Friday, August 20, 2010

And Then There Were Two

Very early this morning another half of our group flew off to Santa Barbara.  We are on our own.  Sometimes it feels like we left something back in the room.  But as we work our way from place to place, that feeling disperses because you have to work at finding your way. 

And finding our way included arriving at the wrong place just because our map did not have the new museum listed.  Our destination was the Tate Museum, as listed on our map.  Arriving there, it is now the Tate Britain.  As nice as that is, we really wanted the Tate Modern.  Now if we had only looked in the opposite direction while we were gazing at St. Paul's Cathedral and the Wibbly Wobbly Bridge, we would have seen it two days ago while on our Thames River cruise.  It has a giant tower and the name of the building in plain view in very large letters.

The museum itself  has over 65,000 works of art inclucing several of the artists we have seen on this trip:  Anish Kapoor, Richard Serra, Joan Miro, Georges Braque, Pablo Picasso, and Eduardo Chillida.  There are also big spaces for performing arts.  As most museums in London, it is free except for special exhibitions.

Not having enough of museums yet...we left for the British Museum.  On the way we walked the Wibbly Wobbly footbridge and ate lunch at Cafe 101, a small restaurant run by the Salvation Army.  Few tourists there.

Arriving at the British Museum, the first thing we saw was the Rosetta Stone.  It is amazing.  After looking at many of the treasures of Mesopotamia, Assyria, and Jericho that Britain acquired many years ago and knowing about how treasures of Iraq and other places in the Middle East have been destroyed or disappeared over the last several years, one could almost be glad that so much is sitting here in this museum. 

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