When we finished our tour of the British Museum Enlightenment gallery, a mini museum of its own, we headed toward a special exhibit centred around the Vikings. I wasn’t fond of the way the British Museum laid out their special exhibits. It seemed random and lacklustre compared to a place like the ROM, which tends to have a story or timeline from start to finish. The first section of the viking exhibit mostly centered around trade; how they made jewellery out of other currencies and how far their trade reached.

Then we turned the corner to the exhibit’s center piece. The largest viking longboat ever uncovered. It was presented in a metal frame which filled in the missing outline. It was massive. Unfortunately, pictures aren’t allowed in special exhibits, so you’ll just have to take my word that it was breathtaking. We all agreed the ship was worth passing through the less impressive rooms of the exhibit.

Continuing our whirlwind tour of the museum’s highlights, we headed over to the Elgin Marbles. After that, we wandered the rest of the Greek section, which is extensive.


I particularly enjoyed the section devoted to Greek pottery and the stories etched onto its surface. I found a vase that reminded me of a friend’s favourite character… a winged elf who was originally inspired by Greek myths.


The Elgin Marbles aren’t the only frieze pieces the British Museum has on display. Another set, from a different temple, depict a group of Greek warriors fighting Amazons. As one of his twelve labours, Harakles was required to recover the belt of Amazon queen Hippolyte; these friezes relate the mythical battle. It is particularly interesting how the Amazons are depicted in these carvings; unlike the more demure women in other friezes, the Amazons are depicted in the same manner as the Greek warriors, both in heroic poses and as vanquished foes.


We revisited several areas of the museum to share them with our guests, letting them choose the sections they most wanted to see. Our final destination was the section devoted to Japan.


One of the recommended sights on the museum map is the full set of samurai armor found in this area.


They also have several beautifully detailed silk kimonos. Since we had to rush through much of this area, my husband and I returned later to check out what we missed.


We stayed until the museum started to close, squeezing as much time out of our visit as we could. I’m sure our guests would like to go back someday and see more, but we’re confident we shared the museum’s most impressive sights.


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