British Museum and All’s Well that Ends Well at the Globe Theatre

This was our last full day in London. After breakfast, we walked to the British Museum. We got there right at opening time. We used a Rick Steve’s walking tour to guide us through the Egypt, Assyria, and ancient Greek displays (Rick Steve is a semi-famou s travel guide writer who lives in the Seattle area and have a TV show, radio show and offers tour packages.  His audio guides are free on iTunes). It provided an excellent overview of the contents of many displays with good historical background and some details on some significant pieces. We found that the area by the Rosetta Stone was very busy and hard to photograph, but many other displays were fairly easy to see and read the placards. At times we would turn off our audio tours and look around a little longer in a room that interested us. There were excellent mummies and sarcophagi. We also enjoyed the displays for the Parthanon and the Elgin marbles (marble friezes collected by Lord Elgin from the Parthanon). I had also hoped to view the reading room where many scholars have studied and worked, but it was housing a display from Afghanistan and was only open to ticket holders who paid a fee. I decided that I didn’t need to see it that badly.

After a small lunch at the museum cafe, we got a taxi cab in front of the museum and went over to the south bank of the Thames River to the Shakespeare Globe Theatre. It was 60 minutes before a matinee performance of All’s Well that Ends Well and we were able to get some nice bench seats in the back where we could lean against the back wall and had a little roof cover over us. People in front of us could not lean against a seat back and were in the bright sunlight. Other people had tickets for the floor space up front but had to stand during the entire performance (or sit on concrete and potentially have a blocked view by others in front of them who would choose to stand). I don’t think that I have seen this play before. I was so bewildered why the male lead part of Lord Bertram would at first scorn his new wife Helena, who he had known for many years and who had request that the king force Bertram to marry her, and then be so overjoyed to learn she was alive after he had thought she was dead. In any case, it was a very good performance and I think it was a good alternative to a trip to Stratford-on-Avon since we did trips to Portsmouth and Bath instead.

We walked back to the hotel by following the path along the south bank and stopped for dinner at the Riverfront restaurant. Then we went back to the north side of the Thames over the Waterloo Bridge and through Charington Cross train station. We had tea and pastry near Trafalgar Square. Then it was time to go to our room and pack our suitcases for our trip on the Venice-Simplon Orient Express.

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