The Globe Theatre. The Mecca for every English teacher across the globe. This, as well as Stratford on Avon, is the obligatory destination of everyone who teaches English and comes to England. You can’t leave the country without having these two things ticked from the List Of Thing To See.
It was such a deeply satisfying sight. Even better when I got closer. Are you tired of the gleeful look yet, because I’m not tired of feeling it! Scott wanted to see an exhibition at the Tate Modern, so I saw this one on my own.
We went right past St Pauls, but I ran out of time to see inside. By all accounts it’s well worth a look, but I’ll have to save it till next time.
Then, after buying some runners because dear-god-in-heaven-my-feet-are-covered-in-blisters, we crossed the river and saw the first glimpse of The Globe
You know how I have a list of things that I want to see? Tick The Globe off the list. 🙂
Hampton Court Palace.
Tower of London
Drinking in an old pub
A duckpond in a village green
A Thatched Roof
A play at the West End
The Portrait Gallery
Riding in a double decker bus
Riding in a London Taxi
Tasting Pimms. (What on earth is it??)
The tour was really interesting. Because it’s a working theatre, whenever there’s a rehearsal the tour groups have to go in and say nothing. When I went, there was a rehearsal of Richard II, so we went in and sat at the middle level; after a while went out for a debrief with our tour guide; then went back to sit on the lower level before going out again.
Remember my list? Look at what was also at The Globe:
A THATCHED ROOF!!!! OMG! The only one on London! How’s that for killing two birds? Cross the thatched roof off the list!
After the Great Fire of 1666 or something, a law was passed saying that every roof in London had to be made of tiles. After all, half the city had been burned to the ground due to fire leaping from thatched roof to thatched roof, so you can understand the Health and Safety concerns.
But if you want to build an exact replica of Shakespeare’s Globe, it has to have a thatched roof. So, some 400 years later there was I, wildly excited to see thatch.
After the tour we met up and had lunch at a pub on the banks of the Thames. It was summer in England and it was cold enough for a poncho and a warming soup. It was also raining. What a strange climate.
Then it was time to see Westminster Abbey. I was so excited to be going inside.
They don’t allow photos of the interior, so I’ll have to leave it to your imagination. What I will say is that I’ve never seen a building more utterly beautiful than this one.
Scott went off to see another exhibition somewhere else, because he’d taken a friend to see it a couple of years ago. So I wandered through on my own. It was the most magical time. There were thrills galore… imagine looking down on the floor and seeing Charles Darwin/Isaac Newton/ Charles Dickens/ That Narnia guy… (see photo above of a Narnia lamp post!!) / etc etc just lying there on the floor waiting on the off-chance that you’ll notice them.
I saw so many amazing sights… the graves of Henry VII and Elizabeth, his wife (remember the Tower of London story?); Elizabeth I and her sister Mary I; Mary Queen of Scots ( with an excellent story about how she got there in such state… her son ended up inheriting the English throne after Elizabeth I died without an heir. She’s ordered the beheading of his Mum (Mary Queen of Scots) so when he became King he decreed that his mum should have a grave at least as glittering and impressive as Elizabeth I. Love it.
I especially loved to see the marker for Frances Knollys, who was Mary Boleyn’s daughter and favourite Lady in Waiting to Elizabeth I. Of course, she was Elizabeth’s full sister and she was very close to her monarch. It was nice to see her remembered.
So many “a-ha/OMG” moments. I lit a candle for my great-grandfather who died in France in the English army in WWI… I’m not religious but maybe he was…?
Then I come outside and find this. How cool is this?
Then we nipped off to Buckingham Palace, as you do.
Tomorrow, I go and see Deana and Dave in Essex. She’s a blog friend and I can’t wait to meet her!