Monday, March 8, 2010

The Great Outdoors

So as I mentioned earlier, the past week or so we have been have the most wonderful sunshine here in London.  As such, I decided that yesterday was the perfect opportunity to take advantage of it.  And I felt the profound need for a day of solitary exploration.  I hopped on the Tube and headed over to Hyde Park.  I had yet to go there and it was absolutely beautiful. And HUGE.  I walked around a bit, watched some rollerbladers with envy (I lovee rollerblading), took some photos, and found a spot on a bench in the sun to sit down.  I read Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and generally enjoyed the sense of spring in the air.  Days like yesterday are the kind of days that restore my faith that spring is coming.  It won't be cold forever and everything seems to spring to life. 

A side note on something I love about London:  Everytime I get on the Tube I see lots of people reading.  And they're not just reading newspapers and magazines; they're reading novels.  And it's usually young people that I see doing this.  Oh, and there is poetry on the tube.  There William Blake quotes and such.  William Blake stands out to me because he happens to be one of my favorites.  I like to scare mom and tell her I'm coming back from Europe with Blake poetry tattooed on my body somewhere.  Who knows? It could happen. 

Back to Sunday...After hanging out a bit in Hyde Park I started to get chilly from sitting still.  I quickly realized how close I was to Buckingham Palace.  Another place to check off my list! So I walked in that direction.  On the way I stopped by the Duke of Wellington memorial and a cluster of other various memorials along the way.  Pictures to come.  I stolled through Green Park and found my way to the palace.  It was really pretty.  I can't imagine what both Hyde Park and Green Park would look like later into the spring and summer.  It was beautiful without many leaves, but I'm willing to bet it would be pretty stunning with everything in bloom.  I'm flying out of London at the end of the program in May so I might come back a day before my flight in order to revisit some places like Hyde Park.

After getting a full look at Buckingham Palace I decided to head over to Covent Garden, only a few stops away on the Tube.  It's a pretty massive shopping area.  There were really fun street performers everywhere.  I went to the Covent Garden Market and enjoyed the general merriment and activity on the street.  Oh, and I found a cupcake shop and treated myself to a red velvet cupcake. YUM. I perused some shops and found the most beautiful scarf and spring jacket (that I swear I need) for about 100 pounds.  After absorbing sticker shock, I decided it was time to head home.  Needed to be away from temptation. I balk over plane tickets that are more than 40 pounds, so I simply couldn't rationalize away that kind of money. Sad but I'll live. I went home, made dinner, talked to Bethy on skype, and settled down with Measure for Measure that I needed to read for class.

Today I had class and then went to explore a local cemetary.  Yes, this sounds incredibly morbid.  And yes, I felt very strange taking photos in a cemetary but it was really beautiful.  I find that the way different cultures handle death and the afterlife is really fascinating.  Now, I'm back in an internet cafe trying to find the cheapest way possible to get from Nice to Florence.  Time's running out to make this purchase so I had better get to it.

I was standing next to a man on the Tube lift yesterday who was at least 7 feet tall, no exaggeration.  And I couldn't help but wonder how life must look from up there.  All of my photos pretty much represent what the world looks like from my 5'3'' frame.  It's kind of interesting to think about.  Totally a random side thought. 

Tonight I'm off to the Almeida Theater to see Measure for Measure.  It's gotten great reviews so I'm rather excited. 

Love me some Shakespeare.

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