London & The Iconic Clock Tower
This is part of a series of blog posts recalling my overseas adventures in the United Kingdom in fall 2015. This one is about a crazy whirlwind of 50 hours spanning Sunday afternoon through Tuesday afternoon.
Sunday, Sept 27:
We only had one thing on the schedule, an evening at Shakespeare’s Globe Theater, but we didn’t rest on our laurels.
We got on the Tube in the morning and passed Kings’ Cross Station for second time without a good camera shot. We got off at Baker Street to visit the Beatles memorabilia store and the Sherlock Museum (but bypassed the line by going straight to the gift shop). We then tracked down the Imperial War Museum, had lunch, and visited the IWM’s Holocaust exhibit among others.
Finally, we made our way to the south bank of the Thames, checked out the Milennium Bridge, and got over to the Globe. This theatre is designed exactly like how Elizabethean theaters were, which meant wooden bleachers for the balconies and standing-room-only for the cheap seats (i.e. “the groundlings”). The play was Richard II in its original Shakespeare, and was superb.
Monday, Sept 28:
Unfortunately, we got back from the Globe late and had an extremely early start to a long day, so I got like 4 hours of sleep.
Our day began with a blood moon as we were getting ready for the ride to prehistoric Stonehenge. Arrived to a dramatic morning mist on one of the rivers Avon near the site. Took wonderful photos. We got the last “private viewing” of the year – meaning we actually got to go inside the monument and get really close to the ancient stones.
We then went to a little village called Lacock that is notable for location filming such as Harry Potter. It has a 14th century pub where we had tea and breakfast. And then we visited the Roman Baths at Bath, got some Cornish pasties, visited the Bath Abbey, and I spent more than I should at The Bath Sweet Shop – hopefully some of that will come back with me to the States. And on our return we saw some great countryside and even a glimpse of the Welsh coast.
Tuesday, Sept 29:
On Tuesday, we toured the Royal Palace at Westminster (aka the Houses of Parliament) and Westminster Abbey. Beautiful – and since Parliament was not sitting, I got to literally sit in the House of Lords and in the “aye” voting lobby of the House of Commons. It’s just a shame the gift shop was not all that impressive. The Abbey was also great, but kinda creepy with all the crypts, including that of Richard II. After a crazy 40 hours of plays, tours, and today’s activities, my right knee and foot were killing me, so I crashed for a long afternoon nap.