April 1, 2010 (Thursday)

After an all night flight, we have arrived at Gatwick airport in London at 7:00 am. We will have to push through the time change fog our brains are in and pretend we are at the beginning of a new day after a good night’s sleep. (Not!)  Because of construction at the airport, we have to take a shuttle bus to the Gatwick Express train. Caught the train to Victoria Station, then a cab to our hotel by around 9 am, so about two hours to get from airport to hotel.

Jean had found a nice little boutique hotel named Morgan Hotel on Bloomsbury Street right around the corner from the British Museum. We were rushing to try to get on to the British Library, which required taking a bus. The proprietor was very nice and offered us a cup of tea, which was exactly what we needed after the long transatlantic flight.

After tea, we stowed away our luggage with the hotel proprietor and headed a few blocks away to catch the No. 73 bus, which would take us to the British Library. Unfortunately, the “73” was not running its normal route because of road construction, so we couldn’t catch it. A bus driver told us we should take the “29” bus instead, which turned out to be a major misdirection. We ended up at a public library (not the British Library), so we asked the lady at the desk how to get to the British Library. This lady was so kind! She literally walked us to the correct bus stop.

Finally, we arrived at the British Library! Jerry was so excited to see the Sinaiticus and Alexandrinus Greek manuscripts, the original Beatles lyrics, etc. The only negative at the Library was that NO photos are allowed, not even without flash, which was very disappointing and tough for the camera bug!

After finishing our quick but fun tour of the Library, we got a quick lunch at the museum and then caught the bus back to the hotel. That journey was also a little difficult since we have to determine which side of the street to catch the bus going the right direction and then have to know exactly where to get off. Fortunately, the bus went right down our hotel’s street of Bloomsbury, and we just happened to see our little hotel entrance and got off just in time! Whew!

We retrieved our luggage and finally checked into our room. After getting arranged, we then headed off to the British Museum, which was just two blocks down the street! (Jerry says way to go Jean. You are a great travel agent!)

The British Museum was wonderful and full of such amazing things. Unlike the British Library, pictures were allowed, so that was a huge relief to Jerry, because one of his main academic objectives for the trip is accumulating an archive of museum pictures for use in his classroom presentations.

Jerry gets pictures of Assyrian reliefs documenting the story of the capture of the Jewish city of Lachish:

The famous Rosetta Stone allowing archeologists to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics for the first time:

After finishing at the British Museum, we went to the TAS Restaurant (a Turkish restaurant) right next door to our hotel to end our long day (really two days straight since leaving New Orleans). It was very good!