Saturday, April 30, 2011

LONDON: Day 4 & The Tempest

Today was kind of a lazy day but I loved it. I was going to go to Portobello Road but woke up a little late and just decided to stay instead of rushing to get out the door (and i've already been and can always go again). I did some blogging, unpacked, and chatted online. By lunch time some girls were back and wanted to have a picnic in Hyde Park and read Shakespeare's "All's Well That Ends Well", which was perfect since I hadn't started and we have to have a response posted on it by Sunday morning. Again, I will rave on how much I LOVE Hyde Park...I could go there everyday for the rest of my life and be completely happy. It was a perfect day in London, the weather was sunny with a breeze and I couldn't help but nap halfway through my reading laying out in the grass...and let's be honest, even when I am awake I get distracted because I love to people watch :)

After that we had to leave to travel into outer London to see a play at Little Angel Theatre. Our entire class including the professors were there. It was a puppet version of The Tempest. Not hand puppets. There were actors as well as larger puppets controlled by actors. It was really great and I wish I had pictures to do it justice but they will never allow that in any of the Theatres. There were like maybe a total of seven people playing all of the parts, so each had about two roles. And all of them acted, sang, controlled puppets, and played instruments! Talk about renaissance people. It was a small theatre and it made all that much better and more intimate. I enjoyed reading The Tempest, but seeing it live just adds to the whole experience and concretes it further in my mind. Here are my favorite excerpts from the play:


We are such stuff
As
dreams are made on, and our little life
Is rounded with a
sleep.
(Prospero, Act IV, Scene I)



Gentle breath of yours my sails
Must fill, or else my project fails,
Which was to please. Now I want
Spirits to enforce, art to enchant,
And my ending is despair,
Unless I be relieved by
prayer,
Which pierces so that it assaults
Mercy itself and frees all faults.
As you from crimes would pardon'd be,
Let your indulgence set me free.
(Prospero, Epilogue)

View from where we were laying :)

LONDON: Day 3 & The Royal Wedding

Yesterday was my third day in London and THE ROYAL WEDDING! The wedding was scheduled for 11 so a group of girls and myself walked over to Hyde Park at around 10 to watch it on one of the three big screens that had set up for over 300,000 people. Another group of girls actually went down to camp outside Buckingham at like midnight and got to see the procession go by which is pretty cool. I thought about doing it and then remembered how sleep deprived I was already and it being cold at night didn't help.  But it was fun watching it at the Park with thousands of Brits- drunk Brits. It was one big party! Flags, cut-outs of the Royals' heads, girls in wedding dresses, fake replicas of Kate's ring, and lots of alcohol. Every time they showed the Queen the whole crowd cheered, haha I loved it. They also cheered for not only Will & Kate, but lots of women love Harry as well (but really who doesn't? he is a ginger and a prince after all).

Hyde Park is absolutely gorgeous and I plan on spending a lot of time wandering through it and reading Shakespeare. The trees are huge and splendid, the rolling greenery just makes me want to find a horse and gallop through it for hours. And there actually are people who ride horses through the park. I will try and take more pictures, and quality pictures at that- maybe today or Sunday. Since I have already been to London I find myself not being as picture crazy as I normally am while traveling...I haven't even broken out my Nikon DSLR- which is completely mental.

After the wedding festivities were over, we came back since pretty much all of London was jam-packed and we couldn't really do anything. I went grocery shopping (quite the extravaganza), unfortunately everything here is quite expensive. I then took a much needed nap :) once I woke up a couple of us went to Wagamama's- a very popular japanese restaurant here. I got curry chicken, which was more like Thai food but I was fine with that because I am trying to build up my immunity for spicy food for when I actually go to Thailand in July. We then decided to take a double decker to King's Cross Station. It took a while but it was worth it. If you know anything about Harry Potter you would understand. The whole way all of us were so excited, you would think we were a bunch of 5 year olds going to Disney World...it's close though. Anyway, we finally arrived and took some pictures at Platform 9 3/4!!! The original was blocked because of construction, but they had a temporary one set up :) So those who were doubting, I am a witch...it's just that my letter to Hogwarts came late...8 years late...but who's counting?



video video





Thursday, April 28, 2011

LONDON: Day 2

So we'll see how long this posting everyday thing goes but I am going to try...it's a lot but I know i'll be happy I did it in the future. Today we started out with class for about 3ish hours. Half of it was TMA 302 (Studies in British Theatre Performance) and the other was Shakespeare 382 I believe. Our professors are the best and I actually enjoy the content so it doesn't really feel like class. Not to bore you to death but we discussed the how to engage ourselves with the plays we will be seeing and how to an active audience when viewing all forms of art, which I loved since although I am not a theatre major, I am an art major and completely relate. We also had a discussion on The Tempest, and again I loved that part of class too. Everyone is so insightful and bring their own unique perspective on the play.

After that, me and one of my roommates went to go fix her debit card problems and then decided to just go off into London while we were out. We saw West Minister, Parliament, Big Ben, the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, and some of Hyde Park. It was just a quick walk through, no touring or major picture taking but I didn't really mind since I had already seen all this before and because everywhere was packed due to the royal wedding being tomorrow. There were camera crews and policemen galore! Some crazy people have even been camped out for days on the streets.

Then we went to Trafalgar Square and saw some plays being advertised and decided we wanted to go see Wicked at Victoria. Some of our flatmates went to Les Mis or Mama Mia as well. Wicked was really good and even though I am still exhausted (in addition to all the walking we did) it kept me awake and entertained :) The cast was great and the leads had amazing vocals. Now for a few pictures...don't mind my messy hair and squinty eyes haha that is just what traveling does to you- total and utter dishevelment.



 




                                                            Our Flats

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

LONDON: Day 1

After a lot of traffic on the way to the Miami airport, a longggg flight overseas (while attempting to read The Tempest), two trains, and a taxi (not to mention a huge ordeal getting around with two big suitcases and trying to get down to the tube to buy an oyster card) I finally got to my Hyde Park flat in London! I was in line to cross the UK border for almost two hours...I landed at 8:30 and didn't get out of the taxi until 12 :/ Longest two days of my life. But my professors are awesome and so are the flats we get to stay in. After a quick nap we had a housing meeting and tour of the surrounding area we were free to walk around London to get dinner and shop for groceries. The weather here has been great so far and England in the spring is absolutely gorgeous :) so soon I will try and explore the park. Tomorrow we have our first Shakespeare class at 10am to go over The Tempest...it's 10pm here now which means it's time to finally get some sleep...and then hopefully I will be more coherent to take pictures and and actually soak it all in.

the only pictures i took...on our street right after buying some groceries

Saturday, April 16, 2011

TRAVEL Itinerary

I am heading out of here in 5 DAYS. I have been in Provo since June and I think it's time for a break. I leave for Florida on the 21st and then it's good bye America, hello world! Here are my plans:

Apr 26th-June 10th: London, England
May 17th-May 21st: Scotland/Ireland
June 10th-June 15th: Italy
June 16th-June 24th: Harrogate, England 
June 25th-July 4th: Belgium/France
July 4th-July 14th: Harrogate, England
July 15th-August 24th: THAILAND

August 25th: Back in Provo
August 29th: Fall Semester starts

Seriously best Spring/Summer plans ever, and most hectic ever. Keep up with all my travels on my blog, I will periodically post pictures and stories whenever I get time and internet! :)))))
And don't worry I'll try and ride an elephant while I'm there.