Today we slept half an hour later to wake up at 7:30 for breakfast. The first visit of the day was The British Museum. The top five things that we got to see were (1) Tristan and Isolde tablets depicting their romance from early medieval Europe, as well as knights shields and swords, chalices and King Richard I’s ring from Early Medieval Europe…so cool. (2) The Rosetta stone! I never thought I would see that in person but it was incredible to think about how old it was and how important it is to my life indirectly. (3) One of the Easter Island heads…that’s about all I can say. (4) The Pete Bog Man who was preserved after dying a violent death in a peat bog in coastal England. (5) The Egyptian Mummys which are wicked freaking old. We got to see Cleopatra’s mummy and mummified cats as well as small bulls and children. We got to see a corpse that had been unwrapped as well as part of The Book of the Dead!
After we had been at the museum for the morning we walked to “Forbidden Planet” a comic book store. It’s much bigger than the one in Reading, Massachusetts, let me tell you. It had an incredibly extensive set of comic books as well as anything else you could possibly want including signed comic books from San Diego Comic Con! Ok…a little geeky, but I thought it was awesome and I know that my sister loved it too.
The next place that we visited was called Covent Gardens where there are tons of restaurants and street performers, a bit like Fanieul Hall and Quincy Market in Boston. I bought fresh raspberries for one pound from a street vendor and we continued on to eat at a restaurant where I got asparagus and risotto. As we were sitting at the table I looked out the window behind me and realized that the street we were on was Drury Lane! So afterward we took a picture of the sign…unfortunately there was no muffin shop there although we did walk to a gluten-free muffin shop later on in the day.
We took the tube afterward to see Fleet Street…very exciting, as well as the Temple of the Templar Knights. Unfortunately it was closed by the time we got there but we could still see it from the outside which was very impressive although apparently the knights are buried inside the church as well. It’s one of the only two round churches left in England though which is quite unique.
We continued on to snack and drink at a pub before we began our Jack the Ripper tour. Our tour guide was a complete expert on Jack the Ripper and we even bought his book which he signed for us. The tour took us from the White Tower throughout the one square mile that made up the original city of London and out to the East End tracking some of the places where Jack killed the 5 prostitutes. It was incredible to see that as you left the original one square mile of London (which was once protected by a Roman wall) and entered the East Side you could see a significant change from modern architecture to Victorian. On the East End it feels like you are back in Victorian England and many of the buildings still remain. The other interesting thing that we learned about the investigation for Jack the Ripper during his life and throughout his escapades was that he was able to keep from being caught because he had two opposing police forces refusing to work together to solve the case. As is the case today, there is a police force for the original square mile of London as well as one for the rest of London. At the time it was established that each would stay in his own territory, but as Jack the Ripper zig zagged between the two areas they came across quite a few problems with the investigation, and to this day no one knows who the man was. On the way back to the hotel we left from Liverpool Street Station which is where the famous train station scene in The Elephant Man was. I fell asleep on the tube and snacked a bit back at the room…now it’s time for bed however. Stonehenge and other exciting things planned for tomorrow! Goodnight.