Here we are! We have reached the final portion of our London Adventure, and I am so ready to tell you!
We started the day outside St. Paul’s Cathedral. This church is one of the biggest and most beautiful in the whole city, and is the current seat for the Bishop of London. It is still a functional church, those it is also open to the public for tourism. Since we came upon it so early in the morning (and the fact that we just happened upon it on our way to our first destination), we decided not to go in. However, the pictures themselves were worth it.
After a short walk, we finally found our first major attraction of the day: the recreation of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. The Globe Theatre was originally built in the 1500s by William Shakespeare and his theatre company. However, this theatre was burned to the ground in 1613 during a performance of Henry the Eighth. The modern structure opened in 1997 after 10 years of building.
My initial thought for this attraction was that I just wanted to take some pictures. However, once we saw it in person, I knew that I would forever regret it if I didn’t go into the actual theatre. We bought the tour, and I can honestly say both Green Lantern and I loved the experience. The recreation is built not too far from the original site, using all of the same building materials from the lumber to plaster thick with goat hair (instead of the cow that was customary of the time) and even down to the square nails that Green Lantern noticed within the structure. The inside of the theatre, which was painted with a guess of what the original could have looked like since there were no sources on the subject, was gorgeous, depicting scenes from Greek myths, astrology symbols, and my favorite, the gorgeous marble columns that were actually made of wood. I hope that when Green Lantern and I someday return to London, we can see a show in it to get the full experience.
Our next expedition, after a remarkable lunch of fish and chips (I loved the fried cod), was a trip to yet another ship. Green Lantern finally happened upon some good luck, and we boarded the Golden Hinde for a tour.
The Golden Hinde is, for lack of a better term, a real live pirate ship. This replica, a Tudor Dynasty Galleon, is best known for being the flag ship of Sir Francis Drake, a privateer who made a living by robbing Spanish ships in the name of Queen Elizabeth I. In this ship, Drake circumnavigated the globe in 1577. The voyage lasted until 1580. The original ship eventually disintegrated.
This ship is definitely worth the trip and the guide. He gave great stories about the ship, was quite knowledgable, and presented information that made all of the sites that much more understandable and enjoyable. Green Lantern definitely got a kick out wandering the decks, and sitting in the Captain’s Chair.
The rest of the afternoon was spent getting ready for one of the most special moments of our trip; a gift to me from Green Lantern that he knew I would absolutely loved. That is taking me to see The Phantom of the Opera live on stage.
Now I have seen the traveling show of Phantom of the Opera off of Broadway in the States. However, saying that it pales in comparison would be insult to this version we saw in London. Her Majesty’s Theatre has been hosting The Phantom of the Opera on it’s stage for 25 years. What does this mean for the show? Basically, this implies that after all of those years, the theatre has grown with the show, as if it were a player itself. It is built into the show itself, modified and perfected so that it fits the performance like a glove. Needless to say… it was phenomenal. Every set and costume was elaborate and a work of art in and of itself. Christine’s voice sounded like a bell, crystal and clear and beautiful. The Phantom could melt my heart and bring tears to my eyes; his voice was incredibly haunting, and conveyed such raw emotion that it sent shivers down my spine. Raoul gave a rich tone, with a perfected strength, yet a touch of innocence when he looks and sings to his love. I was completely captivated. I think I had to remind myself to breathe at least 10 times.
This beautiful night of music was exactly the perfect ending to our adventures in London. As I watch Green Lantern now, packing his belongings and changing his uniforms over to the desert colors, I have wonderful and fantastic memories to hold close to my heart when I’m lonely at night. I have gorgeous pictures, and mind-blowing music that I can always remember experiencing with him. I will have London forever.