Travel Theme: Close-Up

Ailsa of “Where’s My Backpack?” is looking at things in detail this week. Getting CLOSE-UP. If you would like to join in with her challenge then please do. Everyone is welcome.

On a visit this week to the British Museum I was thrilled to get close up to some very interesting objects.

(click on collage to enlarge)

close-up collage

Hieroglyphics from the Egyptian Rooms and Enlightenment Gallery. Excessive Zimbabwean currency notes from the Money Room, an Anglo-Saxon helmet from Early Medieval Europe, a beautiful ceramic bowl from Algeria and colourful painted decoration which was once painted above the column capitals of the Parthenon.


(Above) Man’s Cloth – recycled foil bottle-neck wrappers, copper wire by El Anatsui, Ghana, 1988 – 2001 (A traditional narrow-strip woven silk kente cloth of Ghana)


(Above) A close-up of a gold cape from Mold, Wales made from a single sheet of gold (c 1900 – 1600 BC)

I can’t believe that it has taken me until now to visit this astonishing museum and can’t wait to return to London and continue exploring the range of cultures, periods and objects it contains.

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I have lived in the UK for most of my life, but when young I definitely had wanderlust and even ended up living in South Africa for several years which was a wonderful experience. I now look forward to a long and leisurely retirement doing what I like most - gardening, photography, walking and travelling.

30 thoughts on “Travel Theme: Close-Up”

  1. Very interesting set, Jude…it’s many moons since I visited the British Museum, one day I’ll get back!

    1. It takes a lot out of you, a bit too crowded for me in parts and I was left feeling very foot-sore, but it is a fascinating place!

    1. This is the Sutton Hoo burial helmet Pete. I also took photos of the replica which is absolutely beautiful. I may write a post about London – let’s just say that it has some hidden charms, but I wouldn’t want to live there now – when I was 19 I was desperate to live there, but it never happened!

      1. The thing about London is that it can be great if you are ‘shown’ it by a Londoner. It is not really a place to try to discover as a tourist. I used to love showing people around the ‘unseen’ parts of my old home city.
        Like you though, I doubt I could go back and live there now. x

        1. I tried to stay away from the obvious tourist traps, but I wanted to visit the British Museum (and others, but never made it). My OH lived in London for 25 years and he says he’d never live there again – not that we could afford to even if we wanted to 😉

    1. I’m ashamed to say it was my first visit and I lived only an hour away for seven years! I’m kicking myself now.

  2. That gold cloak is just amazing, Jude. Those Zimbabwean currency notes are such a sad joke. When we were there ten years ago, no-one would accept anything but American dollars.

    1. The gold cloak is stunning though very uncomfortable to wear I imagine. I was in Zim 14 years ago when the Zim dollar was still the legal currency but no-one wanted to accept it. USD the £ even jeans or watches were the preferred currency. Such a shame how that wonderful country has deteriorated through the greed of one man.

    1. Yes it is Sarah. There was so much more to see though that I didn’t go there! What an amazing place. My only negative is that it was SO busy and some rooms very difficult to move in. I’d gladly pay £5 to enter (and did donate this amount) and although it is fantastic to have free entry, maybe charging a small fee would keep the crowds down. Or not.

      1. It’s a huge collection!!! I think as long as the museum is comfortably meeting its financial needs, then keeping it free is a good thing even if it is packed. It’s history that belongs to everyone and should remain as accessible as possible! Having said all of that, I do get horribly impatient with crowds of people, especially if they get in the way of my photography subject! Wisley was mega busy yesterday with the craft show and the nice weather. I thought we’d keep away from the crowds by heading up to Battleston, but of course they’ve got signs out everywhere sending folks up there to see the paper handkerchief tree! I had to hold my tongue several times as people raced past me, noisily scaring off the wildlife 😮

        1. I think it is the crowds that get to me. I don’t like feeling hemmed in.
          I managed to get a photo of the Handkerchief tree last year at Kiftsgate garden. Funny that I was photographing the same flowers this week (end April) as I was last year (end May) – spring was so late last year!

        2. Last year’s late blooms made for some great photos with the summer blooms arriving on time! The bluebells have been really early this year which has spoilt some plans I had. There’s always next year though! The handkerchief tree is one of my mums favourites 🙂

    1. Oh yes Sue. It is amazing, though my poor feet were screaming after 4 hours. And I only saw a small part of the collections. I’m already thinking about the next visit.

      1. I think we read that there were 11 million artifacts in the British Museum! I can only imagine the foot traffic needed to cover it!

        1. I need to find some really comfortable shoes! I walked for hours every day for three consecutive days and my poor feet were burning! Next time I shall be more prepared 🙂

  3. The photos are terrific, I can’t believe they let you take photos inside! Here in the US most museums don’t allow photography 😦 Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Tina. No restrictions as far as I could see and EVERYONE was taking photos. To be honest there is far too much to take in on one visit and I had to restrict photos to objects that I really liked.

  4. The museum was one of the first places I visited when I arrived in 1990 — it helped that I was staying then at the YWCA just down the road (the building is now the rather posh Bloomsbury Hotel). Did you take the photo of the roof enclosing the courtyard around the library, too? That’s an amazing structure. Thanks for the reminder of many happy (albeit footsore!) visits to a favourite London haunt.

    1. Footsore – definitely. I must have walked miles in London, not helped by the tube strike 😦
      The header photo is of the courtyard roof, but you may not see that if you are looking on a small device. It’s stunning! (The roof, not my photo!)

  5. I love the British Museum, not been for a few years but have always enjoyed my visits there immensely. Was about to ask how it went in London and just read your reply above…thought of you with the tube strike but hope you had a good time anyway.

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