Feb 28

Europe 1996 Day 7: Tour of London – Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

by in Europe 1996

Wednesday February 28, 1996
The day started out bright and early as we set out on a guided tour of London Proper. The tour bus drove us around town, and it was interesting to hear the history behind all the buildings that we had been seeing over the last 6 days. We got out at the Horse Guard Gate to see the changing of the guard there, when things got tense. It turns out a car with Princess Anne just drove out. Apparently the Royals were on their way to St. Paul’s to dedicate a plaque for veterans of the Gulf War. Not long after, Prince Charles came driving through, and then Queen Elizabeth II (the monarch, not the cruise ship). I got a great picture of the back of the queens car, my camera failed to take a picture at the right moment. (BTW Gary, you still owe me a pic of the queen!) From there it was off to Parliament and Westminster Abbey. The Abbey itself was fairly spooky. I don’t think I will ever get used to the idea of walking on people’s graves. After that, we got stuck in the mother of all traffic jams, and for an hour we hardly moved. Apparently there was a bomb threat that closed off a major intersection and traffic was gridlocked.

Once we emerged from the traffic, we went off to a Thames River tour, where we were able to catch some of the sights of the town from a different perspective. An interesting fare of food was offered for lunch (then again when is British food NOT something to behold! ). Along the river we also got good looks at the World Famous London Bridge, and the Tower Bridge. After the cruise we sauntered over to the Tower of London to see the Crown Jewels, and some of the interesting stuff the Monarchs have collected over the years. Think of the Tower of London as sort of the Royal Family’s Public Storage. Some of the more interesting sights were prison cells like Sir Walter Raleigh and some very mean looking Ravens. (Ron the youngest Raven was born 3 years ago, and the oldest Raven died at the ripe old age of 44). I decided that a shot of the Gorn with a Raven was too risky. It was a short bus ride from the Tower of London to St. Paul’s Cathedral. We saw the Queen’s new plaque, but nary a fish-stick. I must say I really do like big cathedrals. Despite the fact that many of them look the same, big ones like this one (and for that matter the one at the Vatican) really do impress.
For a night cap, Wesley and I caught a production of Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. It was way cool to see a new production of the play ( I last saw it performed by St. Mary’s College in Moraga, CA in 1990), but I do feel a few of the techno dance numbers could have been cut. After a quick train ride and a quick walk through SoHo (being accosted by Strip joint workers on the way) we decided to call it a night. The tube to the play was overcrowded, and a bit scary, and Oxford Circus provided us with a nice view of some genuine London Rats. Mom and Gary gave mixed reviews of their Haley Mills murder/mystery play. Stayed up late chatting for Gary and Wesley leave tomorrow, and Mom and I change rooms.

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