Wednesday, October 30, 2013

London Holiday

Kristin and I are in the UK for the World Fantasy Convention in Brighton.  The convention starts tomorrow, and in the meantime, we've been in London doing the tourist thing.  Being who we are, this has meant not Big Ben and the Tower of London, but the Science Museum, the Classics wing of the British Museum, and Verulamium near St. Albans.

We're staying in a hotel room which is very modern, but rather small:
Kristin on her phone in the hotel room

The very narrow bathroom
All the lights in the hotel room appear to be LEDs, from the ceiling lights, to the stars overhead, and the blue highlights and the television accents:

Blue highlights and star-studded ceiling

The television has a nice glow behind it.
And, of course, there's a collection of inputs for the television, in case you want to show something through HDMI, VGA, RCA, or any other connection.
Connections for the television.  I'm using the USB to charge my phone.
I'm afraid that I didn't take any pictures at the Science Museum, which is too bad.  There was a fairly nice exhibit on steam power, with a huge, working steam engine.  I'm sure all the steampunk writers at World Fantasy would enjoy it.

Kristin and I were focused on the Roman exhibits at the British Museum.  I have more pictures than is practical of that part, but here are a few:

Cooking utensils in the ancient world

A body chain, one of the few examples of this Classical type of jewelry

Weapons!

The Portland Vase
I took a lot more pictures, of a lot of different things, mostly for reference in my writings.

We also went to Verulamium, which was one of the big Roman towns in the early years of Britain's induction to the Empire.  They had a pretty nice museum as well.  Much smaller than the British Museum, and very kid friendly with a lot of annoying multimedia presentation, but there were some interesting items, including the reconstruction of a number of rooms to try to show daily life:

Preparing food in a "middle class" kitchen

A door latch--I've been trying to figure out how exactly it worked

A hearth for preparing food
There are also a few excavation sites nearby:
Part of Verulamium's wall

What's left of the theater

A mosaic floor with a hypocaust--an underground heating system
Today, we went to see St. Paul's Cathedral.  They wouldn't let us take pictures inside, but we were able to take some outside:

The front of St. Paul's, distorted since I was using the panorama mode of my phone.
The dome
A picture from the top of the dome,  looking down on the towers in the first picture.  It required climbing a lot of stairs. 
That's all for now.  Tomorrow, we're heading for Brighton and the World Fantasy Convention.

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