A Day at the British Museum

The only thing on the plate for today was to spend it at the British Museum! Getting there was super easy. I just had to take the overground from Kensal Green to Euston Station, then walk a few blocks down Gower Street. Since the exterior set for “Sherlock” was literally on my route, with no detours, I stopped for a picture and to have breakfast at Speedy’s Cafe, also featured on the show.

I got to the museum just before 11AM. I had a plan to tackle it. I would start with what I came to see, the Rosetta Stone and the Egyptian artifacts, then work my way down from the top. Ha ha ha ha ha. The British Museum is a warren of rooms and staircases and it was impossible create any sort of logical path through it. I ended up doing the museum very haphazardly, often doubling back multiple times to the same rooms by a different staircase. I’m pretty sure I got to every room, but, obviously, I did not read everything!

I had lunch in the Great Court on the ground floor, a wonderfully flavourful baguette loaded with cheese, pickled onions, Dijon, and more. I could not believe how good it was! A few hours after that, my aching legs shaky, I went to the Great Court restaurant upstairs to have a cream tea. As research had told me, service was dire, but it was nice to sit for almost an hour with my treat and work on my Bulgarian. 🙂 A cream tea is a pot of tea with scones, jam, and Devonshire (clotted) cream. I have a full afternoon tea booked for tomorrow!

I stayed at the museum almost right to closing, going back to see things in less crowded conditions. The order of my pictures will reflect that.

The British Museum was everything I’d dreamt it would be and MORE! One thing that really delighted me was that there were “touch stations,” where you could handle real ancient artifacts.

After the museum, I thought of doing “something else,” then realised that I was completely tuckered. So I headed home, going out again about an hour later to the Kensal Rise high road to get some fish and chips for dinner. That walk did me in. My legs are sore!

Tomorrow is going to be interesting because of my Oyster/public transportation problem. More on that after the pictures. I’ve got some notes, but the pictures are more meant to be things that caught my attention than a way to educate my readers. 🙂

So my Oyster problem. The Oyster card is a prepaid card. You tap it when you start a journey and tap it at the end and whatever your fare is gets deducted from your card balance. I only had enough money left to travel today. I tried to “top up” three times today and each time, the transaction failed. No one at the ticket booths could help me. I called the bank and they said that the money was charged. I called Oyster (yay for Skype on both accounts) and they said there was nothing to do for me since they only refund money to UK residents with a bank account here. So now, I’m out about 60CAD (!!!), although I’m pretty sure I can get my money back by filing a fraud report with CIBC once the transactions post, although that will very likely take months to sort out. But what do I do tomorrow since there’s not enough money on my account to go anywhere? Needless to say, I’m not giving Transport for London my credit card again! Public transit in London is excellent, but you have to be very self-sufficient as there is no help available and the payment system is unnecessarily complicated and convoluted. What I will try tomorrow is a newsagent on the Kensal Green high street who has an Oyster symbol. Maybe I’ll be able to pay with cash…

9 thoughts on “A Day at the British Museum

  1. Ask your host if they can intervene on your behalf. Possibly the refund can go to them and then they can Pay Pal you.

    Love the museum tour, gracias.

    • I had the same thought, but Oyster can only refund to me. It is the most convoluted and nonsensical payment system I’ve encountered. Been doing a lot of reading and I’m not alone. 🙁

      Glad you enjoyed the museum tour.

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