Sunday, May 20, 2007

Tallis Scholars, Les Mis, Hampton Court, Portobello Market

On Thursday Dr. Baker let us out of English class a little early to go listen to a free Tallis Scholars performance at the British Library. They are perhaps the world's premiere Renaissance choral music ensemble. I heard them sing last summer in Seattle, and they were amazing. It enjoyed hearing them again here.

On Thursday afternoon I went to the National Gallery and the Wallace Collection to look at some paintings for my humanities class.

That evening I went to see Les Miserables. I had never seen the play or read the book before, so about all that I knew was that it was about a guy named Jean val Jean. I really enjoyed the performance. They used a revolving stage that was really cool, and the singing was great. The best part was that we got great seats for half price since we are students. Some of the other people in our group got seats right in the middle on the seventh row; we were right toward the front of the lowest balcony.

On Friday we went to Hampton Court Palace. Among others, it was home to Henry VIII and William III. The palace itself was pretty cool, but my favorite part was the gardens. There are amazing, expansive (I think around 60 acres), beautifully designed gardens surrounding the palace. I would love to be able to go there all the time just to read, think, and ponder. Make sure you check out the pictures.

Yesterday morning I went for a 10K run in Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park. I think that it would be fun to run a race while I'm here in London.

I spent most of yesterday reading Tess of the d'Urbervilles, which I finished around 9pm. I needed a break from reading for a while in the afternoon, so I went with Keith to Portobello Market, which was about a ten-minute walk from our flat. Hundreds of street vendors lined Portobello Road, selling everything from antiques to clothing to souvenirs to food. It was a fun experience. We were there from 4-5pm, and a lot of the vendors put things on sale since they were starting to close things down. Keith and I got two pretty big cartons of strawberries for £1.60, which was a really good deal. I also bought a bag of juicy dried apples for £1, two French chocolate pastries for £1.40, and a small carton of blueberries for £2. I almost didn't get the blueberries because they were pretty expensive, but they were amazingly good. They're huge and juicy and sweet—probably the best blueberries I've ever had.

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