Norway (Day 18, Part 2)

July 5

London (Greenwich), England

Completing our stroll through the Old Royal Naval College, an adventure that would eventually lead us to the British Museum . . . 

[Where we were . . . ]

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[As noted in the previous post, an excellent venue for an outdoor concert . . . ]

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[And one had recently been held here . . . ]

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[(So, I looked up bao buns) . . . ]

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[Based on the debris field, my guess is that the concert was the previous night . . . ]

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[Downtown London and the river Thames ahead . . . ]

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[The Trafalgar Tavern is on the river . . . ]

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[The Trafalgar Tavern is a Grade II listed public house at Park Row, Greenwich, situated on the south bank of the River Thames, east of and adjacent to the Old Royal Naval College.   It opened in 1837, having been built on the site of ‘The Old George Tavern’.  It was familiar to novelist Charles Dickens, who set the wedding breakfast in ‘Our Mutual Friend’ there.  It also became well-known as the venue for political whitebait dinners for the Liberal party in Victorian times, the last being held in 1883.  In 1915, the Tavern closed, and served as a home for aged seamen during World War I, later becoming a working men’s club between the wars.  It reopened as a pub in 1965, and in 1996 was voted the ‘Evening Standard’ Pub of the year (Wikipedia).]

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[This was the view from the front of the tavern . . . ]

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[The Millennium Dome, also referred to simply as The Dome, is the original name of a large dome-shaped building originally used to house the ‘Millennium Experience’, a major exhibition celebrating the beginning of the third millennium.  It is the ninth largest building in the world by usable volume.  Located on the Greenwich Peninsula in South East London, the exhibition was open to the public from 1 January to 31 December 2000. The project and exhibition was highly political and attracted barely half the 12 million customers its sponsors forecast, so was deemed a failure by the press.  All the original exhibition elements were sold on or dismantled.  The Prime Meridian passes the western edge of the Dome and the nearest London Undergroound station is North Greenwich on the Jubilee line (Wikipedia).]

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[The Super readies to meet Admiral Nelson . . . ]

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[Vice-admiral Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson, 1st Duke of Bronté, KB (29 September 1758 – 21 October 1805) was a British flag office in the Royal Navy.  He was noted for his inspirational leadership, grasp of strategy, and unconventional tactics, which together resulted in a number of decisive British naval victories, particularly during the Napoleonic Wars.  He was wounded in combat, losing sight in one eye in Corsica at the age of 36, and most of one arm in the unsuccessful attempt to conquer Santa Cruz de Tenerife when he was 40.  He was fatally shot during his victory at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805 (Wikipedia).]

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[We wish we could have partaken of the tavern, but the tour group was moving on . . . ]

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[A low tide Thames beach?]

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[Morden Wharf is a 19 acre regeneration site on Greenwich Peninsula.  The major riverside regeneration site, formerly a sweeteners refinery, is adjacent to the O2 Arena (Millennium Dome) with 500 metres of Thames river frontage and plays a crucial part in the delivery of the Royal Borough of Greenwich’s masterplan proposals for the western side of the Greenwich Peninsula.  Leading international architecture practice OMA are the masterplanner/lead architect on the mixed-use development and are developing their initial thoughts for the site (newlondondevelopment.com/nld/project/morden_wharf).]

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[A sighting of our Viking Sun . . . ]

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[With continuing shots . . . ]

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[As we get closer . . . ]

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[And closer . . . ]

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[Our morning tour ended at 9:30 . . . ]

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[We then struck out on our own . . . ]

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[Back into the borough, as we went ISO the British Museum . . . ]

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[This way to the underground . . . ]

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[Check the map to see where we were going . . . ]

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[Our transportation mode . . . ]

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[It was about a 6 mile trip, 35 minutes, on the London Underground (Tube) from Greenwich . . . ]

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[And there it is . . . ]

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[The Super and I had been here on our first trip to London (in the 90’s?), but as I recall this was Anne and Bill’s first visit to the museum . . . ]

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[For all the world’s major museums, there will be a line . . . ]

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[So, we worked our way around . . . ]

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[Et viola!  We are here, and waving!]

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[Finding your way . . . ]

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[We’re in – let’s begin . . . ]

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[It appears we were first in Ephesus . . . ]

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[Nice focusing, Tom . . . ]

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[Anne and the Super check out the pottery collection . . . ]

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[Further identified two photos down . . . ]

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[I don’t know if it’s considered the No. 1 feature of the museum, or not . . . ]

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[But they are certainly up there on everyone’s Bucket List . . . ]

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[The Parthenon Marbles (also known as the Elgin Marbles), are a collection of Classical Greel marble sculptures made under the supervision of the architect and sculptor Phidias and his assistants.  They were originally part of the temple of the Partenon and other buildings on the Acropolis of Athens.  From 1801 to 1812, agents of Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin removed about half of the surviving sculptures of the Parthenon, as well as sculptures from the Propylaea and Erechtheum.  The Marbles were transported by sea to Britain.  Elgin later claimed to have obtained in 1801 an official decree (firman) from the Sublime Porte, the central government of the Ottoman Empire which were then the rulers of  Greece.  This firman has not been found in the Ottoman archives despite its wealth of documents from the same period and its veracity is disputed.  The half not removed by Elgin is now displayed in the Acropolis Museunm, aligned in orientation and within sight of the Parthenon, with the position of the missing elements clearly marked and space left should they be returned to Athens (Wikipedia).]

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[In Britain, the acquisition of the collection was supported by some, while some others, such as Lord Byron, likened the Earl’s actions to vandalism or looting.  Following a public debate in Parliament and its subsequent exoneration of Elgin, he sold the Marbles to the British government in 1816.  They were then passed to the British Museum, where they are now on display in the purpose-built Duveen Gallery (Wikipedia).]

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[In 2014, UNESCO offered to mediate between Greece and the United Kingdom to resolve the dispute, although this was later turned down by the British Museum on the basis that UNESCO works with government bodies, not trustees of museums (Wikipedia).]

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[So, here we are, looking at them in England . . . ]

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[The Super tried to mediate the battle . . . ]

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[Bill, Anne, and the Super check a corner lot . . . ]

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[And here we’re swept up in the crowd . . . ]

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[As an aside, when I first met Anne she had two cats named Agamemnon and Clytemnestra – seemed appropriate to the setting . . . ]

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[A fun part of photography is that I usually don’t notice, until I ‘develop’ the photo, the expressions of other people admiring the same work of art . . . ]

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[This has all the appearances of being Egytptian . . . ]

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[The Balawat Gatesare three sets of decorated bronze bands that had adorned the main doors of several buildings at Balawat (ancient Imgur-Enlil), dating to the reigns of Ashurnasirpal II (r. 883–859 BC) and Shalmaneser III (r. 859–824 BC) (Wikipedia).]

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[Why yes, I did have to look up Balawat.  Balawat is an archaeological site of the ancient Assyrian city of Imgur-Enlil, and modern village in Nineveh Province (Iraq).  It lies 25 kilometres (16 mi) southeast from the city of Mosul and 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) to the south of the modern Assyrian town of Bakhdida (Wikipedia).]

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[A photo of a photo taker . . . ]

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[Again, looking Egyptian . . . ]

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[Another crowd scene . . . ]

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[Initially thought to be the final resting place for Jimmy Hoffa . . . ]

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[Yep, definitely Egypt . . . ]

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[Now this was cool . . . ]

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[I believe it was subsequently used to decypher the Runestone . . . ]

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[I don’t understand the fashion statement of the rectangular beard . . . ]

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[The Super zeroes in on the Rosetta Stone . . . ]

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[Apparently her shot didn’t turn out and apparently I never got close enough to get a good shot, so I borrowed this one off the interwebs . . . ]

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[Here we’re on the main floor . . . ]

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[Home of the totems . . . ]

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[In a remarkable rebuke to one of the world’s most prominent philanthropic dynasties, the prestigious Tate museums in London and the Solomon R. Guggenheim in New York, where a Sackler sat on the board for many years, decided in the last week that they would no longer accept gifts from their longtime Sackler benefactors.  Britain’s National Portrait Gallery announced it had jointly decided with the Sackler Trust to cancel a planned $1.3 million donation, and an article in The Art Newspaper disclosed that a museum in South London had returned a family donation last year . . . all as a result of publicity and legal actions surrounding the family and its company, Purdue Pharma, the maker of the groundbreaking, enormously profitable and frequently-abused painkiller OxyContin (www.nytimes.com/2019/03/25).]

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[Then we took an elevator to top floor for the Japanese exhibit . . . ]

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[Yakyu . . . ]

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[Gaining perspective . . . ]

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[On Buddha . . . ]

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[She can move in any direction . . . ]

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The English are not a very spiritual people, so they invented cricket to give them some idea of eternity.  ~  George Bernard Shaw

Up Next:  The end of the Norway cruise . . .

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