Kensington Palace and "Phantom Of The Opera"
London Travel Blog› entry 2 of 7 › view all entries
I've normally never had problems as far as jetlag goes, but last night's sleep was atrocious. I just couldn't sleep, and we had some noisy boys upstairs as well, not to mention that one of my roommates decided to lower the window because of the breeze, but we couldn't regulate the stupid heater and so we were all basically feeling hot and suffocated. It got worse when another one closed the curtains and it was suffocating.
I was so happy to be awake.... couldn't sleep anymore. The idea was to wake up by 7am but I caught sleep so late in the night that I ended up waking at by 9am. But nice part about this trip is that there was no agenda, so I could do whatever I wanted. Breakfast was courtesy M&S's excellent "Triple Treat Chocolate" cereal and cappacino.
Kensington High Street is a nice posh place. I can imagine how the trendiest of stores are there. It was as usual marked by the typical London trademarks that I've come to love now - people, lots of streetside stores, old buildings converted into hitech boutiques and of course the double deckers. Strolled by taking in the views and finally made it to Kensington. It never felt like February, I swear it seemed as cold last August also! Went into Kensington Palace through the lovely park, and bought my tickets. I thought the 12 GBP price was a bit of a rip-off but oh well! That's London for you.
Kensington Palace was very grand, at times seemed a lot like Hampton Court from last year in that, it was a proper royal residence. There was a Diana exhibition going on of her clothes and her pictures. I loved the pictures. I'd seen those in mags and also that tribute CD (back in '97) so was nice to be in a room filled with large size portraits taken from the same photoshoot.
With the palace done, I headed towards that little pond (lake?) across the park. It was lovely seeing this park in this setting. Crisp winter breeze, lots of people jogging and sitting and generally doing, it's amazing that such a fast-paced city can have such light moments right at the heart! But before this, I noticed a building with 2 storey height cylinder shaped bushes leading upto it.
I got done with the palace, had a nice walk back up the street till I was hungry, and got into the Wagamama. My! It can be crowded on a weekday! And I went during peak lunch at 12 noon. I like this place, my first experience being last Sept in Dublin. I also like how they transmit the order through radio signals, and write some weird code on the paper at your table and go away! Food was very average, but at least got me filled.
Rest of the noon was spent walking along K'ton High Street before I decided to catch a bus upto Picadilly. Seeing a city through bus is so different than travelling by tube. Here you get to see all the sights without having to walk it! LOL! At Picadilly, along with having a photo stop, I went to the half price Theatre tickets stand and bought myself the one remaining for "Phantom of the Opera". From here on, I walked through Haymarket Road onto Trafalgar Square.
TRAFALGAR SQUARE was Trafalgar Square, same old busy busy place with lots of locals, tourists, just people. Love this place, another spot that truly captures the essence of London. I had about 2-3 hours left before the show starts so I thought, why not National Portrait Gallery!
Obviously it's not a gallery you can do in a couple of hours so I decided to spend all my time at the Jesus exhibits.
Dinner was the Paradiso at Pizza Express (awful choice, but I chose this as it was right opp Her Majesty's Theatre where Phantom was playing), shortly after which I went for the show. I liked the show a lot, very well produced. I couldn't believe how full the theatre was, and this a show that's been going on for 50yrs+ ! I just wish that I'd slept well the previous night as I found myself dosing off at certain times of the show (no no! not because it was boring) but overall enjoyable experience.
The play got gone by 10:15pm, it had become quite chilly and I was feeling really sleepy so I headed back to the hostel and called it an early night after a quick email check. I was hoping AT LEAST tonight, I sleep well!