Thursday, February 25, 2016

Last day in the U.K.

I took a little break from blogging for my birthday, and because by the time I arrived to my humble bnb for the night, I was to disenchanted to type anything unbiased.

I woke up on my birthday on a 7th floor flat in the heart of London. I snoozed for an hour then went in a run like the Londoners do- weaving in and out of tourists along busy Oxford street, crossing under the marble arch into Hyde park and back. Running through all those changing obstacles was way more intense than running on trail, although the air quality and hard pavement make it less ideal.
I spent the rest of the morning with my friend Jodi, walking around town, shopping at Primark and Snog and sine strange little sex shops in SoHo. It was nice to feel a little more like a local, but maybe I let it go to my head. I left Jodi for my much anticipated room, and adorable- looking room on the south bank of the Thames, and after just one turn around, I made it.
Immediately I was disappointed. Not only did I get asked to buy a high schooler cigarettes, the room want in great condition and the sheets weren't clean.  This little sanctuary  where I was going to reflect on my last year didn't have the vibe I was hoping for, and ironically was the least appealing of all the airbnbs I stayed in.
So, as to not dwell, but enjoy the daylight remaining, I head out toward the river accompanied by Damien Rice, and watched the sun fade and the building lights come on. 

After a peaceful little dinner in a building where they used to forge iron, I made easy to the Globe for one of the best theatrical experiences of my life. 

Turns out The Winters Tale, for which I bought the last available ticket, which was two seats from the corner of the small stage, was actually in the Sam Whitiker theatre, a smaller indoor style theatre styled for Shakespeare's later plays. That means that there were only 100 or so audience members, and at times I could have reached out ans touched the actors.
The inside of the theatre had a 17th venture feel, complete with astrology paintings on the ceiling. The seats were but benches, but since I was on the front row, I could lean into the railing. The actually performance was remarkable, stylized, intimate and entertaining. I loved every moment of it, and it was worth every pence. From actors belting the fourth wall by handing off items, drinking wine our kissing the audience to several interesting dance and singing scenes, I felt fully enraptured in the play.
Sadly, it came to an end, and I decided to walk home feeling only a bit nervous about walking home alone at night. I returned to my unappealing room and shut out the world. 

This morning I packed up my bags, though not for the last time. I still have two days of journeying and much time and space to conquer. With so much ahead of me, I didn't want to do anything to complicated.... but I DID go to the museum of natural history, the science museum and the Victoria and Albert museum. 

But not before having my third avocado and toast.  :) 

I mostly explored the science museum because it cost £8 to do my bags at the natural history museum! I walked through the halls though, and to the Darwin Centre, where I enjoyed watching scientists work on a whale skeleton that had been on display for 81 years, as well as rows and rows of old collections in jars. (Unfortunately I mostly used my camera to capture these).

At the science museum, I enjoyed the clock and watch collection, and the basement collection of appliances from people's homes.

 Not only was I overwhelmed by the 5 floors of stuff and information..... there must have been at least a thousand school children screaming and running through any of the exhibits. Overhearing the delight of two girls behind me in the space room, made me think about how I once marveled museums but now am overwhelmed by them. As a child, I think museums are a great way to introduce you to single items and concepts, and start connecting them. Once you maintain your own web of understanding, they are of less use, save the areas of your interest. 

I only walked through the Victoria and Albert museum on my way to the train, but now I can say I've been there. I arrived ay the airport a few hours before my flight but I didn't want any complications.
Next stop, NYC... A much needed catch up date with my dear friend Stephanie. Then to Denver for another one with my cousin Brittney before arriving in the caring hands of my lover, and finally going home.

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