Saturday, April 15, 2017

London Vacacay, Outing 2: Shakespeare's Globe, Kew Gardens

Our second outing took us to two places: Shakespeare's Globe Theatre, and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew!

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

The Globe Theatre is (of course) a reproduction of the original, situated roughly 100 meters from where the original stood. We arrived a little early and wandered around a bit. I was particularly taken with this guy, whom I hoped would be our tour guide.

Follow me, to honor and victory!
Sadly, it was not to be. Our tour guide was a very knowledgeable Welsh man by the name of Llyr (rhymes with "deer", with a little "hl" on the front).

The theatre is remarkable in many ways, the least of which is that it's got a thatched roof open in the center. All plays are put on during the day, because there's no interior lighting (as there wasn't in Shakespeare's day). The stage is elevated to a height of about five feet.

Acting! Thank you!, No, thank you!
The tour covered the historic Globe as well as the modern day one. The theatre is in pretty constant use, so if you ever have the opportunity to see a play there, you should! One quick anecdote: Llyr told us that when Titus Andronicus (Shakespeare's bloodiest play) was performed in the rebuilt theatre, several people in the audience fainted during the production. Later on, we discovered that one of our London friends was one of those delicate souls that fainted. London, as it turns out, is a small world.


Kew Gardens

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (commonly referred to as Kew Gardens), was the first venue that turned out to be too large to get through in a single visit. We booked a 90 minute tour, and got through about 15 percent of the venue. Several of the main attractions were actually closed, unfortunately. One such was the Pagoda.

Only one mile to the Pagoda
That is a 250-year-old reproduction of a Chinese pagoda. It was (and perhaps still is) the most faithful reproduction of a Chinese pagoda in Europe.

That very long lane at the end of which you see the pagoda is a "vista," one of several at the gardens. The next vista we went to was Syon Vista, at the end of which was the Palm House.

Reminded me of Hans Zarkov's house from "Flash Gordon"
Other highlights of the garden are shown below. All of these are courtesy of Tanya's fancy camera.

That tiny tree is well over 100 years old

Droopy checkerboard flower (not an official name)

The sky through the blossoms

That... is a strange pine tree...

After the visit to Kew Gardens, we knew we were going to have to plan a return visit to London someday in the future. Yup, only two days in, and we were already planning our next trip out...

Dinner that night was a reunion with old friends. Albert, Daniel, and Jenny joined us for some of the best Indian food we've ever had at Veeraswamy. The food was served family style, and wasn't too spicy for my western palate. Afterward, we walked to Chinatown London for some soft-serve green tea ice cream in fish-shaped cones. SO MUCH FUN AND SO DELICIOUS!! Many many thanks to Albert for coordinating all of that, and for all three of them for taking the time out of their busy schedules to meet up with the tourists. We owe you guys a fantastic Texas outing!

The next day was Windsor Castle... I don't want to spoil anything, but I will say that the Queen was there that day... :-D Keep your eyes peeled for the next blog post!

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