Tuesday, 29 December 2009

My Hols Part I - Saxon gold

Meant to catch the train to the Alps, but, alas, the wrong kind of snow in Calais had brought the Eurostar to a halt (French snow, can't trust it - it was too cold and the tunnel too hot). We milled about at St Pancras for a few hours but nobody seemed to know what was happening, so we eventually decided to book a hotel which fortunately turned out to be near the British Museum.

Here are pics from the huge hoard of Saxon gold that was found in a Staffordshire field six months ago and is said to be worth millions. The metal detector man who found it will get half. More here. Dating from around 700 AD, the hoard consists of about 1,500 items, and contains approximately 5kg of gold and 1.3kg of silver, giving it a 'scrap' value of over £100,000, quite apart from its archaeological worth. You can see some of the collection in Birmingham too.

Of course there are masses of other fascinating items in the BM - the Rosetta Stone, the Elgin Marbles, a weird display of a lifetime's worth of pills, intricate clocks, a Japanese tea house, Egyptian mummies - I see from the website I missed loads of crucial exhibits. You could visit it every day for a month or more and not get bored. And it's free.

We did eventually make it to the resort in France after a complicated 48 hrs - I'll spare you the details. I couldn't disagree more with the chap who said it's better to travel hopefully than to arrive. I've never been so glad to arrive in my whole life. No, that's not quite true. Long ago flights from Australia to England with babies and toddlers were a lot worse. And at least we weren't stuck in the Channel Tunnel like some people. Just at the moment, though, I feel I never want to see another train or plane in my life. (I've just seen there's a website for moaning about Eurostar but I don't think I'll bother.)


Jan Jones said...

Oh dear, Susie, sorry you had a rotten journey but glad you rediscovered the British Museum. I think it's a fabulous treasure house.

cheshire wife said...

It was a good job that it was French snow and not English snow! We would have never lived it down. I hope that you had a good Christmas.

Debs said...

Sorry to hear you experienced delays with your travels. I felt so sorry for all those involved in the recent weather/strikes/Euro delays.