Sunday, December 13, 2009

Hamstead Heath/Westminster Abbey/Phantom of the Opera

Today Hannah and I had a big day of touring. We set out early to Hamstead. It is an area of town that has been preserved so that it looks a lot like what London looked like originally. Lots of streets with these classic looking houses. Really beautiful. We went to the Heath, which is a huge part on the top of a big hill, there is a lookout over the city there, so we went to find it.

Of course we didn't have a map, so we got lost a few times. We found some wild holly growing, very festive.

We also found these really beautiful gardens.

And this awesome little duck pond.

And we finally found the view and I must say it was completly worth the hike. We could see most of the city from up there. We were so lucky that it was such a clear day.

From there we wandered through some of the streets and found this ancient well. Aparently this area was originally founded because people came seeking the medicinal purposes of this well.

From there we headed back into town. I went to get tickets to Phantom for the evening and Hannah went to meet up with some family friends who had brought some things for her from Australia. I was walking through Leischter Square when I saw that they were setting up for the world premier of the Sherlock Holmes movie.

If I had stuck around for about 6 more hours I could have seen this lot. I was happy enough just knowing we were in the same part of town. The movie looks amazing!

After I got the tickets I walked to Westminster Abbey to see the their 5pm evensong. The abbey has their own special school to train their choir to sing specifically at the evensong and other events there. So the music was really great. Some of it was singing psalms where the music was really repetitive, but they did sing some classic priest songs as well. More than anything it was just really amazing to be in that beautiful historic building.

These are the seats where we sat, just to the right of the choir.

It is also so different to be in that building at night, very different feeling when it is lit up at night.

I walked back to the West End via Trafalgar Square to meet up with Hannah. They had this unusual ice sculpture there. It was melting away with this polar bear skeleton underneath. Kind of cool.

And then we went to see Phantom of the Opera. Hannah had never seen it, so it was fun to introducer her to it. Especially since she didn't really want to see it and came away loving it. She said she was "tingly" when we left. I completly agree. It is such an amazing story with such incredible music, and the effects in the teater were really amazing. I loved seeing it again! I came home and listened to the cd a bunch.

On the way to the tube station to go home we came across this statue that has been converted into a gian snow globe....very creative. So it was a very full and extremely fun day!

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