Because of the change in time, I arrived in London about 11:00 this morning. I met up with my old high school friend and we took the Underground to Russell Square. Our hotel, the Hotel Russell is an old Victorian hotel. It’s gorgeous! My room is small and my view is of back alleys and people’s back yards, but I find it charming.
For students working on travel projects going to London, I suggest looking into purchasing an Oyster card. A seven day card gets me unlimited travel on two central zones on the subway, called the Tube by Londoners.
It took a while to get from Heathrow to Russell Square, so we didn’t have but a little while before going to the theatre (British spelling). We were pretty tired, so we decided to take a taxi, which I wouldn’t advise if you are making plans to travel in London. Because the traffic was so snarled and the cabs charge by the minute, it turned into a pretty penny, but we got to the Garrick Theatre with plenty of time to spare.
The Garrick is an old theatre for which The famous Irish actor Kenneth Branagh is now artistic director. The show was two one acts by the important British playwright Terence Rattigan. The first short play starred the great British actress, Zoe Wanamaker in a one woman show called All on Her Own, about a woman who has recently lost her husband. It was some great acting, but the pace was kind of slow for someone with jet lag.
The longer one act was an unexpected pleasure. Also by Rattigan, it was totally different in character. It is a funny farce about theatre. Very funny, and I was thrilled that the play is directed by and starring Branagh. Wanamaker was in that show too. Very funny, brilliantly acted, yet also rather poignant and touching at the end. I absolutely loved it!
Took the crowded Tube back to Russell Square and struck up an interesting conversation with some locals who were disgusted by the long queue, which is the British word for line. Other fun differences in language are all around. My favorite is coming out of the Tube, instead of exit signs, we see signs that say, “way out.”
Another thing for London travelers to remember is buy snacks and drinks from one of the little groceries that are all over because it is much cheaper than at the hotel bar and many London hotels don’t have vending machines.
Well, it is late and I didn’t sleep much on the plane, so I am going to hit the hay. I will write more tomorrow.