside, or if they are thick enough, they are solid brick. The weather here is not as cold as at home, so there is very little risk of them freezing. This is not just typical of residential buildings in small towns, but in the center of London’s consulate district.


Is it Tuesday already?

I managed to get into London via a different train route, I ended up at London bridge station. I will still se what I want, just in a different order. I can manage that. London Bridge station is not as big as Victoria, but just as busy. I have a feeling that all of London’s stations are busy, especially at the end of the day.

The HMS Belfast is a permanently moored WW II warship that has been converted to a museum; part of the Imperial war Museum – Already on my agenda. I have been on many military vessels when they come into Montreal, usually about 30 minutes of a visit with very little information about the systems. The Belfast is different, A self guided tour takes you through almost all of the ship, including the boiler and engine rooms. You get a look at what life was like, the mess (kitchen and dinning rooms, bathrooms, sick bay, the dentist, food storage and the ammunition storage and gun loading system. What I thought would be 30 minutes became over 2 hours. I had to change other plans today, nothing to worry about. I made better plans for another day.

I had a second day with the Big Bus tour, including a river cruise, From the Belfast I walked over Tower Bridge and checked out the exhibits there, I will do the Tower Bridge and the Tower of London together on one day.

The river cruise was a 20 minute trip from the Tower Bridge to the London Eye. The 15 minute wait became 45 minutes. It was not a complete waist, I met some other tourists, an American couple on vacation and an older couple with their grandsons. We chatted about London, Canada and the States. It was pleasant and it made the time pass more quickly.

More of the BIg Bus tour, just a continuation of yesterday’s extravaganza.

The Tube is HUGE!! There are so many stations. I hadn’t been on the Tube yet and wanted to experience it. I asked directions, I didn’t really know where to begin looking on the system map. It was no more difficult that Montreal’s Metro.

The millennium Bridge – it doesn’t bounce anymore. When the bridge was completed and opened, as people started walking on it, there was a marked bounce and sway in the bridge. . it was open for a weekend, then closed for 18 months to get it fixed. They added dampers to control the sway and bounce. All is well, the bridge leads right to the Tate Modern, I have that on my agenda too.

People have said to me the London is very expensive. I agree, if you’re a tourist, because of the exchange rates, London can be very expensive, every £ (pound) has the value of about $2.25. That is a lot of money. I bought a sandwich today, it was £1.75, quite reasonable for something from a train station shop, almost $4.00 CAD, Yikes!

My feeling is that if you live here, it is a very reasonable price. Milk is about £1.40 a liter, comparable to about $1.30 a liter at home…sorta if you convert it is very expensive.
Tourists are on a fixed budget with a limited amount of money to spend 9in their own currency) it can get expensive to visit.

Aside from people grumbling that thety don’t have enough money, it seems to be quite reasonable to live here.


My First Day In London

My first task is to get in to London…Simple really, just take the train….chuc chuc chug….an hour later I’m in Victoria Station, where do I go?!?! This place is BIG! People everywhere, shops, sign everything. I do have a plan, The Big Bus Tour, a bus tour of the city with the ability to get off and on the bus throughout the day (Big Bus Tours)

This is my lucky day, they have a special offer, the tout, the London Eye – A very big ferris wheel – and Madam Toussauds wax museum for 40₤ Consider the fact that the tour is 20₤ the wax museum is 20₤ and the London Eye is over 10₤, this works out quite well.

The tour is a great way to get an over view of the city, the lay of the land, where the major landmarks are and where the best shopping is!

Madam Toussaudsis the gold standard of wax museums, the exhibits are setup so you can actually walk around the “people” and take pictures with and of them. It’s fun, especially when you can take your picture with Steven Speilberg.

The museum has movie and tv stars, famous historical people, world leaders, and even a couple of fantasy and comic book characters. The tour ends with a 10 minute show in the planetarium.

The London Eye is BIG!! The best views of London, unless you are flying overhead.

From the Eye you can almost all of London’s landmarks, St Pauls, The Gerkin (a gerkin shaped building) I didn’t name it…

Big Ben (which is the bell btw not the tower) and the British parliament, almost everything.

London seems to be a very walkable city, there are signposts, and guide plaques on a number of street corners. People seem to be friendly and if you ask, will even give you directions; even other tourists will give you helpful advice.

Tomorrow I continue with the big bus tour and take a Thames river cruise, maybe not a cruise, but a….ok a cruise.

I will add links and pictures when I can get more consistent internet access

P.S. Spelling doesn’t count


Sometime late at night – Or was it Monday sometime?

I was feeling much better and awake today. We went for a walk through Horsham, where I am staying, that’s about an hour south of London. My friend is hosting a bar-b-q for some of his martial arts friends, we need to prepare. SHOPPING!! We need to get food, some bar-b-q stuff and some chairs and tables.

I was also asked to do some home repairs…Is my genetic disposition that obvious?

Nothing too serious, look at a misbehaving bathroom faucet, fix some lights in the kitchen and help assemble the new garden furniture. I think I can manage all that in three weeks.

Back home after the shopping, hot dogs and hamburgers and of course veggie burgers for me.

Everything setup, where is everyone…uh oh…it’s been cloudy and grey all day, maybe no one will show up. We wait patiently, and taa daa people arrive!!

All nice people and we spend the afternoon and evening chatting; about nothing and everything.

My first full day in the UK


Boy am I tired

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Foe what its worth, do not take a 10:30 PM flight to Europe, it will really mess you up, you arrive in the middle of the day and everything is almost a blur. That being said, The flight was good, my seatmate was pleasant, and the movies were watchable. I did not sleep on the plane, they kept feeding us. One hour we took off we got supper (or dinner if that’s what you call it) four hours of movies, breakfast, then we landed At Heathrow, 15 minutes early; we had to wait for our gate to become available.

The bus to Gatwick was pleasant if not a bit long. I was picked up and taken to my friends house where I am now. Big blur till Sunday morning.

On My Way

I’m off! and I’m leaving …as my mother used to say.

I’m going to London, UK for 3 weeks. I haven’t been to Europe in about 3 years.

There is lots of information about London on the web, a good place to start is London on WikiTravel another good site is The Internet Guide to London.

I’ll add more links to the places I’ve seen As Time Goes By.

Enough of this…it’s time to get going.

TTFN – Ta ta for now!