Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Late Summer Adventures, Part Three: York, Bath, and London

Now that term has started, it seems like a good time to finish my run down of my late summer adventures.  The last adventure involved showing my very good friend around England on her first trip over here.

We did a little bit in Oxford, including seeing the Hysteria at the Oxford Playhouse, which was really cool, though also very strange (especially at the end, but it had Freud for a main character, so what do you expect?)

Then we left Tim behind and took the train up to York for two nights.  I love York.  It's such a lovely city to wander around in.  You don't even need a map; you can just dive down side streets and snickelways and if you get lost, you just look for the massive Minster towers to tell you where you are.

Mickelgate Bar

Inside the Minster
Highlights including going through a darling antique store, taking a river cruise down the Ouse (oh dear, it rhymes), and of course visiting the Minster.  Even though I was just in York last November, I'm really keen to go back again, especially since I still haven't seen the Railway Museum.

 Then we went to Bath for a day.  I had my first ever spa and thermal mineral water experience, which was good fun.  Then we hit the town: Bath Abbey, the Roman baths, a picnic by the Royal Crescent, the Fashion Musuem, and little shops in between.  I'd forgotten just how pretty a city Bath is.

Bath Abbey

Pulteney Bridge

Delightful shop, full of ribbons, buttons, and other odds and ends
Then it was off to London.  We stayed in empty London School of Economics self-catering student accomodation in Drury Lane which worked really well and was not very expensive by central London standards, I think.  London highlights: dinner at the Wolseley (an art deco restaurant that used to be a car dealership), Phantom of the Opera, the Buckingham Palace State Rooms and the Queen's Gallery (showing an exhibition of Leonardo da Vinci's anatomical drawings - definitely a man ahead of his time), the British Museum, the Tower of London, and Westminster Abbey.
The Tower of London.  We discovered no one actually knows where Anne Boleyn was held before her execution.

Glorious Westminster Abbey.
 On our last night, Des and I had dinner down the street at Sarastro's, a fantastic restaurant done up like a particularly over-the-top opera house, complete with a string quartet performance, followed by opera arias.  Des reports that the food was good, to boot.  Then we headed over the the Linbury Studio at the Royal Opera House for a contemporary ballet performance which was...interesting.  I'm a bit traditional when it comes to ballet, I suspect, and I really like it best when it tells a story.  But it was a good experience.

And then Des sadly had to go back to Canada!  Alas, but, speaking for myself, I had a fabulous time playing tour guide.

Also, all credit for the lovely photos goes to Des.  Having been all these places before, I didn't bother to take any photos, which is a problem when I then wanted to illustrate our travels for the blog.

Des is also an animator back in Vancouver.  You can see more of her work here and here.

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