Sunday, August 06, 2006

Day 9 - Shakespeare

I woke up on my last day in London with a long list of things to be done - places to see, people to call...

First stop was St Paul's Cathedral, which was beautiful, but at first glance, it didn't seem like there was much to see. They had a display going on about Anne Frank, where a life size replica of her room had been built, along with short stories from her book, talking about how her experiences are still relevant in today's society. Since St Paul's is a cathedral after all, they have a crypt underground, which was quite spooky. After that, I climbed many many steps to the Whispering Gallery, where a whisper on one end of the gallery can actually be heard at the other end. I couldn't test this out myself cause I was all alone :), but there was a German couple whispering to each other, and I had fun enacting the man-in-the-middle attack. :)

After that I climbed some more steps to the Golden Gallery, which is a circular balcony from where the whole city can be seen. That was gorgeous ! You could see "everything", and even the London Eye seemed small in comparison (at which point I decided not to go to the London Eye, cause it just couln't get better than this). The London skyline is very beautiful indeed !

I climbed down the 530 steps to the bottom, and crossed the Thames to try and get to the Tate Modern Gallery on the other side, when I happened to see a small "Shakespeare Museum", and entered it cause I thought I had a lot of time. Inside I realized that the museum was connected to the Globe Theatre, and that some Shakespeare play was starting in 20 minutes, and standing tikcets were available for 5 pounds only. Took up on the offer, and watched Coriolanus standing in the front gallery, right next to the actors, for 3 hours. Very tiring, but very interesting as well. Initially, the accent and the Shakespearean language were very tough to follow, but thankfully facial expressions are universal, and I was soon able to figure out the storyline. The theatre itself was beautiful, and so were the lead characters, with great acting as well. A part of the play actually involved a lot of actors standing in the crowd with us, and screaming their lines, and even we were prompted to say "Naye Naye !!" on being asked some question by the actors in the crowd ! Great fun !

Walked around for some time after the play, but was just too tired, and was back to the hostel, for dinner, packing, and for some great conversation with Hannah. Went to sleep worried about the alarm, hoping that I manage to get up in time for my flight back home.

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