Day 23 – London

Posted on July 22, 2014

Up and to the train station this morning to travel to London. The train uses the Channel Tunnel which takes a fairly direct route from France to the UK and goes under the sea for about 40 kilometres. It felt like a pretty standard ride though.

After the usual travel nonsense, we arrived in London and to our apartment. It’s quite large, the biggest and nicest place we’ve stayed so far. First thing we did though was get some lunch (it was about 2:00pm at this point). We walked around a bit, then ended up getting Mexican (not really a fan…). Afterwards we walked a bit more and did some grocery shopping for the week.

Then it was back to the apartment to unpack some things, settle in and figure out what we’ll be doing over the next week.

Most excitingly, tomorrow night we see Miss Saigon. It is likely going to be the highlight of the trip.

We didn’t do anything too interesting today, so no photos to share, except for the puzzle I found in the apartment. I’ve had no success unlinking the string yet, but I’ll get there.

Day 24 – London

Posted on July 23, 2014

The heat is on in Saigon.

Today was quite eventful, though started late. We slept in and lazed about for the morning, only leaving to head out after lunch. We decided to walk to see Big Ben and Buckingham Palace as they’re all in the same area and fairly close to the Prince Edward Theatre where we were to see Miss Saigon that night.

It took a little while to get there and when we did, we didn’t stay too long. Here’s a few photos of Big Ben and the London Eye.

They’re interesting to see, but after seeing so many huge, amazing monuments, they aren’t super impressive. We also walked around St James’ Park which was nearby and quite nice. There were some cool squirrels around who seemed to expect food from bystanders.

After seeing those, we walked the short distance to Buckingham Palace. Again, it was cool to see, but nothing too amazing.

From there, we walked the fairly significant distance to the theatre and picked up our tickets, then got some dinner nearby. There was a Moroccan/Lebanese restaurant right next door, so that was handy. The food was nice (not the best, but still nice) but I would’ve liked more of it. We just shared a few meals and I was still hungry.

Mmm... meat.

Mmm… meat.

Once we had consumed our food, we went into the theatre and took our seats, eagerly anticipating the start of the show. Some waiting. Excitement building. Still waiting… and then the lights dimmed and the Overture started. I have no words.

Okay, I have some words. Here they are, in an order that will form coherent sentences. It was one of the greatest experiences of my life. Seeing this musical in its new production with such an amazing cast was a wonderful thing. And it seems they will be releasing a live recording of the show (not this specific performance) sometime in the near future which was great news.

Overall, one of the best nights on the trip so far. Looking forward to seeing The Phantom of the Opera tomorrow night.

Day 25 – London

Posted on July 24, 2014

Past the point of no return.

Today turned out to be a mega-musical day. Not only did we have tickets booked for Phantom, but there was a spontaneous decision to go see the matinee for The Book of Mormon.

The Book of Mormon.

We got great seats even booking so late (though couldn’t purchase the cheapest ones available). We had some lunch at home and then walked to the theatre to see the show (starting at 2:30pm). It’s always great hearing these songs live and seeing the performances. There was much laughter and gnashing of teeth.

After the show we got some dinner (chinese) and then decided to stop at a cafe which sold gelato. I was surprised to say the least. The gelato at this place was possibly the best I’ve had. Yes, even against the “worlds best” in San Gimignano. It was so fruity and creamy…

I want more of this Gelato.

I want more of this Gelato.

After that, we went to the theatre for Phantom and took our seats. To sum up my experience of the show, it was good, but had some flaws.

Firstly, the audience. They sucked. Noisy, disrepectful and apparently dying of some terrible cough for the entire show. The show itself was good, the Phantom being the standout performer with some of the supporting cast not giving as much passion as I was hoping.

Overall the show was good though, and again it’s great to hear the music played live, though a few more instruments added to the orchestra would’ve improved it.

Tomorrow is Les Miserables. One day more…

Day 26 – London

Posted on July 25, 2014

Do you hear the people sing?

Today turned out to be another mega-musical day. A spontaneous booking for Miss Saigon’s matinee, because it was that good. Got some good tickets, so had lunch at an Indian restaurant nearby and then rushed to the theatre. The Indian was good, but greater things awaited.

We made it and took our seats. They were closer to the stage, to the left, but still great. The show was just as good as the first time.

After the show, we met up with the others and went back to that cafe with the amazing gelato for round two. Then it was off to see Les Mis.

As you would expect, it was awesome. Once again though, some people made me angry with their noise and talking. I’m not sure why Miss Saigon was perfectly fine in this respect (both times), yet these other productions have had bad audiences. Perhaps it’s the age demographic (a lot of oldies at Miss Saigon). Regardless, the show and production were great.

It seems though that the Miss Saigon production towers over every other show. So much so, that we will probably see it a third time on Saturday if we can get some decent tickets.

Tomorrow we don’t have much planned. We might just rest during the day from the constant theatre-going and then we’re going to see Matilda at night.

I haven’t been using (or taking) my camera around much in London, as I’ve spent most of my time seeing shows, but it’s the best thing to do here and we only have one chance to do it.

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