London 2012: Day 4

Ah my final day in London! This day was by far the laziest of all. I was so tired from all the walking I had done the days before that I decided to really take it easy. I slept in, checked out of my hotel and left my luggage at the hotel and headed out on the town for one last time. The hotel I was staying at was pretty okay actually. I was surprised that it had a good mattress. It was also clean, although the room could do with a bit of an upgrade when it comes to the decor, but other than that: it was good enough to rest my head as that’s all I did during my 4 days there. Best part: the guy at the front desk asked for someone to help me with my luggage on my way out. Always nice when they do that!

I set out the door of my hotel around 10.30 AM and first bought myself a train ticket to Gatwick Airport. It is advisable to just take a regular train and buy your tickets on the go, rather than getting on the Gatwick Express as it is cheaper and nearly as fast. During weekdays there are even direct trains going from St. Pancras to Gatwick for only 10 pounds for a single ride. On my way into the city when I arrived it cost me 15 pounds but that included a day travelcard for the tube. In total it cost me 25 pounds to get in and out of the city and I believe Gatwick Express costs around 35.

After getting my ticket I bought some magazines from WH Smith as I always like seeing what magazines in other countries look like and how they write about different topics. Since it was London Fashion Week right when I was there, many magazines had special Fashion Week editions out so I bought one of those and a discount pack. I was late for breakfast at the hotel so instead I went to Starbucks, grabbed a latte and a sandwich and found a spot just reading and sipping coffee for an hour. I then set off to go to The British Museum.

British Museum exterior

My other major touristy visit was this massive museum that houses everything having to do with ancient cultures such as the Assyrians, the Greeks, Romans, Egyptians etc. It’s pretty much a collection of artifacts which the Brits plundered during the Victorian period. Okay not plundered, as many of the British aristocrats who provided artifacts for the collection often got permission from the countries the items came from, even though some of them now want it back. The museum is most famous for the Rosetta stone which is the only reason why anyone is able to understand Egyptian hieroglyphics.

Interior of the museum

Another thing the museum is famous for is the grand hall from which you can go and explore the museum. There is this massive circular staircase in the middle and this amazing glass roof that gives the impression of the room being 20x bigger than it actually is. I decided to just browse around as much as I can. I had already been to the museum once, a long time ago and only saw a few things at the time, so now I was set on getting a good browse around.

The museum starts with Egyptian sculpture and moves into Greek, Assyrian and Roman artifacts quite flawlessly. There are 5 floors in total and not all of it caught my attention. I spent most of my time gazing at the Greek vases depicting the works of Herakles or Hercules as he was known in Latin. And I also learned things about Greek & Roman culture that I didn’t know yet, or I remembered facts that I once used to know. During my teens I was obsessed with Roman, Greek and Egyptian ancient culture, especially the mythology and all of these facts just came boiling to the surface. I now I actually want to go and bust out my old mythology books and read up on them again!

Inside the museum: sculptures taken from the Parthenon on top of the Acropolis in Greece (Greece actually wants these back)

I spent nearly 3 hours at the museum. You could very easily spend the entire day there if you read everything and look at every artifact but like I said not everything grabbed my eye so I just walked right through the exhibitions on early Medieval artifacts and other things that didn’t interest me. By this time I was quite hungry and thirsty again and there was a Starbucks across the street so I huddled up again on a couch with a mag and just sat there for an hour reading and people watching.

By now it was really time to head back to the hotel, pick up my luggage and hop on a train to the airport. I arrived at the airport well on time, had a bite to eat and by the time I had finished my meal it was time for me to go to my gate. After an uneventful flight I arrived at Schiphol Amsterdam Airport safe and sound and got home around 10 PM to a rainy and windy Holland. Would you believe me if I said the weather in London was in fact better than at home? I’m sure that’s a rare thing!

This post finalizes my posts on my 4 day trip to London and I just made me fall in love with the city all over again. After New York, London is my favorite city in the world! I hope these posts make you see why. I still have one more post coming up in which I will show you what I bought fashion wise and then everything will be back to normal again on the blog. I hope you enjoyed my little ramble about my travels and since I’ll be going to the US and Canada over summer you are assured of more of these posts in the near future.

Do you love London as much as I do? If yes, why? If not, which city do you love most?

4 responses to “London 2012: Day 4”

  1. People have spent their lives in the British Museum and still couldn’t discover all it’s treasures. What we see ever so small a selection of the total of artifacts they have. I’ve been there at least three times and every time I discover new objects (or they weren’t on display before). Maybe I go again in May but I do want to visit The National Gallery, The Victoria and Albert, Museum of London, do a Sherlock-tour, visit a concert or two (still annoyed by the fact The Globe is staging translated Shakespeare plays, Othello will be fascinating in Palastinian Arabic I’m sure, but it’s hard enough for me to keep up with it in English as it is…), go to Waterstones and HMV, just for the books, history and literature…
    Anything to recommend I really must do in May? Would be glad to hear so.

    • Temple Church! Don’t forget that one. National Portrait Gallery? Design Museum? The Houses of Parliament are also open to the public but only during certain times of the year. You could see if those are open when you’re there.

  2. Oh… bugger, almost forgot about Temple Church! National Portrait Gallery crossed my mind indeed, Design Museum, didn’t we discuss that one for our last visit? Houses of Parliament would be great, but I’ve only got five days before the schoolkids arrive and all my time will be consumed by ‘koter-management’.
    Anyway, too much to do in too little time… Oh well, just another reason to go once more 😀

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