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Ongoing Solo Trip Report July 2012 (long)

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Illinois
posts: 9,726
reviews: 16
Ongoing Solo Trip Report July 2012 (long)

I am currently in the middle of a trip to London. I started with 3 days in Oxford, which I posted on the Oxford forum and then will be in London with a few days in Brighton later in the trip. I'm a little behind on writing the posts, but here's the link to the Oxford part.

http://tinyurl.com/cshsaoa

Watford
Destination Expert
for London
posts: 33,753
reviews: 26
11. Re: Ongoing Solo Trip Report July 2012 (long)

Good to hear from you and hope to see you at The Lamb next week

Sydney, Australia
posts: 7,162
reviews: 26
12. Re: Ongoing Solo Trip Report July 2012 (long)

A great start, btgm. I've been looking forward to your report.

Italy
Destination Expert
for Livigno, Lombardy
posts: 39,207
reviews: 127
13. Re: Ongoing Solo Trip Report July 2012 (long)

What a great report, thanks, I', looking forward to reading the Brighton part.

Nijmegen...
posts: 2,745
reviews: 36
14. Re: Ongoing Solo Trip Report July 2012 (long)

Finally had time to read, and what a lovely read it was :) I did the Verger tour myself last July, and I also liked ypthat we could sit in the choir. Sadly I did not explore the gardens&the museums, but maybe in my trip after the October one....

Looking forward to the remainer of the trip and the Brighton patt!

Illinois
posts: 9,726
reviews: 16
15. Re: Ongoing Solo Trip Report July 2012 (long)

Day 5 July 11, 2012

So today did not go exactly as planned (or maybe it’s just that I forgot the plan). Anyway, I was intending to spend the day at Hampton Court Palace, and got off to a bad start by getting on the wrong tube train (the Circle Line and Hammersmith and City lines share a platform at Moorgate, and I got on H&C instead of Circle). Fortunately, I figured it out right away and could get off at a station where I could just change to a train that would take me to Waterloo. When I got to Waterloo I had just missed a HCP train, which meant I had to wait 30 min for the next one. This has happened every time I’ve gone to HCP. I think there’s a flaw in my planning somewhere. While waiting, I topped up my Oyster PAYG. This time I tried my Capital One swipe card just as a test, and it didn’t work. The Chase chipped card did, though.

I proceeded to HCP with no problems, but when I got to the palace, I realized that I was booked for the Rooftop Tour on Thursday, not Wednesday. I didn't want to pay for entry 2 days in a row, so I decided to go back to London. Of course by that time, I had just missed the train back to London and had to wait another 30 min. Oh, well. That’s the good thing about travelling solo. No one gets mad at you if you mess something up. Well, I guess I could get mad at myself, but that seems counterproductive. I figure at least if I’m going to get the day wrong, it’s better a day early than a day late. I decided to try to get back for the 13:45 London Walks tour of Chelsea. I don’t think I could have made it if I had gone all the way back to Waterloo and then tried to get to Sloane Square, but the train goes by Vauxhall where you can get on the Victoria line and Victoria is only one stop from Sloane Sq, so I was just in time.

The walk was pretty good. I don’t think it was the best one I’ve ever done, but it was interesting. You go past the Royal Hospital Chelsea, the Chelsea Physic Garden, and the National Army Museum (but don’t go into any of them). You also go past the houses of a lot of famous people. I’m not that interested in the houses of modern famous people (although we did see Bram Stoker’s ex house, which was moderately interesting), but it was nice to see a part of London I haven’t spent much time in. I’ve been to the National Army Museum, but it was in Jan and snowy and icy, so I didn’t really wander around much. The walk ends at the Chelsea Old Church, which you do go in. This was the parish church for Thomas More. He had a grave built for himself and his family there, but once he was executed they didn’t bury him there but at the Tower of London. There’s a statue of him out front, but his face and hands are gilded (or yellow by some method) which I think makes him look a little sickly. I would have liked to visit either the museum at the Royal Hospital or the Physic Garden, but the walk ended too late for it to be worth paying for the garden, and I wasn’t sure how late the Royal Hospital would be open, and I had Globe Theatre tickets for the evening, so I decided just to head back.

I took a bus back (well 2 buses actually) to St Paul’s (except they threw us all off at Ludgate Circus) and walked across the Millennium Bridge to the Globe. There are several restaurants near there, including a Strada, a Pizza Express, and The Real Greek. I decided on Pizza Express. They gave me a table by the window, which is always good for people watching. I took advantage of the fact that they don’t ever bring you a bill around here unless you ask for it, and stayed until it was time to go to the theatre.

I saw Henry V, which was somewhat disappointing. I had trouble hearing them a lot of the time, which is unusual. I had particular difficulty with the narrator, who tells you what is going on. I knew the story of Henry V and the Battle of Agincourt, but I had a lot of trouble following the play. I don’t think it was just me as I don’t usually have trouble following Shakespeare, and I heard some other people complaining during the interval that they didn’t know what was going on. I was glad I wasn’t a groundling, because it rained pretty hard for some of the play, and it looked pretty soggy and miserable out there. I have tickets for Richard III later this trip, so hopefully that will be an improvement. Maybe I was just tired from getting home late the night before, who knows? Anyway, I walked back over to St Paul’s and got a bus to Liverpool St Station which is walking distance to the flat. Actually, looking on the map, it looked like St Paul’s would have been walking distance, but I didn’t really look until I got home.

Nijmegen...
posts: 2,745
reviews: 36
16. Re: Ongoing Solo Trip Report July 2012 (long)

Shame that the play wasnt that good, hope Richard III will be better... and I really must try out Pizza Express as it sound like my kind of food and read positive things in reports.

Your day mishap was unfortunate, thankfully you where able to do a walk in the end!

And now I have a HCP report to look forward too :)

Perugia, Italy
posts: 951
reviews: 21
17. Re: Ongoing Solo Trip Report July 2012 (long)

Your reports are always a joy to read, even when things don't work out as planned. "Well, I guess I could get mad at myself, but that seems counterproductive. " What a great attitude! I must remember that for the many times I slip up.

I'm a bit concerned by your account of the Globe Theatre because I was thinking of going there next time. If you had trouble following the play despite (like me) not usually having difficulty with Shakespeare, that sounds discouraging. Hopefully Richard III will be better.

Roeselare, Belgium
posts: 1,370
reviews: 20
18. Re: Ongoing Solo Trip Report July 2012 (long)

Great attitude to adapt so easily, I agree. It sounds like your day 5 was "one of those days", but you sure made the best of it...

As we really love London theatre, I always enjoy to read about people's choice of plays. I'm pretty sure that RichardIII should be better, after all Marc Rylance is always a pleasure to watch, he can make Shakespeare sound so easy and exudes real passion for his work. Looking forward to reading about your experience!

Edited: 1:26 pm, July 14, 2012
Canada
posts: 104
reviews: 2
19. Re: Ongoing Solo Trip Report July 2012 (long)

I went to Henry V a few days before you, and I really enjoyed it.

It's not one that I've ever read, but I have studied Shakespeare a fair amount. I roughly knew the story just from my history background, which likely helped. I did find the first half a bit slow, and was surprised at how much I enjoyed the second half. I really enjoyed Jamie Parker's performance as Henry.

Groundlings got drenched during my visit too, we all started laughing it was pouring so hard.

I've got Richard and Shrew still to come, I've been reading Richard as I wasn't familiar with it at all, and I know Shrew quite well, and actively dislike it. Hoping seeing it will turn my attitude around.

Looking forward to hearing about the roof tour!

London
posts: 501
reviews: 113
20. Re: Ongoing Solo Trip Report July 2012 (long)

I'm going to Henry V at the end of August - does this mean I have to read it first?