Sunday, September 17, 2006

Our Vacation: Day Six

This brings me up to September 11th, and yes, it was remembered over in England too.

We started the day at Westminister Abbey. Again, we weren't allowed to take photographs inside. Picture if you can tombs and monuments spanning hundreds of years all packed together. Some of the tombs had medieval effigies laying supine with their hands folded together; others looked to be 17th or 18th century to me, with the scupltures reclining on their sides. We saw, among other things, the coronation chair that's been used for hundreds of years; it has a space for the Stone of Scone from Scotland (which will let the Brits borrow it for the next coronation) and the tomb of Queens Mary and Elizabeth. One corner is dedicated to servicemen from WWII; some of the damage from that time was left there delibrately. Poets and scientists are honored there as well. I lit a votive to remember the victims of 9/11.

After going through the abbey and another church, we returned back to the hotel to drop off our purchases and had lunch at a pub (more fish'n'chips, but we had wine, not beer). Then we visited the British Library. I don't think I can list all of the bibliotreasures on display here: an ancient copy of the Diamond Sutra, Qurans, lavishly illustrated bibles (and a copy of the Gutenberg Bible), two copies of the Manga Carta, and a Shakespeare First Folio. More "modern" works were also there, including books by Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters, and Kipling. There were musical scores, naval logbooks, and stamps from WWII. But of course my favorite part was the Beatles display of handwritten lyrics. It was pretty thrilling to listen to "Strawberry Fields Forever" while gazing at John's writing.

After I tore myself away from the library, Eugene and I "minded the gap" again and took the Underground to a stop close to the recreation of Shakespeare's Globe. The original theater burned down in the 17th century but was recently rebuilt. (I took pictures of the inside, but I'm still uploading them as I type.) The good news was that we were going to see Shakespeare's A Comedy of Errors at the Globe; the bad news, we had to stand. Before the show, we had dinner at a nearby Greek restaurant. I don't remember the Greek word for the meal we had, but it was like a Spanish tapas meal, with us sharing several appetizers. We had grilled octopus, flatbread, sweet dolmas, and mini spinach pies. Then we queued up for the theater. We were very close to the stage, so close we could touch it. Although it was an open-air theater, the night was pleasant and clear. Despite our sore feet, we enjoyed watching the play and being so close to the stage; it made the action more intimate. Afterwards, though, we weren't up for much more than going back to the hotel for some rest.

1 comment:

The Dear Nyer said...

I am enjoying reading about your vacation Sandra. The Greek word for what you are describing is called pikilia (a little bit of everything) and the best way to go when eating Greek in my opinion.

Site Meter