Thursday, August 31, 2006

Day 6: Friday, August 11 (London)

Our last day in London was spent in Bankside--the neighboorhood between the London and Blackfriar Bridges--and the historic heart of the revamped southern part of the Thames River. It used to be a red light district, but now reminded us a lot of San Francisco.

We started at the Old Operating Theatre Museum, where doctors used to perform surgeries while medical students observed. It was an awesome and macabre testament to the wonder of modern antiseptic. The museum was full of old school medical equipment, lotions and potions, stories of grave-robbing and pictures of amputations. I loved it.

We stumbled upon Borough Market, a collection of 50+ vendors that make up London's oldest vegetable market and public gathering spot (I think I read somewhere it had been going on in one form or another for over a thousand years). There was meat, and cheese, and bread, and produce, and sweets, and just about anything else you could possibly imagine. We partook in fudge brownies and honey roasted cashews.

We saw, but didn't go in, the Clink Prison Museum and Shakespeare's Globe Theatre (an exact recreation of the original, but this time with a gift shop, of course).

The Millennium Bridge connects the Tate Modern with St. Paul's and the City.
The Tate Modern is London's modern art collection housed in a former power station. There are two floors to the permanent collection. One we loved, loved, loved; the other we were only lukewarm about.

We took the 'Tate to Tate' ferry down the Thames to the Tate Britain.
Because we were short on time, we planned to just pop in and see a Francis Bacon collection we were interested in, but once we got inside we were hooked. The museum covers British art from 1500 to today. Some of our personal highlights were the Pre-Raphaelites, the World War art, and everything by Lucian Freud.

We had so-so indian food in our neighborhood and then geared up for our last night out.

We went to Regent's Park and the Open Air Theatre for their perfomance of 'Taming of the Shrew.' I may not have necessarily agreed with the ending to the play itself, but the production quality was top-notch and it was altoghether an amazing experience. The best part was when it started pouring, the audience propped up their umbrellas, and the show went on. During intermission and after the show, we enjoyed Boddington's and French 74's (gin, champagne, and lemon juice). It was the perfect end to a great week.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

We made it to one year

And we still like each other.