Trip to London – December 29, 2005

This Hobbit’s journey to London

portobelloI sit on the train – thinking about my adventures in the city today. I saw all I wanted – and more! My goal during my stay in England is to make little trips to London, instead of one long holiday. Today was my first go. Of course, I’ll have to take a coach (bus) next time, as the train was very dear (expensive). But the train takes under 2 hours, where a coach is a 3 hour journey. Oh well – I’ll not dwell on this now. So, I arrived in London just before noon and proceeded to take the tubes (underground) to the British Library. The underground in London is amazing! I knew which stop I needed to get to, but didn’t have the line name. The tube maps are clear and make sense and I was easily able to navigate my way there.

I had been to London around 7 years ago with my Mom and I had desperately wanted to to to the British Library, but was unable to. And Oh, the many treasures I viewed! My favorite would have to be Jane Austen’s “History of England,” written in her own hand, iwth her sister’s sketches. Heck Yes Jane Austen! I also saw items written in Shakespeare’s hand and a copy of the Gutenberg Bible. Actually, I sw many different Bibles – all special in their own way (color printing, hand written, etc.). And there were the original writings of some Beatle’s songs – they’re all on random scraps of paper, complete with scribbles and crossed out words. Oh, and I almost forgot the sheet music they had. Chopin has such tiny and neat handwriting.

In the Library shop I found a journal – from which this blog was originally written – called “A Hobbit’s Journal,” which is the inspiration for the title of this entry (Ok, obvious I know). The journal is sweet and has illustrations on the pages.

After my literary journey, I jumped on the tubes and headed over to Oxford Street, which is a street with tons of shops. My Mom and I went there a few times when we were in London. However, these shops are all in Bristol, so it wasn’t too exciting.

I walked and walked and ended up by all the theaters, which really made we want to see a show – if I’d though ahead I could have caught a matinee (next time). Some of the shows include: Les Mis, The Lion King, Phantom of the Opera, Mary Poppins, Guys & Dolls, Chicago, Billy Elliot, Mamma Mia and We Will Rock You. There’s also a ballet of Edward Scissorhands – how sweet is that? I think I may have to see it. I stopped in a cafe to relax a bit and had some yummy gelatto (Yes, I had ice cream; Yes it was around 0 degrees cel.) and a cup of coffee. I was restored and ready to go.

I discovered that I was just by the National Gallery (art museum). I saw so many wonderful paintings, including works by Monet, Van Gough and Di Vinci. There’s something about the way Monet paints water – the more you look at it, the more you’re impressed. At first glance it looks like smears of paint, but its all intentional and subtly captures the water’s reflections. There’s something about seeing these works of art, that you’ve heard about your whole life, in person.

There was a fascinating exhibit by a current artist named Tom Hunter. His photographs are modern day interpretations of classic paintings. There’s one of Ophelia (showing her as she drowns in the water) – I love the original and the photo was wonderful (I found out that the original is at another museum in London – next trip).

So, I walked out of the National Gallery and had a beautiful view of Trafalgar Square. There was a beautiful Christmas tree and in the background, Big Ben. I decided to walk towards Big Ben. Along the way I passed by some weird guard ceremony (it wasn’t the changing of the guards – there were 4 guards and they walked around and people took pictures) – I honestly don’t quite know where I was then. I was close to Downing Street – Even got a picture of the street sign. I stopped in and had Tea with Tony Blair, where we talked of the need of Marmite & Robbie Williams bans…

After a few more minutes I was at Big Ben and the Thames river. I walked across a bridge and came face to face with the London Eye (the huge, monstrous Ferris Wheel). There was a huge line – but I decided prior to coming that I did not have a desire to go on – it’s really expensive, you wait forever in a line and it goes by quite fast I hear.

Right by there was an Anime exhibit. I jumped in and thought of all my anime loving friends back home. I continued to walk along the Thames and ended up at a place called The National Theater – I know they show movies, but I think it’s much more than that (again, next trip). I started to walk back, stopped by Tesco’s (a market in England) to grab some dinner on the go, went underground to catch a tube to Paddington Station and arrived just in time for the next train to Bristol. And what a perfect end to my day of adventures, but a lovely snow fall.

So, that was my day in London – I can’t wait to go back!

Today, I’ve been running around Bristol getting my outfit ready for the New Year’s Eve Party tomorrow night (going as Jane Bond). Still trying to find a bow tie.

Have a fun and safe New Year’s and I’ll talk to you next year (remember when you were a kid in school and would always say that as you left for Christmas break and you thought you were so cleaver?)!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *