Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Travel Tales of London, Part 3

On our second full day in London, we began with a visit to the Victoria & Albert Museum, which was just about a 10-minute walk from the flat. But, first . . . breakfast:

Here, you see that milk from only Jersey & Guernsey cows, the gluten-free meusli I ate almost every day (we timed it just right -- one box lasted a week) and apricot yogurt! I love the un-sweet European type of meusli that makes you feel like you're eating bird seed (very pure food). There was some dried fruit in this brand, so it was naturally sweetened but not sickly sweet. Yogurt and meusli is my standard breakfast in England, often with one of those little boiled eggs in a cup. On to the V & A. The Victoria & Albert Museum is so huge that you can return numerous times without repeating the view. It was new to husband, though, so we did cover a little of the same territory I saw last year, like the casting rooms.

One of the areas that was new to me, though, was the Theatre & Performance Collection, which included a First Folio of Shakespeare's plays.

(No flash was used; don't worry.) I didn't photograph the sign, but I'm pretty sure it said this First Folio was disintegrating and carefully salvaged. Looks like it. Restored or not, I thought seeing pages from the original Shakespeare work was awfully exciting. There were also costumes from various theatre productions, models of sets and descriptions of how they were created, along with a continually-running film of clips from various London plays. We walked through the ironwork gallery, admired medieval woodwork salvaged from homes, twisted our way through a maze of statues. Then, we grabbed some sandwich wraps and drinks and ate lunch in the courtyard. I could gush about our perfect weather, but I think the sky makes a statement all its own.

After our visit to the V & A, we went to Persephone Books. You already know how that turned out! I'll be reviewing my first read from that stack, soon: Operation Heartbreak by Duff Cooper. I'll photograph the Persephone Book and bookmark, since I couldn't find an image online. Love the exit signs in the tube. "Way out," makes me think in Hippie. "Far out, man."

After Bloomsbury, we dashed over to Piccadilly to fetch our tickets for "One Man, Two Guvnors", then on to Green Park to buy tea (because our host had yucky tea) at Fortnum & Mason, a jar of jelly babies for Kiddo (a Dr. Who fan -- Tom Baker used to always hold out a handful of candy and say, "Jelly baby?") and our favorite sandlewood soap at Taylor of Old Bond Street.

We headed home for dinner and then went to see "One Man, Two Guvnors," which was delightful. The woman next to me said, "Oy, oy, oy, oy!" during the funniest portions. I got a kick out of that. There was an article in the Guardian about keeping the play "full English" on Broadway and I must say, I agree with all my heart that the script should not be messed with. There were words I didn't catch because it takes time to get used to the Queen's English (as opposed to our American versions) but "One Man, Two Guvnors" is a very British play and I hope that it will not be watered down on Broadway. It's Englishness is a major part of the fun.

After the play, we trudged down to Trafalgar Square to make some attempts at taking night photos of double-decker buses, lights, police cars in action, etc. Suffice it to say, I still have some learning to do with my new camera, but I did get a few shots I liked, including this one of two police cars and a cyclist rushing past Trafalgar Square. I don't even feel safe cycling in my own neighborhood in the daylight! It's quite amazing to watch people pedaling in London traffic, day and night.

This was Monday night. I finished up Kitty Cornered and read a bit of Fever before falling asleep. From this point on, I had a bit less reading time because our evenings were taken up with theatre and a concert, but I still did manage to squeeze a little reading time into each day. That is always a big thrill when it happens. Usually, I don't read much at all on vacations and I credit the quiet and comfort of the flat for making reading possible. I'll share more about our vacation in a few days. Storms have shut me down a few times, so I have a little catch-up book reviewing to do. May your Wednesday be full of wahoos!

©2012 Nancy Horner. All rights reserved. If you are reading this post at a site other than Bookfoolery and Babble or its RSS feed, you are reading a stolen feed. Email bookfoolery@gmail.com for written permission to reproduce text or photos.

20 comments:

  1. So jealous.. maybe I will get there someday but not holding my breath. Will just have to vicariously travel thru your trips. :)

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    1. If that helps, I'm glad you're enjoying my posts. But, I do hope you'll make it to England someday, Paula!

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  2. I can just imagine how wonderful it would be to experience London while staying in a flat.

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    1. It is so much more comfortable than staying in a hotel, Kathy! The first time I went to London, I stayed with a friend in her father's flat and I still consider that time among the best of my young life. I will always be in love with the UK.

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  3. Looks like you had a wonderful time. So jealous! ;P Thanks for sharing all the pics.

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    1. We did, Anna. We crammed in a lot of fun, but it was still a very relaxing trip. You should go!! But, wait till the costume exhibits are finished being refurbished at the V & A. They've been closed for the past year and I know you'll want to see those Regency dresses, right? :)

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  4. Nancy, you are making me want to go back to visit!

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    1. LOL I know the feeling, Marg. Just seeing the photos makes me want to go right back. London is such a great place to visit, so full of energy.

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  5. I like your night photo. It makes me want to try. I'm sorry but meusli looks so nasty!

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    1. Thanks, Jenny! Muesli is not for everyone. Husband did buy some freak pastries. They were a bit startling. So fresh!

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  6. Victoria & Albert was one of our favorites when we went to London. We had no idea how cool it was going to be and ended up spending a ton of time there. The casts of the David statue and Hadrian's column were spectacular (as well as everything else in there really). I would love to see the Shakespeare exhibit.

    Oh, and I remember laughing at the "way out" signs too. It just seems so hippy-ish. :) I'm glad you guys were able to have so much fun!

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    1. Alyce, I actually went to London 5 times before I made it to the V & A! Can you believe that? All that time I could have been nipping in to see exhibits. It was on a friend's "not to be missed" list, so that's what finally got me there. It is such a wondrous place! The Shakespeare was just one little piece of a big collection with costumes, set models and such, but a very exciting thing to see.

      Aren't the "way out" signs fun? They always make me smile. Thanks! We are crazy about London.

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  7. Oh man, I loved this post! Going to England is my ultimate dream, and one day, I will get there for sure. It's so nice to read about your experiences and to get to see some photos. Great post today!

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  8. Zibilee, you must save your pennies and go. England is awesome. I've dipped my toes into Wales (just for a day) and Scotland, as well. All wonderful. There's so much beauty and history crammed into the British Isles that you could go back dozens of times and still have a list of places you want to see. Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed my little post! There will be more, as soon as I've done a couple more catch-up reviews. :)

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  9. *sigh* I just love London stories.

    Do the police sirens still go me-mer-me-mer-me-mer? That always made me laugh...probably not the response the police are looking for, though!

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    1. I'm glad you're enjoying my London stories, Jill. :)

      No, they don't make that funny, wonderful me-mer-me-mer noise, anymore! How disappointing!!! The police car sirens sound like ours, now. The only ones that are close to the old London style are ambulances. And, man, those are piercing. Husband told me he was going to go make a phone call "somewhere quiet" so I lingered in a bookstore in Greenwich while he went to find a quiet spot. He'd just gotten through to the person he needed to speak to when I showed up. I stepped back and played invisible wife. About that same moment, an ambulance came screaming down the street and the sound was echoing off the old stone buildings. It was absolutely deafening. Then -- this was so funny -- the ambulance, with sirens still blaring, made a U-turn right on the corner in front of us. Ha! "Somewhere quiet!" We were laughing our heads off.

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  10. Where was your flat? When we were there, we stayed at Selfridges (as I think I mentioned to you last year!) and our friends lived in a flat right around the U.S. Embassy. I think they were on either Green Street or Lees Place (near the Embassy). Can't remember, but I know it was within walking distance of Selfridges and Hyde Park.

    Sigh. I'd love to go back...

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    1. We were about a block-and-a-half from Harrods in Knightsbridge. Rather posh area, actually. We kept a list of different types of cars we saw, the most expensive of which was probably a Bugatti. It's a very convenient area -- and I don't think it's all that far from Hyde Park, either, although we didn't go there, this time.

      I will always go back to England. It's such a wonderful place, full of history and beauty. I just can't get enough of it. We didn't think we'd actually get to go in 2012 because of the Olympics. The opportunity was just too great to resist, though, when we were offered that flat for a week!!

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  11. OH it would be so neat seeing the Shakespeare folio! And I'm loving your pictures with the fisheye lens. It's been about 12 years since I visited London and I would love to visit now that I'm a little bit older (was 18 then so was more excited about visiting Virgin Records to pick up some "british albums" than other more impressive things). I keep forgetting about the London Olympics this summer!

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    1. That was an exciting find, Trish. I wasn't expecting to walk past a First Folio of Shakespeare when we entered that gallery! Thanks! The fisheye is awfully fun to play with. Haha, that is so funny about your interest in British albums! I was 17 when I first went to London but I went with a friend who had lived there, off and on, for quite a few years and she had us type up an itinerary of things to see and do. We didn't end up following it as strictly as we should have but it was a pretty amazing trip. Now, Huzzybuns and I tend to focus on free museums, theatre productions, markets, long walks. You can never get too much of London.

      I only know about the Olympics because they already had Olympic products out *last* year!!! Believe me, I have no interest in being anywhere near an Olympic city within a month or two of the event. London is crowded enough, as is! Add a big event and, yikes. I don't even want to think about the crowds in the tube.

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