My darling daughter and I are on a train back to Gatwick Airport. Our layover on the way to Scotland was to be six hours in the same airport. The experience of the volcanic ash incident taught me one useful thing; it is not that hard to hop on a train in any big city and get to somewhere more interesting than the airport when you have six hours ahead of you. We just treated ourselves to a mini-tour of one little part of London. I vaguely remembered the London Bridge as a spot I had visited years ago, so given the choice between two train stations, I chose that one. I guess I had been thinking, like many tourists, of Tower Bridge, of which we had a good view down further on the Thames. That's the purty one. The signs, however, pointed the way to many other marvels, including, wonder of wonders; Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. We made our way along the river to the theatre.
It was fantastic, really. The original Globe has been gone for a long time, this one is a faithfully reconstructed Globe. You can read about it here: http://www.shakespeares-globe.org/abouttheglobe/background/
All we were able to see was the outside and the lobby (but what a lobby!), a little bit of a museum and the gift shop, but it was thrilling nonetheless. We could hear the voices and music from the performance thundering through the doors at times and our imaginations were very busy, imagining the staging of “MacBeth,” described on the posters as “a bloody and frightening representation of a gruesome work.” How appropriate, as we were headed to Scotland.
After touring every available inch of the Globe, we explored the quarter of London in which we found ourselves; the Thames, gardens, a cathedral, busy city streets. We had chips (fries) and a little something to drink in a very complicated pub. Outside, there was not a table to be had, so we headed inside, up two steps and sat down in the “tea room.” We looked at the menus and waited, but never saw another human. Finally the notice “order at the bar” in the back of the menu sunk in and I went in search of the bar. I found the restaurant, was sent to the bar, and when, after turns and steps both up and down and in more than one direction, I reached the bar, I was able to place a drink order,. but was told to order fries in the “fish and chips” section, just over yonder and down the steps. One look at my face sent the barman flying out from behind the counter, down the steps and back up again in less than a minute with a full dish of piping hot chips. I am forever in his debt. Lily had waited so long that she had disappeared when I came back. I had a drink in each hand and the chips somehow balanced between them, but no daughter. She shortly returned, quite relieved to find me. She had gotten as lost as I had while searching for me.
On to Scotland.