We began this day by packing up all our stuff and checking it with the hotel while we went sight-seeing. Today's destination--the British Museum. It's a huge, fabulous museum with all KINDS of stuff. This is the Museum with the Rosetta Stone--the archaelogical find that allowed historians to finally decipher hierglyphics.
Last time we went the Egyptian Mummy exhibit was closed. But this time it was open, so we went to it. They had a variety of mummies, wrapped up with artistic designs painted on many of them. One of them even had a portrait painted at the head. They also had a spectacular display of esophagases--I mean, sarcophagaes. :D :D :D
We also saw a mummified cat and kitten. And a mummified eel.
(Imagines conversation..."Oh, so you went to England, what all did you see there?" Response, "Oh, y'know, mummified eels.")
We ate lunch there at a cute little cafe. Nobody over here understands about waiter service very well. They take forever to get to you and once they've served your food, they never come back. Really. This place was more of a buffet/snack place. Heather and I each got a small pizza. Grandma and Gramps wanted one too, but there were no more. "I fix you one, I fix you one," the man assured us. "I'll bring it to you." He made another batch....and then casually put them in the buffet line without bothering to bring us one at all. Oh sigh.
We had a funny experience on the tube that day. As we were going up the crowded escalator on our way out (and incidentally, if you're going to just STAND on the escalator, you stand on the RIGHT, so that people in a hurry can pass you on the LEFT), Heather decided to take a picture. Immediately after her camera flashed A Voice came over the PA system informing the entire station that "Flash photography is NOT permitted." Well, for one thing, I can't imagine why, and for another, Heather was a little embarrassed. :)
We took taxis back to the hotel to get our luggage. Grandma and Gramps and Heather went in one. Dad and Mom and I waited and waited for another. Finally we decided to walk a little further to a more promising spot. Crossing the street in London is always a Very Exciting Thrill--they drive like madmen and don't stop for pedestrians. :D We just about got mowed over by a bicyclist, who zoomed past us and bellowed, "Eeediots!!"
At the hotel we loaded our luggage into a special van that would take us to the airport. It was a fairly long ride and most of us dozed.
Heathrow is a very busy, crowded, noisy airport. They do this goofy thing there--they don't post any gate information until 40 minutes ahead of time. So rather than arriving early and going straight to your gate, you arrive early and sit around in a lounge, staring at the monitor, hoping that YOUR flight won't be a six-mile walk away. They are Vastly Inefficient with their technology here.
(The washer has been running for over an hour. It is a small, front-loading machine. It washes clothes "very scientifically" we are assured. Splendid. How about FASTER????? We're talking SOCKS, people!!!)
After a crowded cumbersome time of making it through check-in and security (the security people took Dad's laptop to examine it, without telling him....he just about panicked when he couldn't find it), we went to a small lounge and snacked. Then we walked to a central area and stared at a monitor for umpteen years until the Powers That Be stopped sipping their tea and posted gate info.
Then at last we boarded the plane to Munich! More about the rest of the day in the next post.