Wednesday, April 28, 2010

London - Part 4 of 6

Right, I've finally gotten hold of Henni's photos, so time for me to continue! :) Unfortunately I noticed she had some really great ones from the days already written - specifically Stable Inn, Greenwich Foot tunnel and the Monument - that'll teach me to start writing down the travel journal before I have all the information! ;)

But anyway! Onwards and upwards!

Part 4: Saturday - The One With Yummy Ice cream, Sweet Friends and a Disappointing Musical
Last time Lars, Henni and I were in London together, Henni and I had walked past Westminster Abbey, but hadn't actually gone inside because of the cost. Henni had regretted that ever since, so obviously it was on our "must do list" this time.

Fortunately we were there early, so the line wasn't too bad, and it got even better when they opened up a new line just a couple of minutes after we'd joined the original one, and invited me to the front! Of course it may just have been a coincidence, but then again, it may have been because of my crutch. Either way, I'm not complaining :)

I'm glad I finally got to see Westminster Abbey from the inside. I still think the outside is the nicest (best Abbey EVER! ;) ) and probably don't feel any real need to go see the inside again, but it did have it's cool points... seeing England's oldest door for instance - or discovering that people actually still live in the Abbey! My favourite was the Poet's Corner though - I liked seeing how many of the artists I actually recognized.

Once done with the Abbey we walked past Big Ben to the nearest tube station so we could take the train back to Leicester Square. Henni and I wanted a quick bite to eat before meeting up with friends at the Häagen-Dasz restaurant, as that would otherwise be our only lunch, and we thought Chinatown was as good a place as any for that.

Unfortunately it turned out to be not the best idea we'd ever had - the service wasn't as quick as we'd expected, so it ended up being rather rushed, and one of the things we had (trying something new, so yes, it was a risk) was pretty much inedible :( I don't even know what it was... it mostly resembled a deep-fried sea-food dumpling. Thankfully the other (which turned out to be fairly standard spring rolls only with shrimps) was fine, so we did get a bit of a snack. Both Henni and I want to try again for a proper lunch next time and hopefully end up with a better experience.

At 12:30 we'd arranged to meet up with Alisa and Natasha (two of Lars' and Henni's old class mates) on Leicester Square. Natasha had also brought along her boyfriend, Ben, and the 6 of us ended up having a wonderful time together. I'd met Alisa once before, but never Natasha, and none of us had met Ben, but we clicked right away, and really enjoyed ourselves.

Of course it didn't hurt that the ice cream was absolutely delicious too ;-) I'll always be grateful to Lissanne for introducing me to the place :)

We ended up sitting around talking for AGES. The waitress came past twice to ask if she could get us anything more. I did feel a bit bad about taking up the table for so long, but she made an effort to ensure us we weren't being thrown out, and there were plenty of empty tables, so I guess I shouldn't worry. Finally we figured we'd better move on, and went for a walk down to Trafalgar Square (which turned out to be handy, as you'll see when I get to write about Monday) as there was some sort of happening/demonstration/speech going on there. I never did find out exactly what was going on, but Natasha and Ben wanted to stay for awhile, and as it was time for Henni and I to head towards the theater anyway, it seemed like a good time to part. Alisa walked back to Piccadilly Circus with us - the four of us had had dinner together one evening when we were in London last, and I remembered really liking her, but time had dulled my memory, and I'd forgotten just HOW MUCH I like her. She has this exuberant personality that draws a person in completely and made me feel like I'd known her for ages, despite it only being the second time we met. She's absolutely delightful, and we've already made plans to meet up again when she (hopefully) comes to Denmark later this year.

It's long been a tradition that I go see a musical every time I'm in London. I think I've only missed once, and that was when Lars and I were there just the two of us, and I didn't much feel like going alone (I mentioned this to Natasha who immediately said that next time I should give her a call as she'd love to go with me. Excellent!) Anyway, fortunately Henni thinks that's a great tradition, so she's joined me the two times we've been in London together. This time we'd decided to see Thriller - Live. Neither of us knew much about it, but we both like Michael Jackson's music, so figured it couldn't be too bad.

... Okay, I have now learned my lesson. Next time I will research before buying the tickets!! No, it wasn't bad, it was just boring. I don't really know what I had expected, but my thoughts went along the lines of either something similar to We Will Rock You or perhaps the story of Michael Jackson's life or one of his tours. It turned out it was neither, but basically just a concert with a bunch of his songs. Not bad at all, and the singers were excellent, but not something I'd pay to see live, and definitely a disappointment when I'd expected a musical. Ah well - you live, you learn. I think that's actually the first time I've been disappointed by a musical I've seen live - considering how many I've seen, I've been really lucky!

Lars met us after the show, and we decided to have dinner at the nearest Garfunkle. Good choice too, as they had excellent burgers! And we were obviously in just the right place for people spotting - we'd gotten seats by the window, and I think 3 or 4 hen parties walked past while we were sitting there. I missed the planning, but suddenly Lars and Henni started waving and making weird faces at one of the parties - they'd gotten it into their heads to do something weird, and see what would happen! I think they were a bit disappointed when the women just laughed at them and moved on ;)

But a little weirdness has never hurt anybody, and we seem to revel in it... proven again by the fact that Henni decided to act tour guide on our way back to the hotel! She doesn't know her way around London as well as Lars and I do, so without thinking about it, we've taken to mostly lead the way around - which of course doesn't help her any. However, she'd bought a bright pink program at the theater (don't ask - I have no idea why it was PINK!) and figured that meant she was the tour guide, so lead us all the way back to the hotel, holding it up above her head so we could see to follow! Gotta love that girl :D

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