A Sunday Afternoon in the ByWard Market (Ottawa)

A Sunday Afternoon in the ByWard Market (Ottawa)

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So much to see, so much to do in London, but also in the beautiful surrounding countryside. Before I speak about the last few days in London, I have to write briefly about our amazing journey to Bath.

Early this morning we made our way to Paddington station and embarked on a train stopping at Bath Spa (what was known in Roman times as Aquae Sulis).

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Bath falls – supposedly where the scene from Les Misérables (2012) of Javert jumping to his death in the rivert was shot!!

 

Upon arriving, we were instantly struck by its medieval Georgian beauty and amazed at the vastness of the city. We are told 80,000 people live in and around Bath even if the core itself is a heritage site, and therefore mostly deserted in the evenings.

We opted for the free two-hour walking tour of the city hosted by the Mayor’s Corps of Honorary Guides; volunteers who share their love and knowledge of Bath. Our guide Jack Smith, a true storyteller, kept us going with fascinating facts and stories about the city. It was our most entertaining bit (apart from the Globe, of course) in England thus far. The stories told of the high aristocrats sojourning in Bath during the winter months were most amusing all the while learning about the town’s architecture and medieval lore.

After the tour, we went to visit the Roman baths. This sight was a bit disappointing and at an especially high entrance fee. Of course, I’m saying this after having visited Rome, soaking in Budapest thermal baths and gone under Istanbul city for a view of the Basilica Cistern…

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Roman Bath level

Coming back to the last few days in London, we walked endlessly around the city, visited St. Paul’s Cathedral, toured the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery (which was a first for both Justin and I).

With no specific entrance fee for museums, we are free to roam around for as little or as long as we want, leave and come back to view our favourite spots at another time when we are just walking about. We always leave a few pounds to support these wonderful institutions though and I must once again encourage everyone else to also do so.

Now, another one of our most thrilling outing last week was our attendance to The Taming of the Shrew at the Globe Theatre. From the musician-entertainers to the acting, from the venue to the energy of the crowds and the atmosphere all around, it was one of the best performances I attended (and I attended quite a few!). We were so enthralled by it all that we booked another play at the end of the week… A Midsummer Night’s Dreams.

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A pre-show shot of the crowds and theatre as pics are not permitted during the play

And as an ending note, the British seem to be news people always reading posts, articles and local news channels on their phones and iPads while waiting for the bus or the tube. I have rarely seen people (even young adults) texting or playing games…. A most wonderful feature in my opinion.

Cheerio for now!

Lady Macbeth:
Out, damn’d spot! out, I say!—One; two: why, then
’tis time to do’t.—Hell is murky.—Fie, my lord, fie, a soldier, and
afeard? What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our
pow’r to accompt?—Yet who would have thought the old man to
have had so much blood in him?

Macbeth Act 5, scene 1, 26–40

We spent last weekend in Stratford, ON wandering through the many little shops surrounding the downtown core and going to see Shakespeare’s Macbeth at the Festival Theatre on Sunday afternoon. It was phenomenal! Of course my son found the play quite long, and could not stop talking about the actors spitting while talking… but the rest of us were simply enthralled by the energy of the play and its amazing actors. I’m so glad Justin and I have tickets to see another play (The Taming of the Shrew) at the actual Globe Theatre in London, England in just a few days. I vow to myself to see each and every Shakespearean play before I retire for good.

July 2016 is getting to be such wonderful month. It started with a canoe-camping trip in Frontenac Provincial Park for the long weekend, then a few days home to relax and get pampered, then another family weekend in Stratford and now my hubby and I are leaving tonight for London! I can’t wait to start living the English life and dressing up for high-tea in the afternoons. Maybe I should buy myself a fancy English hat with flowers and butterflies… 🙂

More to come, live from London, England.

Toodles!