Thursday, October 9, 2014



After lunch, it time to walk the BRITISH MUSEUM

The 25th year of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II

The magnificient Greek Revivial facade 
 There are  44 columns at 45 ft high and this resembled the temple of Athena Polias. The British museum is dedicated to human history and culture and has the largest permanent collections of over 8 millions works!  It was established when the founder Sir Han Sloane, a physician who bequeathed his personal collection of over 71,000 objects to King George II in 1753. 

The Round Reading Room (left) and the Great Court roof 

bookshop at reception.

It is impossible to go through all the exhibits in just 1 day and here we have about only 3 hours before the closing time.   Entrance is free and you can imagine the tourists mingling with the locals.  So we  decided to go our separate ways and meet up later.  These are some of the famous "Top 10 must see objects in one hour" (unfortunately cannot find them all)  and other  exhibits which I saw that day.....

The King's Library - over 65,000 of rare books and  manuscripts  

This is in the Enlightenment Gallery -

the double headed Aztec turquoise mosaic serpent from Mexico.
The body of the sculpture was craved from wood and created without use of iron tools, so that means the turquoise was to be cut from harder stones.  The serpent was highly worshipped in their religion and its symbol of rebirth in its ability to shed its old skin.   

Spanish sculptures 

statue of Buddha from Burma

The Dancing statue of Shiva within a ring of fire. His hair flies out on either side of his head as he dance and beneath his feet is the dwarf of ignorance Apasmara

Gilded bronze figure of Tara, a Buddhist goddes from Sri Lanka.

The David Vases from Yuan Dynasty China.
These are made for the altar of a Taoist Temple and their importance lies in the earliest known blue and white porcelain in China. 

Mummy of an Egyptian cat
The cat is associated with the Goddess Bastel. Animals associated with the deities were mummified and examinations have shown that many of these would probably have been culled to provide subjects for sale to the pious.  The purchase and burial of an mummified animal was seen as a pious act towards the deity represented by the deity. 

a display of an early Korean house.. 

 "Crouching Venus" statue show Venus probably taking her bath.  Her head turned to look right and her right arm cover over her breast to the left  if caught in surprise. 

pair of Human Head Winged Lions, 
these are Assyrian protective deity normally human head with body of bull, lion or eagle.

Finally reached the Greece Parthenon Room and the famous Elgin Marbles collection.

Elgin Marbles are a collection of classical Greek marble sculptures that were part of the Parthenon on the Acropolis of Athens.   These were obtained by Thomas Bruce the 7th Earl of Elgin from the Ottoman Empire and shipped back to Britain during 1801 to 1812.  

Most loved sculpture from the Parthenon.... Selene Horse.
"It captures the very essence of the stress felt by a beast that has spent the night drawing the chariot of the Moon across the sky.  .... the horse pins back its ear, the jaw gapes, the nostrils flare, the eye bulge, veins stand out and the flesh seems spare and taut over the flat plate of the cheek bone"  wiki

A centaur and slave..

Notice how detail are the folds of the dress

the reconstructed Nereid Monument
This is a sculptured tomb of ancient Greece.  Nereids are known to be sea nymphs.

Life size pediment sculptures from the Parthenon.

 the Rosetta Stone.. no way I can see or read those tiny writings..
It is a stele (stone) monument with a decree inscribed.  The decree appeared in 3 script: upper text is Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, middle is demotic (ancient Egyptian language) and lower is Ancient Greek. This is important key to understand the early Egyptian history and culture

We finally came out after 2 hours.   It was hot and stuffy inside the museum actually, so was glad to come out for the breath of fresh air.  We walked back to the train station...

 A Penny and Farthing

A must-have in London.....never know when it will rain.
James Smith & Sons  a family run business established since 1830. There are also walking sticks too

Another must have- English tea
Time for a cuppa- our pick: a pistochio cronut,  Earl Grey tea and latte

 open cafe bar....

Testimonies of good time at the cafe and handcrafted items are for sale

After enjoying our tea break, it more walking ...

So eye-catching window display.... John Lewis, department store. 

I think the most tell-tale sign that we are tourist, must be the way we were always looking around, up and down.....  

Charlie Chaplin said "looking down, you will never find a rainbow", so by looking up, we found this!  

tuck away from the maddening crowds in Oxford street, a retail shopping centre into through this small alley...

into a open courtyard....  a haven of retreat and calm as we walked through this courtyard. There is a eclectic mix of shops, boutiques, restaurants and bars surrounding this square.  

we carry on walking through and came out right in the parking lot of Selfridges.

this clock was ticking away so wonder it's "world's end"

A high end department store founded by Harry Gordon Selfridge, an American from Chicago who came to built his fortune in London.  This stone sculpture are around the corners of the building.   

When the store opened in 1909, it was called "most imperial building in London".

the clock in front of the entrance......

called The Queen of Time  was installed in 1931.
The figure is of polychrome while the dress is blue enamel. She stand erect on the prow of the ship and hold a sprig of some plant in her left hand while her right hand hold a globe bearing a small angel, who also hold a branch and a wreath.  On top of the clock is another small ship.  On both sides of the  ship, there is a pair of mermaids, each holding a circle in brass. Behind the Queen of Time, you can see the 2 winged figure of a male and female, not very noticeable.   Behind and top against the wall of this composition, are 2 seminude girls seated with their faces turning away from each other.  The panels along the side shows cherubs etc.      

Flanking the entrance are a pair of standing female sculptures. One holds a looking glass and the other looking at a small sculpture of  a mother and child.  

Looking  at the worn, smooth surface of this marker, you will know how many thousands of people have passed through this door.

The Shoe Galleries launched i n 2007 is the largest shoe department in the world over 4000 pairs of shoes including Jimmy Choo' brand too!  There is also  the Woman Designer Galleries and Beauty Workshops and last but not least the Food Halls....

Magnum promotion going on....

GPB4 to create your personalise ice-cream..

the window displays were awesome and so pretty ...

there was a "Meet the artist, meet the baker, maker etc going on.
Beautifullly crafted macaroon, but we did not buy any instead we bought these...

luscious sweet fresh raspberries... only GPB2 per box, devoured on the spot! yum. 

Shopping here is not my cup of tea but my stomach is growling and we decided to go for dumpling in Chinatown...

found him at last...the statue of  Charlie Chaplin has been moved here from Leicester Square since  1 January 2014,  in front of the Empire Casino. Charles Spencer Chaplin was born on 16/4/1889 and was one of the iconic star of the silent movie era  eg  "The Tramp".   

Lots of choices here and quite reasonably priced too.... and I can see big prawns :D!

Chinatown bustling with the night diners... plenty of choices here.

We had jiao zhi (dumplings) at this shop before going home.
Another amazing day...