If it's Friday, I must be in London

A little slow going this morning but made it to my self serve breakfast by 10 am. Muesli and coffee and made a ham sandwich for later in the day - no one around so I sat in the room facing the garden. Both kitchen and garden access close at 11 am.

First on the list of priorities - find Radio City on Bond Street nearby to get a proper charge adapter, check. They also had an iPhone USB and charger - check. And for around 15 British pounds. Went to the iPhone place on Broadway to inquire about a SIM card so I can make local calls - and for 60 British pounds which I think is a huge amount but wanted to have the ability to call Tara and maybe call the next places I am staying - the good part is that with this access I can just dial the numbers directly since my Consumer Cellular doesn't work here and I won't get charged ginormous fees for roaming like some other plans.

Lely's Venus on loan from Queen Elizabeth II

Lely's Venus, front view
From the Parthenon frieze, Athena's new robe
British Museum - spent a few hours here visiting my favorites - Egypt, Greece and Rome. There is a current exhibition there called American Pop for 16 British pounds which I decided to skip. Just intending to buy a couple of postcards but got a little umbrella with Egyptian scenes on it - no downpours yet and I do have my raincoat from Eastern Mountain Sports which turns out to be yes, rainproof but hot. So it's off and on with the coat all day. My all time favorite museum of the day was a new one for me and one that I tried to see years ago - the Petrie Museum connected to a university  called UCL somewhat near the British Museum. It is jam packed with Egyptian artifacts not only collected and excavated by Sir William Flinders Petrie but other archaeologists as well. There are drawers that you can pull out with more artifacts - under plexiglass - but still! More shabtis and bronze figurines than I have ever seen in one place except of course, the Cairo Egyptian Museum. Not as many Fayum mummy portraits as I would have expected but a huge number of predynastic pottery vessels and even a pottery burial with a skeleton in it. For Heather, there are a few bronze Ptolemaic era figurines - I saw a couple of Harpokrates and an Isis aegis.

Egyptian net dress with bronze nipple covers

Fayum mummy portrait of a young man

life sized, reminds me of Kim's ceramic children

Stopped at Minamoto Kitchoan almost across the street from Fortnum and Mason on Picadilly Street. The Lonely Planet London mentioned it as the place for Japanese sweets and there are two tiny tables where you can eat the mochi rice with red bean paste or any number of expensive other sweets that defy description - jellied peach or mango or cherries. All very artisfically created and displayed. I had a traditional mochi

called a Kashiwamochi (Rice cake) wrapped in an oak leaf and a Kuridaifuku because the name amused me and it had chestnut pieces buried in the sweet red bean paste. They give you a free cup of green tea to go with it and I have to say, it was the best green tea I have had - the real matcha type which one can purchase as well. These sweets aren't cheap either but you do get elegance and genuine Japanese atmosphere. I ate the chestnut one there with the tea and took the oak one home. Just ate it and it had absorbed a little of the oak flavor from the perfect oak leaf and now my room smells like oak leaves.

My Oyster card works well - at first it didn't and the message was to see the agent. The agents - two AfroBrits had a good time telling me it had nothing on it. But that was because it was the first time using it. So they had a laugh on me and I told them I was glad to make them laugh. Tube travel in London is very expensive - I spent around $9 today on tubing it around the city. The closest stop to me is West Ealing but is a direct stop from the Heathrow Connect train. Ealing Broadway is the tube stop about 10 minutes walk or so. My sense of direction is my usual - turned around and I should have brought a compass. Reading maps is not my forte but I managed to log in several miles this way. Back to my At Home B & B by 7 pm and spent most of it on my feet and walking about except for the brief tube rides.

Ciao bellas! My hiking boots are getting a work out (as am I). Still glad for the limited wardrobe but will be hating it toward the end of the three weeks. More later with photos I promise


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