A Wicked Love and Getting Lost
I woke up later today and wrote up yesterday’s blog post. This meant I wasn’t able to keep exactly to my schedule, but I did end up getting to all the places I meant to go to despite not even trying to. I walked all around London today, only taking the train to Hyde Park and then walking from there on. It was fantastic and I really got to see a lot of London.
Travel Tip: Don’t fall in love with the underground; it’s easy, fast, and convenient, but you can get a lot more out of walking around and experiencing the real city.
Hyde Park was beautiful, albeit rainy, so I didn’t stay too long. I walked all through it and I thought it was pretty interesting that you can have such a peaceful space in the middle of one of the largest cities in the world. I saw runners and thought how nice it would be to be able to take a run through Hyde Park each morning, or take my dog for a walk each day. By the way, Brittanys are very popular here, especially among the royalty. I forgot to mention how many Brittanys were depicted in the carpets/paintings at Windsor yesterday.
Don’t Trust Yelp
After Hyde Park, I searched for a place to eat. As I walked about, I found a spot that had some good reviews on Yelp. It was called The Portman and I meant to go in for breakfast, but they had stopped serving breakfast, so I was forced to have lunch. The prices were absurd, which was contrary to what Yelp said. I paid almost 20p for this lunch and believe me, the servings did not justify this. I got a roast, that had the strangest bones in it. Like fish bones. I kept encountering them and I didn’t know how to deal with it. They tasted fine, as did the kale they were served on top of, but they were 4 pieces of meat about the size of my thumb. Then there was a parsnip puree as a side. I wanted to eat it all because I was determined to get my money’s worth, but I just couldn’t. The parsnip puree about made me want to puke by the end and I just gave it back to them and got the freak out of there. I then went to Primark and Zara and shopped for a few clothes. That was fun, and cool, because again, I shopped without people recognising me and I was able to shop for whatever I wanted with confidence. Yay!
Shop, Shop, Shop
After that I really started exploring. I just walked and walked and ended up finding my way to Charing Cross Road. It was uneventful, and is really only for those with tons of money to blow on clothes, watches, tech, etc. I had spent all I wanted to spend at Zara, so I didn’t get anything more, and I likely wouldn’t have afforded any of it anyway; it’s mostly designer stores.
The Dreamy Street Performer
I then happened across Trafalgar Square by complete accident. As I entered the square I could hear this music and it sounded a bit like Ed Sheeran, but I knew it wasn’t, and I knew it wasn’t his song. I thought music was just being played in the square but then I saw this gap in a big crowd of people and saw it was a street performer! He was GREAT. A voice that melted me, guitar skills that were impressive (mixed with an awesome guitar and amp that I really want now) and he was frankly pretty attractive. . . I thought I was taking videos but apparently I didn’t have him in the frame and I didn’t actually capture the performances. I know. I was pissed when I discovered this. The audio is still great. But you should probably just check his stuff out online; people have got some great videos of him. His name is Sasha Broad-Kolff. Really, I was in love. He played two and a half songs and then I went and dropped a 10p note in his hat and picked up his CD. I talked to him about his guitar and told him how good he was. He was very kind and humble, it was awesome. I then sat down and waited to see if he’d start playing again, which he did. I was also just tired of walking and my feet needed a rest. I watched him for another twenty minutes until he started to pack up and go. Then I started getting lost again.
Next thing I knew I was at Covent Garden. At this point, I was hungry because I had such a sparse lunch, so I found something safe and got a Shakeshack burger; Crispy Pickle burger with cheese. It was good, thought probably more expensive than it needed to be. I then walked around a bit again, and decided it was time to find a grocery store, get a few things I needed, and then head back to the AirBnb to change clothes, drop off my purchases, and prepare for the big event.
I Got Wicked
It was time to get Wicked. This was my third time seeing the show and I loved it no less. It’s just such a fantastic production. A magnificent spectacle everyone needs to see at least once. The Elphaba was REALLY good. Like, I realised these singers and musicians have a tough task: the soundtrack and the musical have been out for so long that people know the songs, they have preconception of what it is supposed to sound like. They have to strike a balance between being faithful to those expectations while also making the show their own. Elphaba really did this. She had some real pipes and there were a number of times in the show that she impressed me, but Defying Gravity was great. It is such a powerful ending to the first act of the show. But then when she got to No Good Deed, that was when I was just shaking my head at how incredible she was. She really made that song her own and it was so powerful and well done. She was great. G(a)linda was good too. They both had me crying by the time we got to For Good. That’s one powerful song, that one. The whole play is an emotional mess. I just love it. It’s my favourite show of all time and it was a great way to kick off my 3 night musical spree.