Dorchester a small town with a funny story

On our drive through the Dorset countryside we decided to make a stop in Dorchester.  As we drove into the town we saw a billboard-type sign advertising the King Tutankhamun museum.  I started telling Jon how much I have always wanted to see King Tut.  I can still remember the project I did on Egyptian culture from fourth grade, yes I am a nerd like that!  Since that time I have been fascinated with seeing the pyramids of Egypt and seeing King Tut.  But King Tut doesn’t hold the same fascination for Jon, so we decided to tour the village first.

We made our obligatory stop in the Dorchester Abby, which has a very nice marble replica of the Last Supper by da Vinci and walked the historic streets of Dorchester.

last supper

Near the side entrance of Dorchester Abby.

Near the side entrance of Dorchester Abby.

old church

By the time we had a sit in the park I was ready to sell Jon on the idea of seeing King Tut.  I pulled out all the stops telling him, “Sweetheart, I just can’t believe our luck.  What are our chances that King Tut would happen to be in this sleepy town in England, exactly when we are here?  I have always wanted to see King Tut, even if I just go in, can I please do it?”

God bless my husband, I know he was thinking of our budget and how much another one of my ideas was going to set us back!  But he said, “Honey, you are right.  If this is something you have always wanted to do, we should do it.”

Now I was excited!  Walking with purpose and excitement, we went straight to the King Tut museum.  We walked in to a small room, filled with memorabilia to buy, but something felt off.  It did not look like a high quality museum shop, it was more kitschy.  Then I saw that tickets to see King Tut were 8.90 pounds and I started thinking to myself, strange that seems very low to see such an important piece of history.

We walked up to the counter and I decided to take the risk of sounding like a complete idiot, “This is the real King Tut, right?”  The response from the lady, was prolonged silence with a look like I was a complete moron.  I braced myself for her response, feeling like an ignorant traveler.  She said, “King Tut is in Cairo and doesn’t leave Egypt, that is why we have created this museum of thousands of items from the tomb.”  I knew her response wasn’t 100% true, because my parents saw King Tut when the exhibition was touring the US.  So my response back was, “So everything in the museum is a replica.”  The lady no longer would look me in the eye and talked her way around the truth that, YES, everything in here is a replica!

To Jon’s great relief I no longer wanted to go in!  Just add it to the list of why we need to go to Egypt, I told him!  We laughed at ourselves and the situation for blocks!  Honestly, why would the King Tut tour land in Dorchester?  And while laughing and walking down a random street, we happened to discover a very authentic Roman ruin that has been saved, dating back to around 300 AD.

roman house

The ruin is of a Roman house and has been cleverly preserved with glass walls and a roof, to give you a better sense of what the home originally looked like.  It is also preserving the detailed mosaic floors that are still intact in many parts of the home.

Overall we had a good time, mostly because we were laughing at ourselves.  Is it a place we would go again?  Not likely.  Unless you want to see the Roman house or are a big fan of the English author Thomas Hardy, who’s home was Dorchester, we think Dorset has a lot of other stops that are more worth your time.  And hopefully we can save you the embarrassment of asking if the real King Tut is actually in Dorchester!

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