karaokegal (karaokegal) wrote,

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Vacation report-London: Ally Pally & Shakespeare's Globe

The next morning, I went down to the creepy gym, which was located in the bowels of the hotel and cost me three pounds for the privilege of using a treadmill for fifteen minutes and having a comfortable place to do my pushups along with some stability ball exercises.

I met hubby in the hotel restaurant for the complimentary buffet breakfast. The sausages were good. Or maybe I was losing my mind because the eggs were pretty good too.

We walked back to Islington for some more wandering before catching at cab to the Alexandra Palace a/k/a Ally Pally. We were going there to meet Timbershiver, but I was kind of stunned at how far it was and therefore the cost of the fare. OUCH!

On the other hand, there were lovely grounds to walk around and gorgeous views of London. Not too much else going on. We did see an awesome Whippet named Twiggy. (Best Whippet name ever!) Hung out watching ducks and boaters in the boat lake, which reminded me quite a bit of Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park.

Finally back to the main building to wait and get worried because once again, I’d failed to write down the specific time we were meeting or Timbershiver’s cell phone number. Hubby managed to use his Blackberry to access my gmail, so I could find the number and leave her a message, but mostly we walked around and worried and waited, until she did finally show up with the absolutely adorable Poppy.

We got some food from the bar where they’d been giving me the fish eye every time I came in to check if she was there, and sat talking for awhile, including some crochet chat between Timbershiver and Hubby. After that we decided to try and get a cab home, which turned out be a stupid move, since we never did find one, but we did have a nice long walk down the hill, during which something happened which may never occur again-me pushing a pram.

Since the cab of our delusions never appeared we ended up on a bus which took us to a Tube Station and thence to Picadilly so we could get some West End tickets for that night. I wanted a musical, but Hubby wasn’t up for it, so we ended up with The 39 Steps.

We ducked in somewhere for tea. Couldn’t get a full tea service, but they did come up with some nice Petite Fours. Then we did a lot of walking around. St James Park (Or was it Regent’s?) Buckingham Palace. I was in a serious daze at this point. I remember seeing the bleachers and other reminders that the big wedding had been about two weeks earlier.

Angus Steak for dinner. Two words: Tourist food. Really crap. Don’t go.

The play was awesome! Extremely well done. A four person cast, recreating the entire Hitchcock movie. Lots of great shtick and meta about plays and movies themselves. I laughed my ass off.

Went back to the hotel…major crash.

The next day was all about getting to Shakespeare’s Globe.

We’d booked tickets on-line, which somehow, naturally I’d managed to book for the wrong day. I begged and pleaded and got them to change it. WHEW!

We took the tour and got the whole spiel. I hadn’t known that Sam Wanamaker was the guiding spirit of project or that his daughter, the lovely Zoe Wanamaker, who played the Lady Cassandra was their patron.

The other Who-related encounter we had was OMG! It’s ARTHUR DARVILL! Me and Hubby both swaw him in the hallway going from the gift-shop to the bathrooms. He was wearing a hoodie and had his head down. I tried to smile at him, but he was clearly not up for any interaction with the public and I know better than to start a Who-riot. I’m sure he was there for rehearsal or something. I can’t imagine him as Mephistopheles, but I would love to see it. (Past tense now, of course. I hear it was an awesome production.)

Our show was All’s Well That Ends Well, about which more later.

After the tour, we had to take to the tube to St. Pancras to get our tickets to Cardiff for the next day. Presumably should have just done the whole thing by taxi, but I started getting cranky about the amount we were spending on cab fare, especially in traffic. Therefore I decided on the tube, but Hubby was getting really tired so instead of heading back to the South Bank, we ended up in yet another cab, going back to the hotel for a nap and then in another nother cab back to the Globe to look for dinner in the vicinity before the actual show.

We weren’t really thrilled with any of the options. There was a place about a block away called Tas Pide, which served Anatolian food. We knew that was part of Turkey, so we were expecting bog standard Mediterannean food. Falafel, Schwerma etc, but it was it getting let so we said “what the heck?” Turns out it was fantastic. One of the best meals of the trip. Amazing appetizers. I had a great, rich moussaka and Hubby had something the name of which I didn’t catch, but was like a sort of Middle Eastern pizza. Desserts were great too. I had a piece of carrot cake with yogurt topping that blew me away.

Then we walked back to the Globe for our show.

All’s Well That Ends Well isn’t a great play. It’s one of those ones where the gender politics make say “What the fuck were you thinking, Shakespeare?” But hey, we were seeing it at the Globe. (In real seats, thank you very much. No groundling stuff for us.)

The acting was fabulous, especially James Garnon as Parolles, the braggart. He looked a bit like Eddie Izzard and had most of the best lines, although of course the fool got some good stuff as well. I’m really happy we saw it, although seeing Arthur Darvill in Dr. Faustus would have been ever so much cooler.

We went out into a still-warm night, and did more walking with the crowd, including crossing one of the foot-bridges over the Thames, before getting a cab back to the hotel.
Tags: blog, journal, london, travel, vacation
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