London: Harrods, Abbey Road & British Museum

Abbey Road
Today, our last day in London, was definitely a fun day! Sarah, Tawny, Emily, the other Laura, and Chase joined us for the first part of the day (we split up at lunch time). We started out by visiting one of the oldest and largest department stores in the world, Harrods. It’s known as a very fancy department store, but many of the items there were a lot more affordable than we expected.  We got there a bit early and so walked around the store (which is very big!) and checked out the window displays. It was really cool because about half of them were Great Gatsby-themed, and Mickey and I had just seen that movie last night! The food halls were the first part we went through, and probably my favorite. Most of us ended up getting cupcakes we could eat outside, which were delicious and cost 3.50 pounds. We all thought it was worth it to say we bought something at Harrods, eat a delicious cupcake, and get a Harrods bag to put it in. We also wandered through some sections with handbags and jewelry, then men’s clothing. They have each room set up in a different style, but they are all rather elegant, and it was a very nice place just to look around. We also got to ride on the Egyptian escalator, which is basically what it sounds like, an escalator with decorations around it in an Egyptian style. We also realized you could basically live at Harrods–we bought food, exchanged money, mailed postcards, went to the bathroom while we were there, plus we saw some beds that looked rather comfortable!

Next up we wanted to get a picture walking across Abbey Road like the Beatles do on the cover of one of their albums. This is easier said than done. It’s on a rather busy street, and while some of the drivers are nice and will actually stop so you can cross, most of them were not happy campers. It was actually a pretty fun time though, dodging cars while trying to pose, and even more fun watching other people do the same. There’s even a live webcam that records people crossing. After this experience, we of course had to go to the Beatles store, so we hopped on the tube and got off at the Baker Street station. This also happens to be where the Sherlock Holmes Museum is, and there was a really long line out front to get into there. We looked around in the Beatles store for a bit, and then we all decided to part ways for lunch, since Mickey and I were planning on going to the British Museum and the rest of them had other interests to pursue.

Mickey and I then ate lunch at a little Italian place, and while talking decided that it would be nice to stop by Trafalgar Square again, as Mickey had been searching for something for her dad and thought she could find something in a gift shop there, and I wanted to see a few more paintings at the National Portrait Gallery. Mickey’s errand was successful, and so was mine. I was able to see Monet’s The Water Lily Pond and a few more Van Goghs, as well as the two works by da Vinci they have there, which Mickey had suggested we see. I also bought some postcards, one of the Water Lily Pond, one of The Umbrellas by Renoir, and a matted one of Van Gogh’s A Wheatfield, with Cypresses. So all around it was a successful detour.

We then briefly stopped by the hotel to rest up a bit before heading to the British Museum, which is just a few blocks down from us. The main thing I wanted to see was the Rosetta Stone, and it was more or less the first thing we saw, since the Egyptian area was our first stop. I would say that was my favorite part of the museum (the Egyptian artifacts) that we saw, since most of the items were not behind glass and were very large and impressive. We also saw some Greek sculpture and pottery, as well as the Nereid Monument. We then went in search of the Lindow Man, a bog body and interest of Mickey’s. He was a lot grosser than I had expected, having seen pictures of other people preserved in bogs who were not quite so deformed as his body was. We then wandered through the Europe section and saw some pretty artifacts, before heading to the Enlightenment room, which I rather liked. It was sort of like a library, but with some artifacts encased in glass and sculptures thrown in. We also made sure to see some mummies while we were there.

Now it’s pretty late and I need to get packing and go to bed so I can be ready to hop on the plane tomorrow. It’s been a great adventure, this trip, but I am definitely ready to go home now!

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