Well we made it to London. The flight was uneventful – some slept, some read or watched movies, and some worked on their lines! It took us a few hours to do what took weeks during Shakespeare’s day and the start of our adventure with The Tempest has little compared to those traveling the The Venture, the cross Atlantic journey in 1607, that Shakespeare used as a base to his play.
Once we arrived, we cleared passport and customs, picked up our luggage, was met by Jobie and Lee ( our advance folks from the Study Abroad office) and boarded our busses for our hotel – The Royal National. The hotel is a block long monster set up to accommodate thousands of international tourist. It is a joy to sit in the lobby and listen to all the various voices – Russian, French, German, Korean, and a few I have not figured out yet.
As we anticipated, our rooms were not ready, so we stored our luggage
and took off exploring London. We call his adventure the The Tube Test. it goes like this – we hand our students a sheet of directions/ instructions that guide them in navigating across the city. We show them our classroom, and head for our primary tube stop at Russell Square. We then “follow them” to make sure they know how to navigate, and make a few stops like TKTS in Leister Square. We travel by tube, bus, and foot on this journey. Here is a clip of their view
PUT VIDEO HERE
Once we are on the far side of the city, near Big Ben, we abandon them and let them get home on their own.
Before we loose them, we take their photo.
No one gets lost and it builds their confidence.
Several took off for a better view of Parliament, some to “try” and get on the London Eye (the line was endless), and a couple went and watched street performers to get ideas for earning extra spending money!
Steve and I took off and explored the Museum of London, an interesting collection of Artifacts documenting the history of London from the prehistoric to the present. Lots of interesting exhibits on London during Roman times and an small exhibit of the Elizabethan period with a model of The Rose Theatre at the center. We then went outside and explored parts of the old London Wall. It was an enjoyable afternoon and a moment to touch history.
We then headed back to the hotel, confirmed all our students made it back before us, checked into our rooms to settle in for the next two weeks.
A great first day with The Tempest in London..