I drug Steve out to do a little more Sociology-related fieldwork during this day in London – we made the obligatory pilgrimage to the burial place of Karl Marx, Toren’s namesake, at Highgate Cemetery. Unknown to me before we arrived, there are a number of other famous people buried in the cemetery, including: Douglas Adams and George Eliot. I already knew Herbert Spencer was buried there, so that wasn’t a surprise, but Douglas Adams – awesome! The only drawbacks to the cemetery: (1) it costs money to get in 3 pounds) and (2) to find out where different people are buried you need a guide, which costs a pound as well. For any future visitors, I created a map of the famous people buried in Highgate Cemetery using Google maps. You can see where they are without purchasing the guide.
We took pictures, of course:
The cemetery itself is very cool. It’s basically like a forest as it is mostly left to itself with the exception of the paths, as you can see in this photo:
The key attraction, of course, is Karl Marx’s monument. Apparently he was originally buried in a nondescript location, but the surge of visitors as he became more and more famous necessitated moving him to this more accessible location. He is buried with his daughter and a few additional people. Here’s the monument:
Not 30 feet from Marx’s monument is that of another famous early sociologist, Herbert Spencer:
This next photo shows their relative placements:
While it would be overstating the case to say I’m very familiar with George Eliot’s work, I have heard the name (as had Steve). So, we stopped by her grave as well:
As we primarily came to see Marx and Spencer (and saw Douglas Adams as a bonus) we didn’t search down any of the others except Eliot.
From Highgate Cemetery we headed to the British Museum where we literally spent the rest of the day and still didn’t see everything there was to see. We technically visited every room, but about 1/3 of the museum we simply walked through at turbo speed as there just isn’t enough time in a single day to see everything they have on display there, including the actual Rosetta Stone,a cuneiform tablet recording an ancient flood myth that is believed to be the origin of the flood myth in the Old Testament, dozens of mummies, all sorts of other ancient artifacts, and entire temples. To illustrate the scope of the museum I took a few pictures. This first photo is a shot from one end of the very first room of the museum (labeled room 1; out of around 95 rooms):
This is just the first room and we spent over an hour here. The collection is so remarkable in this one room that it could be a museum in its own right.
These next two also illustrate the size of the museum as well. This one is basically the Parthenon, from Italy. It’s not the complete Parthenon, of course, or even all that remains of it, but it includes large chunks of it:
This last one is a shot of the inner atrium, which kind of serves as a central staging area for the rest of the museum. I can’t be certain, but it seems as though the museum was originally separate buildings and was eventually covered to make it easier to move between the buildings. It’s enormous:
We stayed until just before closing, then headed to the largest urban shopping mall in Europe, Westfield Mall, to look for presents for Toren (not much luck; the UK is super expensive). We then had dinner and called it a day.