Travel

London Town

On our last weekend as a school group, we travelled to the great city of London.

Although we travelled as a group, we were given Friday and Saturday to roam free about the city, with our only required activity being a play in Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre on Saturday evening. So after settling into our hostel, several us set out for the British Museum, not far down the road.

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I was surprisingly disappointed with the British Museum. The first thing that struck us after entering on this somewhat warm day (mildly low 80s) was the extreme heat. Without any AC, the heat from hundreds of bodies was getting trapped and raising the temperature to absurd conditions; in some places, the stale air combined with skylights and the rising effect of the upper levels had it pushing to the mid 90s I’m sure.

Because of the heat and crowds, I was already inclined to rush through many of the exhibits. What was worse though, was the disorganisation of the building. Perhaps I’m just a simple tourist who doesn’t know how to figure things out, but finding the European exhibits, my main source of interest, took far longer than I cared to spend.

After we escaped the burning heat of the British Museum and got some Starbucks (hey, we needed to cool down!), it was back to the hostel to get ready for our play that evening.

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Before our school attendance at the Globe, my friends Aubrey, Ruth, and Ruth’s sister, Leslie, and I were lucky enough to get tickets to Andrew Scott’s performance as Hamlet in London’s storied West End theatre district. It was a phenomenal play (which I’ll probably review more fully later) and the experience was wonderful. Even though I walked back in heels, it was fantastic to walk through a city that was still wide awake and alive with a joyous sort of energy.

The next morning Ruth and I got up early for our 9am entrance to Madame Tussaud’s. I admit, I was the one to insist on this attraction for one main reason – they currently have a Kong: Skull Island feature starring my main squeeze, Tom Hiddleston. However, we all turned out to be pleasantly surprised. Not only did I get my picture with my heartthrob’s doppelgänger, but the place also featured an amusement park style ride, an interactive Sherlock Holmes’ experience, and a Marvel 4-D movie! All besides the numerous wax figures that provided hours of fun. Definitely worth the trip!

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After Tussaud’s, we lunched at a local pub, fish and chips, of course. Then it was on to 221B Baker St. This famous address is beautifully kept and furnished completely with period pieces. There were even more wax figures upstairs, these depicting some of Sherlock’s most famous cases.

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From 221B, we made our way via the Tube to have a quick look at Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, and the Parliament Building. We didn’t have much time though, because we had to start making our way to the Globe.

If you’ve followed my story at all, by now you’ll know that I’m completely enchanted with Shakespeare, so standing in the Globe was one of the highlights of my trip so far….until the play started.

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I think I’ll be doing another review about this production, but suffice to say now that it was nothing in the tradition of Shakespeare. It was, in fact, nothing in the tradition of good theatre, since over and over good lines and narrative points were sacrificed for crude, irrelevant physical humour. But enough of that for now.

The next morning, many of our friends left early on a coach bound for Heathrow. Only Ruth and Leslie and I stayed, since we’re not done with England, or rather, she’s not done with us.

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