German by birth, passport-carrying resident of Russia, naturalized citizen of the U.S.A., and Athenian by choice: that was Heinrich Schliemann. In 1846-47, he made his first grand tour of western Europe, traveling to many cities, including London, Paris, and Berlin. In 1851, having become a St. Petersburg entrepreneur, he journeyed to the United States because his brother, Louis, had died in California and Schliemann wanted to make the necessary arrangements and claim the estate, but also to explore new business opportunities. He arrived in New York, visited Washington DC, then went to San Francisco but decided to settle down in Sacramento and establish a bank, exchanging cash for gold dust during the Gold Rush. This lucrative American adventure lasted for almost two years. Back in St. Petersburg, in 1852, he continued to expand his business and travel around the Mediterranean.
In 1864, he embarked on a yet another long trip, going first to Carthage in North Africa, then Egypt and India. From Ceylon and Java (now Sri Lanka and Indonesia), his next stop was China, where, he toured for two months, visiting Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, and many other places. The last highlight of his journey was Japan. His first effort as an author recorded those travel impressions in a book, under the title Le Chine et le Japon au temps présent (1867). Throughout his life, Schliemann never missed an opportunity to spend time on the road, whether to visit a place of archaeological interest or a city not seen before. He was a true cosmopolitan and a traveler par excellence.
Schliemann visited London during his first big European trip (1846-47) and fell immediately under its spell. The British Museum impressed him enormously; he was particularly fascinated by the displays of Egyptian mummies and sarcophagi.
The British Museum: the Egyptian Room, with visitors. Wood engraving, 1847. Public domain, retrieved from the Wellcome Collection