到倫敦不可不看的國家美術館(National Gallery) 外加去Fortnum & Mason找茶

在物價不低的倫敦旅遊, 除了逛免費又可增長知識的大英博物館(British Museum), 還可以參觀免費的國家美術館(National Gallery).

國家美術館位於倫敦市中心的特拉法加廣場(Trafalgar Square)

不同於其他的美術館多半是建立於一些國家或皇家擁有的藝術收藏品, 倫敦這個國家美術館從一開始是英國政府在1824年跟生意人約翰安格斯坦(John Julius Angerstein)的繼承者買了38幅畫, 並且從當年就開始展示. 後來增加的收藏品大多是私人的捐獻.

除了一些特別的展覽以外, 參觀國家美術館是免費的, 但是在入口處也有個大大的捐獻箱, 我看到箱子裡什麼樣的貨幣都有😃

這個美術館的收藏比起其他的美術館來說並不多, 約有2300多幅畫, 但是有些世界名畫可是都收藏在此, 例如達文西(Leonardo Da Vinci)的大作: 岩石裡的聖母(Virgin of the Rocks). 達文西總共畫了兩幅岩石裡的聖母, 但是色調不一樣, 另一幅在巴黎的羅浮宮(Louvre Museum).

這幅也是達文西的作品: 聖母子與聖安妮與施洗者約翰(The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne and Saint John the Baptist), 是炭筆畫.

這幅小漢斯霍爾拜因(Hans Holbein the Younger)的名畫: 大使們(The Ambassadors). 圖中兩人的下方有個白色的物體, 要從畫旁邊的角度看才看得出是個頭骨.

我這個角度好像還是不太對, 看不清楚, 我覺得角度要更高一點😅

小漢斯霍爾拜因當時幫都鐸王朝(Tudors)的幾個重要人物畫過肖像, 例如國王亨利八世(Henry  VIII), 亨利八世的宰相湯瑪士摩爾(Thomas More), 跟亨利八世的第三個老婆珍西摩爾(Jane Seymour). 當珍西摩爾病逝後, 小漢斯霍爾拜因受雇畫了當時一些被認為匹配的上國王的貴族女生, 這些畫像是用來相親的, 因為當時沒有照片, 交通也不方便, 不可能搭個車或飛機就見到本人, 這幅畫中的女生是當時16歲的丹麥公主克莉絲汀娜(Christina of Denmark).

不過傳言說這公主畫完肖像後拒絕了國王, 她說: “這個國王拋棄了第一任老婆, 砍了第二任老婆, 第三任老婆生產後感染而死. 如果我有兩顆頭, 我很願意服侍這個國王, 但很不幸的, 我只有一顆頭”😂😂😂

另外在肖像館也收藏了一些都鐸王朝(Tudors)的重要人物肖像, 有亨利八世的第二個老婆安柏琳 (Anne Boleyn)

還有失去亨利八世信任的紅衣主教湯瑪士沃西(Cardinal Thomas Wolsey). 湯瑪士沃西原本是國王的心腹, 但是無法讓國王合理的跟第一任老婆凱塞琳(Catherine of Aragon)離婚而娶安柏琳, 因為當時離婚是不被天主教承認的, 尤其凱塞琳又受到人民的愛戴, 加上凱塞琳可是西班牙皇后伊莎貝拉(Queen Isabella I of Castile)的女兒, 姪子還是神聖羅馬帝國皇帝查爾斯五世(Charles V of Holy Roman Empire), 後台可是很硬的…

亨利八世的第一個兒子是跟第一任老婆凱塞琳生的, 但是嬰兒時期就過世了, 所以亨利不停的娶老婆想要多生幾個兒子. 第一任老婆凱塞琳還有生下一個女兒瑪莉(Mary I), 第二任老婆安柏琳生了個女兒伊莉莎白(Elizabeth I), 第三任老婆珍西摩爾終於生下愛德華六世(Edward VI), 第四任老婆是德國的公主安妮(Anne of Cleves), 居然被國王嫌太醜, 讓婚姻無效, 但還是給了她一大筆錢在英國過得很舒適(安妮的相親畫也是小漢斯霍爾拜因畫的, 但也不知道為什麼國王看到本人後覺得跟畫不像). 第五任老婆凱瑟琳霍爾德(Katherine Howard)才17歲(還是安柏琳的表妹)也在結婚一年多後被砍頭了(!!) 第六任老婆凱瑟琳帕爾(Catherine Parr)還沒生下任何孩子國王就死了…

這幅肖像則是亨利八世跟第三任老婆珍西摩爾(Jane Seymour)的兒子愛德華六世(Edward VI), 也是亨利八世唯一的兒子, 很不幸的是雖然在國王亨利八世去世後繼任國王, 但活到15歲就死了…

愛德華六世死了以後, 可憐的珍葛雷(Lady Jane Grey)被政治鬥爭拱上去當了九天的女王後就被砍頭了(!!)當時也不過16歲的花漾年華, 她被行刑的畫也是小漢斯霍爾拜因畫的, 也收藏在這裡. 珍葛雷是亨利八世的爸爸–亨利七世(Henry VII)的曾孫女, 她也是亨利八世的孫姪女(是這樣說嗎?😅)

後來就是由亨利八世的大女兒瑪莉(Mary I)當上女王, 利用宗教的理由鎮壓, 所以人稱血腥瑪莉(Bloody Mary).

瑪莉後來把王位傳給亨利八世的二女兒伊莉莎白(Elizabeth I). 她在位期間人稱黃金年代(Golden Age).

如果亨利八世知道他自己兩個女兒後來都當了英國女王, 不知道他會不會還那樣執著?

看完了這些有趣的歷史人物的畫像, 美術館內還有其他有趣的收藏, 例如這幅看似古怪的畫其實就是愛德華六世, 必須從壓克力箱的右邊有個小洞觀看

從小洞中可以看出正常的畫像了😁

畫總是少不了關於伊甸園亞當跟夏娃的主題, 看這個亞當一臉萌呆的樣子

還有這幅國會主題的畫, 這個畫家真是辛苦了~

顏色非常豔麗的畫

夏坦子爵的死亡 (The Death of the Earl of Chathan) 是美國人畫家約翰科普利(John Singleton Copley) 的油畫

倒下的人面色死灰, 其他圍繞在他旁邊的人可以看出表情焦慮

美術館內還收藏了梵谷(Vincent van Gosh)的名畫向日葵, 有興趣的人去找找吧~

看完了美術館可以到不遠的柯芬園(Covent Garden)逛逛. 柯芬園集合了餐廳, 小店 ,跟手工藝品攤位, 旁邊還有英國皇家芭蕾舞團(Royal Ballet)在此表演的皇家歌劇院(Royal Opera House)

 

大家都知道英國下午茶很有名, 下午茶的主角當然就是茶了. 倫敦有個專賣店叫做Fortnum & Mason, 這個店不只販賣無止盡的茶葉, 茶包, 茶點, 茶具, 在二樓以上已經是個販賣各種禮品的百貨商場了

對於不喝茶的人來說, 進去逛一圈也是很值得! 這棟建築不只外牆古典高雅, 裡面的裝潢用了淺綠色跟金色的組合, 樓梯間的牆上用了無數個金翅茶杯做裝飾

當然販買各種設計茶壺

也販賣香濱跟野餐用的高級餐具籃

還有包裝美麗又可配茶的茶點糖果

喜歡喝茶的人來到這裡會覺得有如天堂吧? 茶的種類多到數不清, 茶香在此環繞, 讓愛找”茶”的人久久不想離去😆

另外有各式果醬蜂蜜來配茶~

P.S. Fortnum & Mason有賣散裝的茶, 愛買多少就買少, 價錢以重量計算, 這種買茶的方式經濟實惠, 還可以買上多種口味不讓你的錢包破碎.

偉大的歷史知識庫 大英博物館 (British Museum) 外加倫敦真好逛

在維也納過了一晚, 吃了有名的沙赫蛋糕(Sachertorte), 買了小熊軟糖, 晚上又在聖史帝芬大教堂(St.Stephen’s Cathedral)周圍的鬧區逛了一下, 隔天就飛到倫敦. 這次是我第二次到英國, 第一次是剛好十年前了, 當時不只去了倫敦, 還去了劍橋牛津, 跟巴斯. 當時去了大英博物館(British Museum)就讓我這個博物館迷覺得一定要再來, 因為裡面的寶藏實在太多了, 尤其是跟人類歷史有關的考古文物, 讓我覺得在這邊待上一個月都值得啊! 但是後來陸陸續續去了其他的國家, 直到2019年因為要去匈牙利而在英國轉機, 就想說再待上幾天感受一下十年後的倫敦跟大英博物館!

大英博物館不收門票, 但是入口處會有個大大的捐獻箱. 最早之前有各國的人抗議英國人把他們國家的文物都”偷”走了 但是英國人說他們是在”保管”這些歷史寶物, 這就是為什麼大英博物館不收門票, 但是其實維持場地跟員工的薪水也是要錢的, 所以我看也有不少人捐個五英鎊十英鎊之類的.

位於倫敦市中心的大英博無物館成立於1753年, 原本是個內科醫生的翰斯斯隆爵士(Sir Hans Sloane)收藏了七萬多件作品, 包括植物標本, 手稿, 跟書籍, 去世後就依照他的遺囑把他的收藏捐給英國並且成立博物館, 加上後來從各國各地搜來的物品, 總共約有八百萬件收藏, 但大部分沒有開放給大眾.

博物館的前門看起來很有希臘神殿的建築風味

博物館現在有10個部門, 我這次著重於古埃及跟希臘羅馬的古早文物

這就是大名鼎鼎的羅塞塔石板(Rosetta Stone), 一堆人圍著它照相😅
這個石板是在拿破崙(Napoleon Bonaparte)在1798年占領埃及時, 一個軍隊裡的上尉在當時的埃及羅塞塔市發現的. 研究發現這塊石板是托勒密王朝(Ptolemic Dynasty)的祭司製作來紀念當時13歲的國王, 托勒密五式(Ptolemy V)加冕一周年.
這塊石板對歷史重要的是因為上面寫了三種不同的語言, 從上到下有聖書體(Egyptian hieroglyphs), 也就是古埃及像畫畫一般的象形文字, 接著是埃及世俗體(Demotic), 是平民百姓用的文字, 最後是古希臘文. 在這之前沒有人能知道古埃及象形文字代表的意思, 但是有了這塊石板, 就等於有了一個翻譯年糕字典來對照象形文字的意義了!

埃及館就是要很多法老王頭像, 這一個是拉美西斯二世(Ramesses II)

還有一堆動物頭拚人身體的石像😂

這是一隻超大的聖甲蟲(Scarab). 古埃及常用聖甲蟲的雕刻來當作護身符

這兩尊巨大的人頭馬身像是在兩河流域的美索布達米亞平原(Mesopotamia)統治過的亞述帝國 (Assiryan Empire)的守護神, 叫做”拉馬蘇”(Lamassu). 亞述帝國的位置是今天的伊朗(Iran), 克威特(Kuwait), 敘利亞(Syria), 伊拉克(Iraq)一帶

這種亞述帝國的神獸不只有人頭馬身, 還有人頭牛身, 跟人頭獅身還帶著翅膀的, 這兩尊是亞述國王阿叔爾納希爾帕二世(Ashurnasirpal II)皇宮的前的守護神

通過拉馬蘇神獸的拱門就發現皇宮的牆都被帶來了…😅

到了希臘古羅馬區看到這個石像, 看到這個搔首弄姿的女人…

跟搔首弄姿的男人?(我忘了這尊是什麼)

這些希臘化時代(hellenistic period)的小雕像在現在看來還是很精緻

金子打造的首飾有頭冠, 項鍊, 手鍊, 耳環..

這副耳環作工非常細膩呢…

希臘神殿也整個搬來了…

這些應該是希臘帕德嫩神廟(Parthenon)上頭的幾個男神女神石雕

當然英國倫敦除了大英博物館還有很多地方可以看, 例如很多小商店小市集跟街頭表演的柯芬園(Covent Garden), 龐德街(Bond Street)一帶的精品店也很好逛.

之前我在台灣的香水店發現了一款典雅的香水Floris就是英國著名的香水. 它優雅的旗艦店在傑明街(Jermyn Street). Floris是最古老的英國香水販售商, 到現在還是家族生意. 除了販賣香水跟香皂, 還有上流紳士用的刮鬍用品, 甚至有玫瑰味道的漱口水. 店內有個展示區展出早期的香水包裝跟歷史

倫敦中心的海德公園(Hyde Park)是最大的皇家公園. 最早的時候那個娶了六個老婆的亨利八世(Henry VIII)把這塊地當作他的狩獵場, 直到1637年公園對外開放, 有很多活動跟慶典在此舉行. 這裡綠地很多, 平常有人在此演講, 但我去的時候剛下過一場雨天色也黑了, 所以公園很空. 

公園的池塘很多野鴨野雁跟天鵝. 我聽說英國所有的天鵝都是女王的, 所以千萬別戲弄它們呦~

喜歡逛街購物的還可以到哈洛德百貨(Harrods), 這個位於倫敦騎士橋(Knight’s Bridge)的百貨商店占地兩萬平方公尺, 一百萬平方公尺的銷售空間, 保證讓你逛到腿軟買到手軟, 其中還有高檔的珠寶, 不怕你沒東西可以買~😈

哈洛德百貨是1824年查爾斯哈洛德(Charles Henry Harrods)在25歲時創立的. 1898年的時候還啟用了英國的第一個手扶梯. 後來默漢穆德法伊德(Mohamed Al-Fayed)跟他的兄弟在1985年買下了哈洛德. 默漢穆德法伊德的兒子多狄法伊德(Dodi Al-Fayed)1997年時跟黛安娜王妃(Princess Diana)在巴黎車禍過世. 法伊德家族本來是埃及人, 所以在百貨商場內的裝潢也放入了一些埃及的元素. 2010年時法伊德家族把哈洛德賣給了卡達集團 (Qatar Investment Authority).

我最喜歡哈洛德的食品部門了! 除了生鮮蔬果還有高檔食材, 當然也不能缺看起來讓人流口水的熟食了. 各式甜點糖果禮品, 還有包裝精美的茶跟咖啡, 是買伴手禮的好地方, 運氣好的話還可以試吃到高級魚子醬!

P.S. 對於喜歡逛博物館的人, 冬季旅遊淡季來大英博物館應該是個好選擇, 裡面五萬件公開的收藏品逛上一個月都不嫌久.

Bath 巴斯

City of Bath is situated 156 km west of London and became a World Heritage Site in 1987. Romans first discovered hot springs in this place and established a spa resort during 43AD. They also built a temple surrounding the area to worship goddess Sulis Minerva during 60AD, and the bathing complex was gradually completed in the next 300 years. Bath is also the only city in England that contains hot spring. In addition, English novelist, Jane Austen, lived in Bath from 1800 to 1809.
Pulteney Bridge viewed from south side. It crosses River Avon, was designed by Robert Adam who had visited Italy and adopted the structure of Venice’s Ponte di Rialto. The bridge was completed in 1773. River Avon skirts the south and west of the city. Parade Garden is on the right side of this photo.
I think the view is quite lovely from here.
Pavilion in Parade Garden.
Closer view of Pulteney Bridge; it was named after William Pulteney, who owned the estate across the river from Bath called "Bathwick." It was at first rural site but William Pulteney discovered its potential and started invest and create the new town, that later became the suburbs of Bath. Since he needed an easier method to traffic on River Avon, he approached Robert Adam with an idea of a new bridge across the river.
River Avon. It was raining that time but the rain created a misty scene to add a dreamy quality to this river.
The other side of the Pulteney Bridge was a series of small shops.
This is the church of St. Michael to which King Edward III granted a charter in 1361.

Bath Abbey
The Pump Room, built next to Bath Abbey in 1789 and finished in 1799. It is a restaurant adjacent to the Roman Baths.
Closer view of Bath Abbey with the Pump Room on the right.
Inside Roman Baths–this is The Great Bath.
Sacret Spring, one of the spas, is still bubbling today.

Inside the museum, in which shows the artifacts such as coins, gem stones, curses found in the hot springs. This model shows the Roman Baths, Bath Houses, and Roman Temple of Sulis Minerva.
The remains of the temple pediment of Sulis Minerva.
Part of the walls of the shrine.
The remains of one of the baths.
The Great Bath. There were guides dressed up like ancient Romans and displayed what Romans usually did when they came to the bathing complex.

Another view of the Sacred Spring.
I highly recommend Roman Baths and Museum although the ticket was a bit pricey (11 pounds). However, not only it is a world heritage, you get to see the Great Bath, Sacred Spring, cold plunge, sauna room, etc. up closel. The museum includes priceless collection of coins and gemstones that were tossed as offerings to the goddess or washed out from their jewelries while the ancient Romans took baths. The museum was built right up on the ancient site while the old remains were left and new structure or illustrations were added on to model the original buildings. It is a bit dark inside so I was not able to take many good photos, but it was remarkable to see the artifacts from thousands of years ago. One thing I found particularly interesting was the pieces of metals scratched with messages called "curses" thrown into Sacred Spring. These curse tablets were recovered by anthropologists and displayed in the museum; most of them asked Sulis Minerva to take justice for those who carved the messages or to recover something stolen from them. The sweat room was built with hypocaust heating system that air could be heated under the floor to warm up the room evenly through the walls. In addition, you get an audio guide available in several languages to use in the museum, and a cup of the spring water to drink in the Pump Room.
Royal Crescent is a noble residential road in Georgian architecture style built between 1767 and 1774.
For over 200 years there have been people living in Royal Crescent. Although the interior has been remodeled by residents over time, the facade remains pretty much the same as it was first built.
One of many wonderful views of street of Bath.
Exterior views of the Great Bath.
One side of exterior walls of Roman Baths.

Cambridge 劍橋

Cambridge locates 80km north of London and is the university town for University of Cambridge, one of the premier schools in the world. This city was first occupied by Roman Empires who established a community around AD 40, they also built forts and used this city mainly for military purpose to defend River Cam.
The founding of University of Cambridge was originated from a riot in University of Oxford where some students fled to Cambridge to avoid bloodshed in 1209. Same as University of Oxford, University of Cambridge is also a collegiate school. The first college was formally established in 1284 known as Peterhouse College. Now, there are total of 31 colleges in University of Cambridge.
Trinity College is the largest, richest, and the most famous college in University of Cambridge. It has produced 32 Nobel Prize winners so far, including Sir Isaac Newton, Lord Byron, and Bertrand Russell. The statue on top of the Great Gate is Henry VIII who founded Trinity College. However, Henry VIII’s support alone for land was not sufficient to assume Trinity College’s spaciousness. It was not until Thomas Nevile that Trinity College was ensured its capaciousness and royal association in early 17th century.
Henry VIII’s status was built to clutch a scepter but was swapped to a chair leg by students as a joke. The scepter has never been replaced back.
The church in Trinity College was founded by Henry VIII’s daughter–Mary Tudor in 1554.
The Great Court of Trinity College that was built and expanded by Thomas Nevile who was Master of Trinity College from 1593-1565. Thomas Nevile rebuilt Trinity College by connecting all the buildings together, renovated the dinning hall, built a new court, and moved the Edward Clock Tower 20 meters back.
The fountain in Great Court.
Viewing the back of the Great Gate from Trinity College’s grand courtyard.
Street view of Cambridge.
Gate of Honor in Gonville and Caius College. This college was founded in 1346 and has 3 gates–Gate of Humility at entrance, Gate of Wisdom that leads to the hall, and then Gate of Honor is only unlocked when students receive their degrees.
Neo-gothic style Gatehouse as part of the building for King’s College.
Another view of King’s College.
St. Catharine’s College.
River Cam and Mathematics Bridge that connects Queen’s College to another side. Mathematics Bridge is also known as "Wooden Bridge" that was designed by James Essex in 1749. It’s said that the bridge was built without bolts and screws. However, it was taken apart and rebuilt several times until now.
River Cam that passes by St.John’s College, Trinity College, King’s College, and Queen’s College. There are several bridges on River Cam–all called cam-bridges. Punting on River Cam is a popular activity in the campus.
I think Cambridge is not just best-known for its prestigious university but moreover, the romantic ambience of River Cam that inspired Chinese poet, Hsu Chih-Mo, to write "Goodbye again, Cambridge."
As quietly as I came here;
Quietly I say good-bye
To the rosy clouds in the western sky…

The golden willows by the riverside
Are young brides in the setting sun;
Their reflections on the shimmering waves
Always linger in the depth of my heart.

The floating-heart growing in the sludge
Sways leisurely under the water;
In the gentle waves of Cambridge
I would be a water plant!

That pool under the shade of elm trees
Holds not water but the rainbow from the sky;
Shattered to pieces among the duckweeds
Is the sediment of a rainbow-like dream?

To seek a dream? Just to pole a boat upstream
To where the green grass is more verdant;
Or to have the boat fully loaded with starlight
And sing aloud in the splendor of starlight.

再別康橋 — 徐志摩
輕輕的我走了,
正如我輕輕的來;
我輕輕的招手,
作別西天的雲彩。
那河畔的金柳
是夕陽中的新娘
波光裡的艷影,
在我的心頭蕩漾。
軟泥上的青荇,
油油的在水底招搖;
在康河的柔波裡,
我甘心做一條水草

那榆蔭下的一潭,
不是清泉,是天上虹
揉碎在浮藻間,
沈澱著彩虹似的夢。

尋夢?
撐一支長篙,
向青草更青處漫溯,
滿載一船星輝,
在星輝斑斕裡放歌
但我不能放歌,
悄悄是別離的笙簫;
夏虫也為我沈默,
沈默是今晚的康橋﹗
悄悄的我走了,
正如我悄悄的來;
我揮一揮衣袖,
不帶走一片雲彩。

Oxford 牛津

University of Oxford resides in Oxford City that locates at south east of England. The founding date of the university is unclear but estimated to be in late 11th century, making it the oldest university in English-speaking world. University of Oxford is a collegiate university that’s constituted by several colleges, and each college has its own responsibilities in the running of the university. This also makes each college possess its very own characteristic and charm.
Oxford is not only made famous by its prestigious University of Oxford, but is also the origin of "Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland." The author of "Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland," Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, came to Oxford as an undergraduate student in University of Oxford and later composed the world-renowned story under his pseudonym–Lewis Carroll. Chrales Dodgson had the gift of telling stories that stemmed from his own childhood experiences to little children and could always understand their point of views. One of the children he’s often telling story to was the daughter of the dean of University of Oxford’s Christ Church college, Alice Liddell, who became the heroine in "Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland." Several of the sceneries in Oxford were also used as background in the story.
Alice’s Shop sells copies of illustration from original storybook. It also has various tea, pins, mugs, books, toys, postcards, and posters about Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland. See the cute bunny with a pocket watch who’s grumbling of running late in front of the shop?
Across the street of Alice’s Shop is Christ Church, where Lewis Carroll arrived as an undergraduate student and later get his degree in mathematics. Lewis Carroll stayed in Oxford and gave lectures in Christ Church after graduation.
Exterior of Christ Church…
…inside it’s comprised by a garden, old abbey of St. Frideswide, and cathedral.
Christ Church college, that was founded by Cardinal Thomas Wolsey during Henry VIII’s reign for a rather large-scale of establishment. However, Thomas Wolsey lost favor from the king by failing to obtain the permission of divorcing Henry VIII’s first wife from the church before the college could be completed. In 1532, Henry VIII himself refounded the college as King Henry VIII college. In 1546, already broken from Church of Rome and acquired wealth from many monasteries, Henry VIII then refounded the collage as Christ Church college.
Museum of Oxford…

Museum of Oxford has windows with beautifully carved patterns.
St.Mary The Virgin, University Church. The gothic-style church has a tower that’s 62 meters tall which is also the oldest part of the church, built in 1280.

Merton College, built in 1264, is the oldest college in Univeristy of Oxford. It’s also the first college to offer dormitory to students.
Another corner of Merton College.
Some other street views of Oxford…
New College is built with modern style…
The round building with green top is Sheldonian Theater. It was built in 17th century and adopted Roman theater as its design.
Sheldonian Theatre is surrounded by stone pillars topped with busts of Roman emperors. The orientation for new students and graduation ceremonies are held here.
Business School is a very modern building.
Walking inside Oxford gave me a feeling of being in a world where time froze. The old buildings of colleges, bookstores, and churches all made me feel going into the British history. Although it was drizzling and the chilly wind was blowing, it did not compromise any of Oxford’s charm. The cloudy sky even seemed to add the ancient ambience of these colleges. I certainly enjoyed watching students strolling or riding bikes through the streets–reminding me of my own college life.

London (British Museum, Covent Garden, Baker Street, New & Old Bond Stree, Fortnum & Mason) 倫敦–大英博物館, 柯芬園, 貝克街, 龐德街, Fornum & Mason茶點店

British Museum has the most comprehensive collection of more than 7 million objects from all the continents; it was established based on Sir Hans Sloane’s collection that existed 80,000 on his death in 1753. Sloane’s collection was not only vast but balanced in world cultures, natural specimens, human history, and manuscripts. He intended to give his collection to King George II for the nation but was eventually transferred to Parliament. Mantagu House was purchased to house the collection and opened to public on January of 1759. While the collection grew over the years, the museum had to move out its fine arts, natural history collection, and library to National Gallery museum, Natural History museum and British Library.
This is the exterior of British Museum that locates in Great Russell Street.
Part of the interior of British Museum that’s known as "The Queen Elizabeth II Great Court" serves as the reception area. It was designed by Lord Norman Foster and opened in 2000.
The museum contains artifacts from Africa, Egypt, China, South-East Asia, Japan, Korea, The Pacific, North America, Central America, South America, Mesoamerica, Prehistoric Europe, Greek/Roman Empire, Medieval Europe, Renaissance Europe, Modern Europe… whew… that pretty much illustrates and documents human history from the very beginning…
The Enlightenment Gallery.
Collection from ancient Roman Empire.
Artifacts from ancient Greece.
South-East Asian collection.

Bronze statues from Japan.
Tri-color pottery from Tang Dynasty, China.
Covent Garden had been a fruit and vegetable market from 17th century and nowadays it has transformed into a shopping center. It contains variety of unique shops for tea, herbs, clothes, books, etc and is one of the liveliest places in London.
One of the most distinctive parts of Covent Garden is that some places are particularly reserved for talented street performers.
This is the Sherlock Holmes’ rented apartment on Baker Street. Sir Conan Doyle created the most well-known detective, Sherlock Holmes, after finishing his first novel–A Study in Scarlet–in year 1887. According to the novel, Sherlock Holmes and his assistant, Dr. Watson, lived here. The exact address was Baker Street 221b. However, Baker Street 221b did not exist during Conan Doyle’s time; it was conserved after an expansion of street and this place has become a museum since 1990. The decoration, the furniture, the floors, and the rooms are arranged just as the novel’s portrayal.
According to the novel, Sherlock Holmes and Dr.Watson lived on the 2nd floor from 1881 to 1904. Their landlady, Mrs.Hudson, lived in 3rd floor.
The 1st floor is the gift shop that sells Teddy bears dressed with Sherlock Home’s raincoat, figurines, key rings, movies, and posters.
This distinctive stand sells books and stuff toys of Paddington Bear in Paddington subway/train station. Paddington Bear is a character in Michael Bond’s children’s book published in 1958, describing a bear whom was found by the Brown family while sitting with his suitcase in Paddington station, with a tag saying "Please look after this bear, thank you."
The bronze statue of Paddington Bear in Paddington station.
Old Bond Street and New Bond Street are full of luxurious shops such as Prada, Gucci, Burberry, Armani…
Most shops were closed when I arrived there since it was almost 7 at night. It seems most stores in England close at 6 or 6:30 pm, but I still tried to capture their nicely decorated windows and elegant silhouettes.

I was so lucky that Fortnum & Mason was still open! This Fortnum & Mason department store I went is at 181 Piccadilly Street and not far from Old Bond Street. It specializes in fine food and sweets; its tea is especially famous for holding several Royal Warrants.
Sugar-laced "Glace Fruits" are arranged neatly under the glass counter.
I almost giggled like a kid while I gazed at them.
Chocolate, I already felt sweet by only watching it.
A huge range of tea with Royal Warrants.
The sweets area is ornamented like jewelry counter…
Fruit jams…
The Fruit Tea Coffret and Jasmine tea I got from Fortnum & Mason.
By the way, I stayed near Cromwell Road in London and found this apartment just across the street with a blue plate reading Alfred Hitchcok lived here…

London (River Thames, Westminster, Tower of London, Bridges) 倫敦–泰晤士河, 西敏寺, 倫敦塔, 塔橋

The very first impression I had about London was from 1984’s TV drama–"The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" starring Jeremy Brett and David Burke. It always showed London as a foggy place where people wore dark-colored long coats and brought umbrellas to stroll on the busy streets. Later on, I recieved a card from a friend and there was the famous Palace of Westminster and Big Ben clock tower showing behind a thin mist and twilight, which made London a beautiful and mysterious place for me and I longed to be there.
St.Pacras international station is the first place I arrived in London. It’s on the immediate west of King’s Cross station that was adopted as the station where Harry Potter went to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the movie: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
At the bank of River Thames, which is the second longest river in England that flows through the center of London and several cities such as Oxford and Windsor. The building on the right is Houses of Parliament. The London Eye is on the left.
Houses of Parliament, also known as "Palace of Westminster."
Houses of Parliament and Big Ben clock tower. Houses of Parliament has over 1,100 rooms and spans 265 meters. The present Houses of Parliament was mainly rebuilt after the fire in 1834 with very detailed Gothic-style towers. This scene is probably seen the most on cards and bookmarks, and it is indeed the first knowledge I had about Big Ben and Houses of Parliament while I received a greeting card from my friend. I was trying to capture this photo with various angels; despite the reconstruction scaffolds that compromised a bit of this gorgeous view, the light was not perfect either.
Big Ben clock tower, 55 meters above the ground.
The bridge in front of Houses of Parliament is Westminster Bridge.
Another side of Houses of Parliament, in which that delicately designed Gothic-style windows and towers astonish people from all over the world.
Westminster Hall, the oldest part of Houses of Parliament, was built in 1097 and the largest hall in Europe that time. Big Ben clock tower can also be seen here as it has 4 faces all equipped with clocks.
Big Ben seen from Westminster Square during dusk.
Westminster Abbey that locates to the west of Houses of Parliament. It is a church that serves as a coronation and burial site for British monarchs.
Tower of London. It was originally a "left-over" of a fortress from Roman period until William the Conqueror built the "White Tower" in the center in 1078. Tower of London served as a fortress, palace, and prison as well. It’s especially famous for imprisoning Henry Tudor’s 2 wives, one of them being Anne Boleyn, and his chancellor–Thomas More. Since imprisonment in Tower of London often led to the tragic fates, there were haunting stories of the ghosts of princes and maidens.
I was not able to squeeze the time out to view the inside of the Tower. I am quite familiar and interested in the history of Tudor period through the epic drama–The Tudors, and it was unfortunate that I did not get to see the genuine trail of this part of history. Maybe next time? Definitely!
Tower of London looks splendid from outside, but the stories of Anne Boleyn, Thomas More, Jane Gray, and many more who were executed after the imprisonment here, made me think that these walls witnessed their final moments and actually sent some chills to my back.
This is Trinity House, just on the north of Tower Hill subway station
Tower Bridge that spans on River Thames. It was constructed in 1894 by architect Horace Jones, who was inspired by the mechanical bridge on the canal in Netherlands. It is comprised with two towers and bridges.
The higher bridge connects the two 65-meter towers and its primary function is for people to gaze and admire the vision of London and River Thames. The lower bridge is for car traffic and pedestrians. The middle of the lower bridge can be separated and raised 83 degrees up to allow ships on River Thames to pass.
London’s economic and trade center can be seen from one side of the Tower Bridge

Hay’s Galleria was reconstructed from a wharf on the bank of River Thames. Now it contains stores, restaurants, and offices, just like a small shopping center.
Southwark Cathedral–the founder of Harvard University, John Harvard, was baptized here.
Shakespeare’s Globe theater is just near River Thames.
River Thames and Southwark Bridge. There are many bridges that span on River Thames, and Southwark Bridge is one of them.
Millennium Bridge was built in 2000 by Norman Foster to celebrate the millennium. This bridge serves primarily for pedestrians. It is also the background of one of the scenes in the 6th installment of Harry Potter movie–Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
Saint Paul’s cathedral can be viewed while walking on Millennium Bridge. This cathedral was originally built only by wood in year 604 but had a major renovation after the flame that consumed London in 1708.
Closer view of Saint Paul’s Cathedral.
I actually took subway and got off at Tower Hill stop that’s near Tower of London and walked to Tower of London, Tower Bridge, Hay’s Galleria, Shakespear’s Globe theater, Mellienium Bridge, and finally arrived to Saint Paul’s Cathedral and hopped on the subway at the nearest station there. It was a nice stroll but you need a nice pair of walking shoes and strong legs…and minus the extra wrong roads I took…
Wondering what the least expensive and most convenient way to get around in London? Use an Oyster Card. Personally I do not know why it’s called an Oyster Card but feel the name’s kinda cute. Anyways, first you need to deposit a few pounds to get the card, but you can get the deposit back after you no longer need it and return it in any subway station. Then you just choose how many days you want to go around in London and store the required amount of money in the card. Tata~off you go–just swipe the card whenever you take the subway and you can hop on the subway as many times as you desire! This applies to busses in London area too. Works just like Taiwan’s MRT card, how charming!
I was surprised by London’s subways–not only they are extremely easy to understand and generally pretty clean, they also conveniently connect many trainstations that go out of London city.

Some nice views of London Eye, Houses of Parliament, and Big Ben at night.

Vacation in England and France (10/18/2009 – 11/02/2009) 英國+法國旅遊

Uh~ Finally I got a vacation…
England (London, Oxford, Cambridge, Bath)–>France Bretagne (Rennes, Carnac, Quimper, Perros-Guirec, Saint Malo)–>France (Paris, Chantilly, Malmaison, Enghien-les-Bains, Le Vesinet)

In England: London, Oxford, Cambridge, Bath.
In Bretagne region: Rennes, Carnac, Quimper, Perros-Guirec, Saint Malo.
Paris area: Paris, Chantilly, Chateau de Malmaison, Le Vesinet, Enghine-les-Bains.
London is often mentioned to be one of the cities in the world that you should go at least once, so there I am, getting ready to visit it for the first time. Other than London, I planned to visit Oxford, Cambridge, and Bath.

Bretagne is probably a bit foreign for some people, since it’s not the most popular tourist place regardless of its stunning and peaceful countrysides. However, I’ve known it ever since I read my complete Maurice Leblanc’s Arsene Lupin series during my childhood, and one of the stories, L’ile aux trente cercueils (The Island of 30 Coffins), took place in Bretagne. Most cities in Bretagne are located along the coast of the pennisula, and I picked up several of them to visit–Rennes, Carnac, Quimper, Perros Guirec, and Saint Malo.

As for Paris–this is my 3rd time visiting it. Thus in addition to Paris city center, I decided to go to some suburbs–Chantilly, Malmaison, Le Vesinet, and Enghien-les-bains. There is that famous Chantilly castle said to "float" on a lake, and as being a "chateau-lover," I had to visit it no matter what. City of Ruiel de Malmaison is where Chateau de Malmaison locates, in which Josephine Bonaparte resided and adored. Le Vesinet and Enghien-les-Bains are backgrounds for another 2 Arsene Lupin stories–La Cagliostro se venge (The Revenge of The Countess of Cagliostro), and Le Bouchon de cristal (The Crystal Stopper).

There I had about 5 days to get ready before I hopped into another journey…good thing I still got my lovely Eslite bookstore, trustworthy TomTom GPS system, omnipotent Google, and very helpful friend…