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Visiting The Royal Geographical Society, London
The society was founded in 1830 to further knowledge of the world and its cultures. It has sponsored numerous expeditions, including famous ones led by heroes such as Sir Ernest Shackleton and Sir Edmund Hillary. This work continues today.
I popped in there for the first time earlier this week to use their archives. I'm planning a trip to a remote castle in northern Ethiopia that hasn't been properly explored since 1868, and of course the folks at the Royal Geographical Society had the original maps! Thanks to them, now I won't get lost when I head into the Ethiopian highlands – well, hopefully not.
The archives are a great resource for travelers planning their next adventure. There's also an excellent series of lectures and exhibitions. Currently there's an exhibition on the castles and monasteries of medieval Serbia.
So if you're in London but pining to ride an elephant through Borneo or climb the mountains of Antarctica, check out the Royal Geographical Society.