Sunday, May 25, 2014

The Vikings at the British Museum

After an horrendous trip into London (I thought the congestion charge was supposed to cut down the traffic in Central London) we spotted out hotel's entrance on Fleet Street, but had a lot of trouble finding where the vehicle could go in to drop of luggage (and one passenger).  I checked in while Andy drove out to Heathrow to drop off the hire car. It was 11:45 and we were due at the British Library at 2pm for our timed entry into the Vikings exhibition.

I decided to wander slowly along Fleet Street and The Strand and then make my way to the Museum.  All was going well until I got out of the tube at Tottenham Court Road.  I kept making wrong turns, and it was rather hot.  I hadn't heard from Andy, so I texted him to see if he had dropped off the car.  He said that he had only just left Avis. It was now 1pm, and once he got on the tube it was expected to take about 45 minutes to get to a station near the Museum.  He obviously wasn't going to make lunch, so I decided to just go to the cafe and get lunch and a cold drink, rather than look at something else in the museum.

He didn't make it til twenty past two in the end, but the people still let us in.

Even though there were timed tickets (people being allowed in every 10 minutes) it was VERY crowded inside. That made it hard to see the exhibits or read about them.  The highlight of the exhibition was the model encasing the remains of the biggest Viking longboat ever found. It was found in Norway when they were excavating to build a Viking ship museum.

Not surprisingly, photographs were not allowed.

My favourite things in the exhibition were some of the gold and silver items. The filigree work was so fine, it was hard to believe it was made so long ago.

While we were at the museum we took the opportunity to see a couple of other things. On my list were the Sutton Hoo finds.  

Helmet from Sutton Hoo

I also stumbled across (quite by chance) one of the linear B tablets.  See my earlier post about them.

Linear B Tablet

From there we walked back to our hotel via Shaftesbury Avenue, where we purchased discount tickets for the theatre.  

On the Thursday night we saw Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, the Musical, which was excellent.  The original movie starred Michael Caine and Steve Martin. This version had Robert Lindsay, Rufus Hound along with John Marquez, Samantha Bond and Katherine Kingsley. 

It was a fantastic show, the only downer was when we ordered a coke and a glass of champagne and it came to £12.50.

The second play, which we saw on Friday night, was Handbagged. I loved it, but Andy enjoyed it less. It was about the Queen and Mrs Thatcher, and there were old and young versions of each, with the older versions telling the audience what they had really thought.  The two women playing Mrs T were so good - they really had her ... er ... down to a T (so to speak).  The women playing the queen were not as good, though in fairness, the older one was actually the understudy.

Anyway, it was a great night.

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