Trip Start Jun 20, 2009
21Trip End Aug 01, 2009
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Where I stayed
Trafalgar Square was spectacular, and could be one of my absolute most favorite places in London. I had a hard time believing the fellow atop the enormous pillar was a mere [whoever he was]. Trafalgar Square used to be a full square, where the cars would completely circle around the central pillar and lion statues. However, part in front of the National Gallery was closed off in [date] and now it's just filled with people. I didn’t stay (or, rather, 'tarry’) in Trafalgar Square, but instead headed down Whitehall Road, where I was determined to cross several of my must-see sights off the list
I hit 10 Downing Street (home of the Prime Minister), which was extremely disappointing. I was going largely on a tour book from 1977 that my mother bought me from a yard sale, and it showed tourists practically right in front of the house taking pictures. Instead, I found the entirety of Downing Street gated off, with no entrance by the public at any time. I also tried to visit Old Scotland Yard, which my tour book also had pictured. When I asked two bobbies where it was, they looked at each other funny and then told me where to find it. I saw why shortly. The building was no longer even there. Instead, the massive Department of Energy stood in its place, with only a tiny plaque commemorating the location that Sherlock Holmes had so often visited in my childhood reading adventures. Fortunately, I did get to see the Department of Defense, which was fantastic, and a small changing of the guard ceremony in front of the Cavalry Museum.
I returned to Trafalgar Square and immediately and accidentally discovered St Martin-in-the-Fields, an incredibly historic church home to some of the greatest music performances in the world. On recommendation by a friend, I went down into the Crypt and had tea (there’s a sort of cafe in there, not many dead bodies)
So, I saw an opera. To explain: there had been an enormous screen erected in Trafalgar square that I had earlier mistaken for some sort of construction project. There was to be a broadcast of Verdi's La Traviata, live from the Royal Opera House. There were 16 such screens throughout England, and the show was apparently broadcast in some venues around Europe as well. I haven't seen many operas (one), and I enjoyed the music and the sets greatly, though I was less sure about some of the acting and the plot. It was entertaining though, so I would also recommend it.
I'll try to bring this travel log up to speed as soon as I can (I haven't even gotten to yesterday, nevermind today). Between exploring London, eating, drinking, sleeping, going to class, going to plays, and reviewing plays, it's surprisingly hard to find the time to compose these entries, which take longer than you'd expect. But it's a labor of love, as well as a service to you, dear reader.