Wednesday began with the challenge of looking respectable while stuffing our faces with real breakfast food. Finally, a week without croissants and espresso! It may sound silly, but when you’re on carb overload nothing sounds more disgusting that bread for breakfast.
After, we traveled by ferry to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre for a tour and costume demonstration. Although it’s not the original building, it follows, what they assumed to be, a very close resemblance, complete with an open thatched roof. One of many tours going on, I loved listening to excited third graders run across the stage screaming lines from MacBeth at the top of their lungs. Our tour guide was great, and I was happy to find I remembered so much of the history of the building and Shakespeare’s work from high school. After our general tour we had a costume demonstration of Elizabethan casualwear used by the character Ophelia in Hamlet. As all the Shakespearian actors were male, our classmate Michael had us all crying from laughing so hard in his modeling of the corset and petticoats.
After our tour we went next door to Tate Modern for a tour of the modern art museum. Modern art isn’t really my thing, especially the post-WWII surrealism pieces our guide seemed to be favoring. I blame having to read The Stranger junior year of high school. Luckily that hour went quickly, and soon enough my friends and I were on our way to ride the London Eye.
Adding to the list of events I had not done I during my first visit to London, this day was checking so much off my list of must-sees. We bought the flex pass for the giant Ferris wheel, so we could go at any point of the day. The 45-minute ride provided views of all of London. After the Instagram-ready photo shoot, we all ventured to Parliament and Big Ben before grabbing some fish and chips for dinner.
That night we were all too excited to celebrate my roommate Taylor’s 21st birthday. We had spent the week prior talking to a promoter at DSTRKT, a posh (appropriate word choice) nightclub in the heart of Piccadilly Circus, securing a table, bottle service and a cake for the special night. Unfortunately, as I’ve come to learn, there is no such thing as perfect planning while traveling.
Our first problem was not being on the list as we were told we would be. Our second was having to wait in line until 11:00 so we now all had to pay a cover of 20£. The third was one of our friends not being allowed in because she wasn’t wearing heels. The final problem was no one in the place knowing who this guy Jordan was. So we were now cash poor, pissed off, separated from our friends and sober in a place we couldn’t afford to buy a drink in.
We left the club as other tables were popping bottles of champagne and waving giant sparklers. I told our sob story to a front man on the street who got us into his nice club without a cover. Spirits were low, and attempted flirting with a group of businessmen (property owners of The Dorchester trying to close a deal with after-dinner drinks with clients, whoooosh) we managed to get in a little better moods before calling it an early night. The way I look at it, hopefully we’ll laugh about it in 20 years when we look back at this trip.
- Definitely take a ride on the London Eye. If you book online you get a few pounds off your ticket as well. They have several different ticket options, we choice the Flex Standard so we could go at any time, but had to wait in the regular line. We went at about 4:00 and had no wait at all.
- Make sure to watch the 4D movie beforehand!
- If you are interested in Elizabethan history and Shakespeare, book at tour at the Globe. The guides are excellent and you can really tell they know what they’re talking about.
- If you’re there during its season, you can get a 5£ ticket for a show as well. We were too late by a week to do so.
- Try some Dinky Donuts from a street vendor on the Queen’s Walk. 2£ for a bag of deliciousness.