Sunday Heather and I went to London. Destination: the British Museum (lots more pictures here).

British Museum
British Museum, via flickr

Since the kids have recently been reading The Red Pyramid (we recorded the last few chapters as mp3s and emailed them back home) and are big fans of Demigod Chronicles (or whatever that series of books is called), and we figured we’d spend plenty of time with the Rosetta Stone and Elgin Marbles in a few weeks when the kids are here, we skipped the Egyptian and Greek wing and headed up to Bronze Age and Roman wings.

Exhibit cabinet, via flickr

We also went through the exhibit on timekeeping, which has some pretty extraordinary Renaissance and early modern clocks.

Timepieces through the ages
Clocks, via flickr

After lunch, it was upstairs to the small Americas rooms, thence into the big, impressive Enlightenment wing.

British Museum
Hall of Enlightenment, via flickr

Personally, I still find the courtyard one of the most extraordinary spaces I’ve ever seen, and after several weeks here in England, I have a new wrinkle on my affection.

British Museum
The Great Courtyard, via flickr

One of the things that impresses me here is how some very old buildings are reworked and expanded, with little concern for maintaining (say) the look of the old stonework, or erasing the fact that you’ve bricked up an old window or door.

Renovations, Trinity College, via flickr

In a way, the British Museum courtyard is a version of this: it takes the old buildings of the Museum, and welds them into a very different space.

Great courtyard
The Great Courtyard, via flickr

It’s very cool.