It is when you don’t have any specific itinerary or destination that you find beautiful corners of the city that often go overlooked by tourists, especially those who run from one big attraction to another. This is part of the reason why Justin and I always allow a few extra days when (re)visiting a foreign city.
This weekend, we made our way to Hyde Park, the ‘Central Park’ of London, to stroll through the many paths simply observing people, stopping to read on park benches, observing the sun pass through the mature trees, and enjoying the warm weather.
While we were walking, others were running a 10k, or cycling around on rentals (Santander bikes are everywhere and seem to be used by many Londonians), or even leisurely rowing and peddling on the Serpentine.
Coming out of Hyde Park, we got a little lost – for those who know us, this is no surprise; funny how we have traveled throughout the world, but still have a very bad sense of direction. As a side note, we found a ‘shortcut’ from our lodgings to our tube stop 7 days after arriving in London even if we walked that route twice a day, everyday! Oh well…
We finally made it to Tower Bridge so we could cross it by foot; something we had never done, and which was thrilling. It may not be the London Bridge, but it certainly is one of the most recognized landmark of the city.
And finally today, our last day in beautiful London, we chose to go back to Regent Street to participate in the Summer Street Event where the road is closed to motorized vehicles and live music pops up every corner of so. Today, Magnum bars were being distributed to each and all. We got one at the booth offering double chocolate, caramel or peanut butter, but there were also bigger booths where the ice cream bars were being dipped individually according to personal taste.
We walked, we ate, we shopped, we read, we took in the city one last time while imagining what it would be to live as a Londonian…. Maybe one day. Then again, we say this of every city we visit… or almost!
I simply do not have the right words to describe the amazing adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream… I can try with: Magnificent… Phenomenal… Fabulous acting… Most entertaining… Splendid set… Outstanding artistic creation… but I believe these words wouldn’t do this play justice; especially the part played by Puck (Katy Owen), which was truly superb… from the actor’s voice, to her endless energy, right down to her mannerisms.
I have read many reviews, both good (entertaining as hell) and bad (the Globe should produce plays in as authentic an atmosphere as possible). Many even describe what they think William himself would have thought of such adaptations. Who’s to know really? I don’t believe this is the point.
What we are doing as a western civilization, in my opinion, is keeping the Shakespearean spirit alive. We rerun old plays, create new ones, adapt some to our changing society, and in so doing, we do not let our fervent artistic spirit perish. Another question could be, what’s considered authentic? It seems that Shakespeare’s plays were very modern for the times, pushing the boundaries of acceptability and lewdness. So adapting his plays to the modern era, could it not be considered authentic to the essence of what was William Shakespeare?
And well, it would all be true, but to be honest, it was on the blah side for me. We walked around, went through the self-guided walk and stopped in St. George’s Chapel, where Henry the VIII is buried (ok, I have to admit, I liked this part… being an avid fan of the Tudors… no spoiling please, I’m only in season 3!). We walked briefly through the town, stopped at a pub, then for ice cream and came back to our Russell Square apartment.
It was another beautiful sunny day spent walking outside, but we wanted to cap it with something a little more amusing, so we went to a cinema!
It’s always so much fun going to see a movie in a different city. This time, it was at the Curzon, a chain which features foreign films in a living room-esque atmosphere. Have a look at this pic below. We were seated in reclining armchairs, 6 chair-wide, six rows deep. And, of course, we could purchase any type of liquor or snacks. Here we are with beer and a ‘large’ sweet and salty popcorn. Great way to cap off the day!