Seriously, though, I go there almost every day I have time. It’s a super easy tube trip, and the general area around it is lovely. There’s just something really relaxing about being there, in its presence. The other day, I took a quasi-nap in a little patch of grass in the churchyard. It had been a long, stressful few days and I needed to calm down, and I knew St. Paul’s would take care of that for me. I tried to sketch the dome, too, but it didn’t turn out very well. I was quickly reminded why I gave up on art a long time ago.
Yesterday we had the opportunity to climb to the top of the dome. Our tour guide had told us last week that the view from the top is one of the best in London, and any time the chance is presented, you take it.
So I challenged my claustrophobia and took it. I figured if I played it safe and decided not to test my fear, that I would regret it, and I didn’t want that at all. I made it up to the Whispering Gallery just fine. But when I looked up and saw the railing around the next level, I got a little queasy. Heights don’t bother me, but I knew the stair path up there would be short and narrow, and I didn’t like the thought of that.
Give in to my claustrophobia…regret not experiencing London from that angle…
So I took a deep breath and gripped the hand rail and continued the climb. We made it to the next level, the Stone Gallery, walked around a little, and kept going.
Finally, we made it to the top. Worth it?
I definitely think so.
My second favorite London landmark is the Globe Theatre. Yes, the Shakespeare place. I might be in love with it, too.
Last week, we saw “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the Globe. Seeing Shakespeare on stage is always an incredible experience, but seeing it at the Globe takes it to a whole new level. The actors are truly trained Shakespearean actors and it’s obvious they love it. “Midsummer” is one of the few comedies I’ve read–I tend to prefer Shakespeare’s tragedies over his comedies–and even though I hadn’t read it since high school, I hoped my memory would serve me well enough to enjoy the show.
Another cool aspect of the Globe is it doesn’t have complete traditional seating, at least in the sense we would think about. There are floor seats and higher tiers, but there’s also an area for “groundlings.” It’s probably exactly what you think it is: it’s an open area where people can stand to watch the performance. It’s essentially standing room only in that space, and you can get as close to the stage as you wish.
Talk about a new perspective! I watched the second half of the play from up close, and it was very up close. I think I actually made eye contact with Helena at one point.
When the play was done, the ushers tried to push us all out pretty fast, but I managed to grab this picture before being urged forward:
That’s my face on the Globe’s stage. And I’ll get two more chances to do that again, as we’re seeing “The Tempest” tomorrow, and Macbeth on our last night in London. I also can’t wait to see “Othello” at the National Theatre next week.
(Side note: my favorite line from “Midsummer” is, “Lord, what fools these mortals be!” spoken by Puck. I love Puck.)
And on a completely unrelated note… I’ve seen ads in tube stations for a band called Texas and their new album “The Conversation.” I finally looked them up tonight, and I’m a fan! I like their sound; it’s softer rock, compared to what I usually listen to, and it’s different. Apparently they’ve been around forever, too, since the late 80s. They’d be a nice break and change of pace on the rare occasion I need to switch up my Yellowcard and New Found Glory.
Check out their new single, the title track from their new album:
Tomorrow is going to be another long day, so I’ll wrap up here. Cheers!