To ensure that our weekend was well spent, Jeanne, Heather and I went to London one last time. On the agenda? The Sherlock Holmes Museum, a tour of the London Towers, and a tour of Shakespeare's Globe.
Sherlock Holmes's museum was great in so many ways. We delighted in the many, shiny trinkets in the gift shop first to make sure we had enough gifts for our families back home. While we were waiting to go into the museum, a man dressed like an old fashioned "bobby" posed with us outside in Watson/Holmes hats. Most of the things in the museum were just little trivia things. An old fashioned chemistry set, a fireplace, a desk... After seeing three stories of Holmes stuff, I was fully sated. For those who know about my huge crush on Sherlock, you already know that being able to pose with the bronze bust of Holmes was worth the six pound admission ticket.
The tour guide (a yeoman warden) to the London Towers was the most enjoyable part of this tour. He made some funny jokes and was very knowledgable. We learned that there were different execution sites for royalty. Supposedly, the executioner of Anne
Boleyn was so accurate and skilled that her eyes were still blinking when he picked up her severed head. Lady Jane Grey was also killed on that 'special' spot. He pointed to the tower were Queen Elizabeth spent some time in her younger years, and showed us the "gate of traitors" where the unfortunates walked through before they were killed.
When we arrived at the Globe, I instantly told the greeter that I just loved
everything Shakespeare and was very excited about seeing the theatre tour. We were told that there was no tour of the theatre due to the matinee show. After looking a little disappointed we agreed that we would simply view the exhibition (a museum of Shakespearian history) instead. After a little while, while we wandered around the different rooms where the costumes were displayed and various historical facts were posted, the man we approached came running up to us. He said that he had arranged for a tour in between shows. Under his breath he explained that he had convinced them to do it because "a girl who just loves Shakespeare is here." I may have gushed a little bit at this point.
Me (Holmes) with Watson
Watson told me that he and Holmes frequent a good pasta place in San Clemente when I told him I am from SoCal. I mildly suspected that this man was not Watson at all...
was suprised to learn that an American man, Sam Wanamaker, recreated the Globe theater in the early 1950's. He was a theater actor in the United States and made it his life's work to recreate the theater exactly. His daughter plays Madam Hootch in Harry Potter. Everything about the theater is as close to the original as they could get. Some of the marbling (done on the banisters) was originally all over every inch of wood, but they decided the upkeep would be difficult for that. Also, the paintings behind the seats were kind of a rough "guess." I was baffled by this decision. Shakespeare would not have had his own plays painted in his theater; they were too new to be classics. I originally thought they were scenes from Greek plays, which would have made better sense in my humble opinion.
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