1997: Europe 2004: Canada/UK


Saturday 29 May

The flight to London was smooth and, fortunately, uneventful!

After a break at the rather delipidated (but cheap!) hotel, I ventured into London on the subway. After coming out of the subway – and still sleepy I might add – I immediately went on those double decker bus tours around town. I think this is in fact a great introduction to London, just to get your bearings and see what are the interesting sights, from the outside, and if you plan to spend more than a few days in London. But bring a jacket if you plan to sit on the upper deck! :-)

Trafalgar Square webcam

Sunday 30 May

Spent most of today at <a href="”>Cambridge.

Later went to dinner in Brick Lane with my friend Sharmim, a champion in Eskrima I know from a few years ago. According to him, Brick Lane (where he and many migrants grew up in) used to be a very sleazy part of London and it was only in recent years this whole area had become a trendy place full of ethnic restaurants.

Monday 31 May

For the very last night in London, on impulse decided to go the West Side to catch a musical. So, simply hopped on a tube and went to Picadilly Circus.

The result of all this hot blood rushing to the head was that I ended up going to The Phantom of the Opera. I guess I was a little conservative given the myriad of choices around, so decided on something familiar (I have seen an Australian production in Melbourne in 1992 and have also listened to the Andrew Lloyd Webber original of the full show with Crawford/Brightman on vinyl numerous times), given the kind of prices I was expecting to pay. The tickets I bought were the most expensive for the last-minute tickets, in the order of about S$140! Finally, given all the extravagance (and the lack of time before the start of show) had to settle for a £2 hot dog from a convenience store for dinner, a far cry from the glamour of attending a musical in London…

For the show itself, the phantom put in a very emotional performance and had a good voice. However, perhaps because of the familiarity, I felt Christine’s role needed a more powerful vocal!? Overall I considered the standard at Her Majesty’s Theatre to be quite comparable to what I saw in Australia.

After the show, went CD browsing for a little while before heading back to pack. There is still a 12-hour return flight to Singapore coming up.

Photos of London (opens a new window)

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