I’m back on the web! It has been a long hiatus once again, but I am now ready to continue my London story. Since I last wrote I have done so much! Classes have actually started, and I am now feeling like quite the Londoner. The city inspires me every day and I want to get to the point where it feels like home.
The last thing I wrote was right before I went to the London Symphony for the 2nd time. This time I saw a wonderful concert conducted by Rafael Payare, who is actually the resident conductor of the Oslo Philharmonic (in Norway), and he conducted works by Dukas, Beethoven, and Rimsky-Korsakov. The highlight of the night was definitely Scheherazade, and it was exemplary. I sat in the “Circle” seating at the barbican, and I found that I preferred sitting in the Stalls on the lower level (where I sat the first concert I went to.
The next day, Friday the 10th, I had my performance class for the first time, and it was a general informational session. After that I got to rent out a DSLR camera for the weekend. I was really excited about getting the camera for the weekend, and after I got the camera my friend Carolyn and I went on a quick trip to Greenwich park to take some pictures and enjoy the parks beauty.
I had to quickly get back from the park and head out to the Royal Opera House because I found a ticket to the Royal Ballet for only 5 pounds, and I couldn’t say no. First off, I just want to say that this being my first ballet, I really enjoyed it! Ballet was an artistic medium that I had never experience before so I didn’t really know what to expect, and I was actually really moved by the show. The Ballet was titled “Manon” and is a modern ballet. The music was phenomenal and the royal opera house was simply gorgeous. I had fun at the opera and I’m sure I will be going back there again.
The next morning a group of friends and I headed out to Dover for a day trip. Dover is in the county of Kent, and is a Port town. It is known for being home to the White Cliffs of Dover. We took the bus to Dover and arrived in town centre by about 10 am. We first headed off for Dover Castle. It was situated at the top of a little hill/mountain. Dover castle is one of the main sites in the town. I really enjoyed the castle. It was the first one that I actually went into while I’ve been in the UK. Lot of history to see, and many, many really breathtaking views. One of my personal favorites was at the top of the castle rooftop, which really gave a 360 view of the town from above.
After the castle, we headed back into town to get some lunch. We bought fish and chips, simply because we were in a port town and figured the catch would be good. We were right! Definitely one of the best fish and chips I’ve had. Following lunch we headed out towards the Cliffs of Dover. It was a bit of a hike to get out to the cliffs, but we really caught them at a phenomenal time. when we got out to a point where we could see them, there was a rainbow going right across over them and falling into the ocean. I really enjoyed seeing the cliffs and taking our time to walk around and see as much of the cliffs as we wanted to.
We then headed back into town centre and hung out in a pub, then a cafe, and relaxed until it was time to head back on our bus. It was a really fun day.
The next day we went to a market (Old Spitalfields) and then headed out towards southbank to finally go on the London eye. the market was really fun, and i enjoyed some good food and seeing all of the crafts/goods that people create. And then the London Eye, well, was the London eye. Its an incredible view and definitely something worth doing whilst you are here in London. I would have kicked myself if I never went on it, so I am glad that I did so.
On Monday of last week I spent the day practicing and sort of taking it easy before I went out with my friends. We went to the Ice bar London, and I loved that, and then we spent the night out together and had a lot of fun.
The following day was the day of my first lesson. I had to travel to my professors house, which is in Morden, and it was kind of journey to get there and back but I figured it out. I had my lesson and then came all the way back to New Cross just in time to get ready to head out to the English National Opera performance of Otello as part of my London: The world’s music capital course. I really enjoyed this opera. I was lucky enough to have seen it before in Vienna at the national opera house, but this was a totally different experience. The English national opera is famous because it sings their operas in english, and this was helpful for my understanding of the plot. It was performed to perfection and the orchestra was incredible. Also, I had a really good seat (dress circle) because I didn’t have to pay for my ticket (hahahaha). Lastly, the London Coliseum was a building that was built to perfection. It has to be one of my favorite opera houses that I’ve been to, hopefully my pictures do it justice.
Wednesday I had my music in Film course, Orchestra rehearsal, and then a night out at the BBC. I went with a friend I made here through orchestra. He got these tickets online to be a part of the audience for a recording a comedy show for BBC radio 4. It was really interesting! I got to see the headquarters of the BBC, and tried out some incredible pizza. The show was really good, and even though I didn’t understand quite all of the comedy, I did get the grand majority of the jokes. I had a really good time and it was a nice way to end “hump-day”.
Thursday I finished class (Sonic Art Techniques around 1) and then Diego and I headed out to explore more of London. We initially were trying to find some tea houses but we found chinatown and covent garden markets! This sort of thing happens a lot while in London, you have an idea of where you want to go, but in reality you could get off virtually anywhere in zone 1 and have an entertaining afternoon. Covent Garden is a really cool market filled with unique shops, some very upscale, and just proved generally a fun browse among its offerings. That night I enjoyed going to a few pubs with friends, enjoying some time out.
Friday I finished class around 12:30 and then I headed out with a group of friends to go see places in London that are used in the BBC series “Sherlock” I am not a huge fan, but I have watched some episodes and thought I would be neat to see more of London that I haven’t seen yet. We did a lot of walking but some of the highlights for me included Regents park, which included the rose garden, sculpture garden, and more. We rounded off the afternoon by going to get some quality fish and chips down on Oxford street, then headed home.
The next day, on a very early start to a Saturday I met up with my very good friend Angela! She arrived at Victoria Station and we had a day filled of seeing the sights! We started at Big Ben, then saw Southbank, Westminster Abbey, Whitehall, Horse Guards, St James Park, Buckingham Palace, Royal Arches, Hyde Park, Trafalgar Avenue, and the National Gallery. Then we took a break and saw “Phantom of the Opera” at Her Majesty’s Theatre. That was phenomenal, I’ve never actually watched the story so hearing all the music in the show was really special and interesting! After the show, we went to piccadilly circus, glanced at the British Museum, took a peek at the BBC and walked down oxford street before heading home and getting some incredible indian food for dinner and getting some sleep.
The next morning we started early and headed to Greenwich park, to the Tower bridge/tower of London, and finally Camden. I love showing people Camden town, simply because it might be my favorite place in all of London. Everyone is so happy and the market is the most broad of any of the market’s i’ve been to. Really a special. Then sadly we had to head for the station for her trip back which started at 3:00 pm. It was a quick trip but it was great to show “my city” to a dear friend! I can’t wait to be up in Scotland for her to show off her country to me.
This week now begins and I am trying to enjoy my last week of being a teenager. Plenty more adventures to come this and I can’t wait to talk about it in my next blog post. If you’re still reading, good job. I love you.
Here’s the #picdump. Peace.