Saturday, February 28, 2009

Treasures at the BL

My feet are still a bit tender from all the walking, so I decided to start the day with a short jaunt back to the British Library and a look at their treasures. Click here to get to the BL web page about the exhibit. It was jaw dropping. My favorites: Magna Carta, Codex Sinaiticus, Lindisfarne Gospels, Gutenberg Bible, Captain Scott's diary with his last entry, Beowulf, and the manuscript lyrics for the Beatles "Help." But there were lots more. It really was an amazing exhibit.

From there I hopped the Underground (I love my Oyster card) to The Green Park where it was a short walk to Buckingham Palace. (The flag was up; I think that means that the Queen is in residence.) I then walked up Constitution Hill to the Wellington Arch and from there across to Hyde Park and the Serpentine. Then it was over to Knightsbridge and a little wandering around before I came to Harrods. I didn't go in because the crowds in that part of the city were the biggest I've seen. Maybe I'll try again when I come back after Portsmouth. Bryce says I should check out the food court. The sidewalks were packed and I felt like I was shuffling my way back to Knightsbridge. I was starting to get hungry and thought about dropping into a restaurant to get a bite to eat, but wanted to see a few more things before it got dark. So I went around the back side of the palace grounds, past the Royal Mews and Queens Gallery to the Victoria Memorial and over to the Mall. From there I caught a glimpse of Clarence House and St. James palace (complete with guards) and then over to Pall Mall and St. James Square, site of the London Library. Its tucked in the northwest corner of the square. I didn't go in as it was near closing, but may try to visit again. I wonder who the sub-Librarian is? (Those of you who know the Holmes stories also know about Lomax, the sub-librarian; there's also a scion society of the Baker Street Irregulars that's connected with the American Library Association--The Sub-Librarians. They have a meeting every year during ALA's annual conference. This year they'll be in Chicago; Jon Lellenberg is the guest speaker.)

By this time it was getting dark, so I found the Underground at Picadilly Circus and headed back to Russell Square. I found a little food store nearby and bought some sandwiches and fruit. (I've had a real craving for fresh fruit.) Back in my room, I've been checking e-mail, uploading pictures and catching up on the news.

Tomorrow I head to Portsmouth. I'm looking forward to the train ride and a chance to see another part of the country. I'm also looking forward to meeting the folks at Portsmouth and spending a productive week with them and Richard's collection. But now its late and time for bed. I think my body is finally getting in synch with the time change. Pedometer count today: 13,601.

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