Showing posts with label the Globe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label the Globe. Show all posts

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Best Day Ever

Before I get to the spectacular day that was my Wednesday, I have to play some catch-up. Tuesday morning we got up early in order to see the torch run by Kingston University. I honestly thought it was a little anti-climactic. Don't get me wrong, it was still extremely cool to see the torch, but I thought there would be a bigger parade or something that went with it. So I guess I'd say it didn't match my expectations. But it was still something that I probably won't get to do again, so it was still pretty cool. After that, I went back to finish my final paper for my Shakespeare class before heading out to see Richard III. Thankfully it wasn't raining for this performance! It actually hasn't rained at all this week, which is pretty spectacular. The play itself was really good, all of the actors did an amazing job. Roger Lloyd-Pack who played Barty Crouch Sr. in Harry Potter played Buckingham, and Mark Rylance played Richard, who was the first Art Director at the Globe. Pretty cool, and they both did a fantastic job. After the play, we walked around London a little, to take in the view of London at night, which is absolutely gorgeous.

Now we're to Wednesday, one of the best days, if not the best day, I've had since I came to London! It all started off with leaving bright and early in order to make it to Middlesex University to see Rupert Grint carry the torch. Of course, it was the hottest day London has seen all year, which made standing on the side of the street a little difficult, but it was worth it! Diana Gould, the oldest person to carry the torch, took it into the University for lunch, and Rupert was the one to carry it out. So cool! And all the while they had music playing, people handing out things, and people taking pictures. The atmosphere was so energetic, despite it being really hot. It's definitely something I'm going to remember forever.

After seeing Rupert carry the torch, I made my way to Leavesden Studios, for the Making of Harry Potter tour! I had to take a train and a bus to get there, but it was so amazing! I couldn't stop smiling on the way to the Studios, and once we got there, I was just in awe. This is where so much of Harry Potter was filmed! It definitely was the highlight of my trip. I got there a little early, so I grabbed a bite to eat, then looked around the shop, where I could have spent sooooooo much money. There were so many things I wanted, but they were all so expensive! Anyway, I got in early, and the amazement began! I had goosebumps when we were sitting and waiting to be let into the actual studios. I was kind of amazed at how many younger kids were there, and I have to say, I felt a little sorry for them because they will never experience the true excitement of Harry Potter. They won't have grown up with it, like so much of our generation has. They won't feel the excitement in the air at a midnight book or movie release, won't grow up with Harry, Ron, and Hermione. I'm glad that our generation got to experience this, that we got to grow up with Harry. It's something that will probably make an impression on us for the rest of our lives.

Anyway, seeing all the props and stuff made me realize how much time and effort went into making this amazing book series come to life. I mean, I knew there were a lot of people that worked on it, but seeing it all in person is just amazing! There's so much detail put into every little prop, and I love it. It shows how dedicated they were to making JK Rowling's books come to life. I could definitely go back there again and again.

Now we've come to Thursday, the last day of class. I can't believe this experience is almost over already! It seems like I just got there. But in a little less than 2 days, I will be saying goodbye to London and hello to Holland. But for now, I will enjoy it while I'm here. The next time you hear from me, I'll probably be back in the good old state of Michigan. Until then, happy reading! :)

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Lots of Theater!

Yesterday and today were very fun and adventurous days! Yesterday we had a little later start, and began by going to the Box Office to see if we could get tickets for Phantom of the Opera, which was playing that night at Her Majesty's Theatre. We were successful! Then we made our way to Hyde Park. On our way there we passed by a lot of war memorials, mostly for WWII, which was quite interesting to see. There was one that was even opened last week, for the Bomber Command during WWII. It was really cool to see that. After going past all these memorials, then you make your way into Hyde Park, which is really like a mini paradise in the middle of the city. Once you're inside the park, it's not even like you're in the city anymore, you can't hear any of the noises, and there are fewer people walking around. It's really peaceful, and I couldn't help but think that this was a place that I would love to come and just sit and read. Call me a dork, but those are the things that I think about when I got to places like that.

Anyway, the main thing we wanted to see in the park, besides the natural beauty that was there, was the Princess Diana Memorial Fountain. It was really pretty! And you could even take off your shoes and walk around in the fountain. The water was cold though! Once our feet were rested from all the walking (the park is pretty big, plus we had to take a detour around the construction they were doing for the Olympics. I'm just going to say now that I'm really excited to watch the Olympics and be able to say that I was in the places where the events are taking place. It'll probably really annoy my family, but I think it's really cool). We grabbed some ice cream (because it sounded really good) and walked to the tube station, to make our way to Abbey Road. There were so many tourists there, trying to re-create the Beatles' picture, while there was traffic on the road! And while it was on what they call a zebra crosswalk, which is where pedestrians always have the right of way, a lot of the people in the cars got really annoyed with the tourists trying to take pictures. It was quite amusing.

After Abbey Road, we went to find some place to eat. We ended up at a pretty nice Indian restaurant, which was exciting for me because I had never had Indian food before. It was delicious! Then it was time to go and see the Phantom of the Opera! This was really exciting because I had never seen the show before, and to see it on the West End in London was pretty sweet! Once we got out of the show, it was dark, and the first time that we had been in London at night. It has such a different atmosphere! There aren't as many people milling about, and everything is all lit up and it looks so beautiful! I almost think I like it better at night.

Today I went to class this morning, where we discussed the play that we were going to see in the afternoon. Once again, I thought it was an interesting lecture, though this one was shorter than Tuesday's. Then we had to make our way to London to the Globe, which was where we were going to watch Taming of the Shrew. Being in the Globe and watching a Shakespeare play was really, really cool for me! I was doing what people hundreds of years ago were going, standing at the edge of the stage and watching a play. And the play was really funny! I enjoyed the way the actors interpreted the play, and the way they interacted with the audience. It was amazing! Plus it was nice weather, and since the Globe has an open roof, that was especially nice. After that, I made my way back to my room in order to prepare for my trip to Ireland tomorrow. It should be really cool! But I probably won't be posting again until I get back on Monday. So until then, happy reading! :)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

First Day of Class

So today was my first official day of class, and while it doesn't really sound all that exciting, it actually was really interesting! In the morning, we had a lecture about London and the theater in Shakespeare's day, focusing most of the discussion on whether or not Shakespeare was the author of his plays. It was absolutely fascinating, to me anyway, being an English nerd. And being able to be taught by someone in a different country is also a plus of this experience, because usually you only get the points of views of people in the United States, and it's interesting to hear things from a different point of view, especially because while we have extensive historical knowledge of the United States, our knowledge on the history of England is lacking, especially compared to someone who went to school here their whole lives. Now there aren't any British students in our class, but our professor kept explaining historical events because he wasn't sure whether or not we would have knowledge of them. It wasn't something that I really thought about before coming over here and taking a class, and it was really interesting.

After our morning lecture, we took a lunch break, and were all to meet in London to go walk to the Globe and visit the Golden Hinde. Once we finally found our professor at London Bridge Station, we made our way over to the Thames River to see the lovely replica of the Golden Hinde. Since we couldn't go in until 4, we walked around, learning about the various things that used to exist in that area of London, while seeing where we will get to see 3 of Shakespeare's plays later in the month. Then we finally were able to get into the Hinde. First, a little bit of history on the Hinde. The Hinde that's currently in London is a replica of the boat that Sir Francis Drake took when he traveled around the world in 1577. The trip took 3 years and the Golden Hinde was the only boat to make the complete trip. Going into the ship, I can't believe people spent 3 years of their life here! It was so tiny, and the conditions must have been absolutely miserable. But it was still really cool to be able to go onto the ship and see what ships of that time period really looked like. Puts some parts of history into perspective. After touring the ship, we came back and just relaxed for the rest of the night. Soon this relaxation time will probably be turned into homework time, but I am enjoying the free time while it lasts. I guess that's it for now. Until next time, happy reading! :)