jeudi 14 mars 2013

Un histoire de Londres

First of all, yes. London is everything you've heard about it. It's expensive. It's very expensive. It's hideously expensive. It's [adverb here] expensive.

The "Tube" or subway on the first day cost us 6£ for a one-way trip. (For the uninitiated, 6£ is roughly equivalent to $9.) Westminster Abbey (which is a church, by the way, which we have never before been charged to go into) was 15£ (as a student). The Tower of London? Also 15£.

That being said, I can't say that I had the worst time ever in London. We got to stay with a friend of ours, and we did get to see and do a few fun things. My favorite thing that we did in London was the Jack the Ripper walking tour (see the earlier post). Anna really enjoyed going to the Sherlock Holmes museum at 221 Baker Street.

Frankly, the period that we are interested in came much, MUCH later than the history we were presented with in London. My one caveat to this would be from the Jack the Ripper tour. We stood at a wall near the old city center that was built in 800 AD/CE/Year of our Lord/Year before L. Ron Hubbard/whatever. C'est-a-dire, it's really old.

We also went to see a Wicked in the West End. If you like the Wizard of Oz and you're able to see it, do. If you like "The Wonderful World of Oz," go see it. If you don't like either one... Still go see it. Anna is not a fan of either, and she loved the show.

After Wicked, we went to a bar called "The Elusive Camel." It was rather empty and it was being ran that night by a nice young bartender. We were sitting around having drinks when suddenly, Anna sees a mouse. We informed the manager, and he said, in essence, “What can you do about them? Name it, I suppose.” Our choice at this point was either to scream and run away or stay, have another drink, and name the mouse. We named him Harry. (Yes, after Prince Harry. We figured, ya know, the one that hangs out in bars.)

There were several more things that we did in London, though we found Berlin to be much more college-student-traveller friendly, but that is another story for another time.

But soft! The food is the subject at hand. Food in London is famously... Uh... Food. Kind of, you know, the laughingstock of Europe. Boiled beef and such.

I find this analysis to be oversimplifying matters. Breakfast in London is wonderful. Scones are fantastic things, especially with clotted cream and some jam. If you don't know what clotted cream is, don't look it up. You won't like what you see, especially concerning the fat content. All you need to know is that it's delicious.

Pies. Can't really speak very well on this one, because I didn't actually have the famous English pie. (Anna ordered a steak and ale pie. She says it was dry.) I had famous English roast instead. Neither were as good as we had envisioned, but then again, pub food is pub food.

Tea time happened at a ritzy hotel called the Grosvenor. It was wonderful. That is all.

Burgers... Yeah, I said burgers. We had really good yuppie kind of burgers that we had in the first floor of the Doubletree near Tower Hill. They were very artistic, in that they had a multicultural, imperial feel about them. There were all kinds of different flavors on them. They were also delicious.

At the end of the day, London was a long trip with a few expenses and a lot of fun. However, for a traveller on a budget, I would suggest steering clear of the touristy places.

mercredi 6 mars 2013

La Moulin Rouge

In case anyone hasn't noticed....we're horrendously behind in our blogging. Sorry everyone! Life intervenes, ya know?

We're going to begin our posts about our travels, and I'm kicking it off with Paris (because Paris is always a good idea). Specifically, the Moulin Rouge.

omgomgomgomg! The Moulin Rouge! It's one of my favorite movies of all time. I felt like it was absolutely necessary that I see a show there. The little Red Windmill? Every bit as glamorous as you could imagine. It's just remarkable when lit up at night.

Our attire was evening wear, and our story starts with an accident...

I got our tickets for the evening because the tickets were very expensive (it's one of the greatest shows on Earth, and you're going to pay for it). Justin reimbursed me for the tickets by paying for lodging during most of our trip. My original intention with the tickets was that we would share half a bottle of champagne. So obviously I got my ticket and Justin's ticket with half a bottle (blah blah everyone laugh now). So...yes...we ended up with a whole bottle of champagne for the evening (well, this was for Valentine's Day).

So...on with the show! We sat at a table with a swedish fellow and his japanese girlfriend, and, I suspect, an Italian couple who spoke very good English.

For anyone who doesn't know, the Moulin Rouge is a caberet show. It's a mix of entertainment with singing, dancing, comedians, gymnists, and so much in between. It's what the vegas shows aspire to be. in the back. I see you giggling. Yes, the female dancers are topless. Everyone giggle and snort now. k? out of your system? good! It is VERY tastefully done, and, in all honesty, several of my teachers here in France have shown commercials, music videos, clips from television shows, all with women nude from the waist up, casually in class. It's France. Boobs are nothing special here. So, if this bothers you, please keep your prudishness to yourself.

Now, we've cleared the air (or made it more awkward, whatever floats your boat). The Moulin Rouge is most famous for being the home of the Can-Can. Yes, THE Can-Can dance was born in the Moulin Rouge, and no one can dance it as well as the dancers there.

The show opened with dance numbers, and moved on to a male gymnist exhibiting the most amazing feats of strength and balance that I have ever seen. It was mindblowing!

The comedian was last, and probably because the crowd needed the champagne to appreciate his humor. Lol, he actually was very funny.

The show was wonderful, intimate, and everything I dreamed it would be. I think my jaw remained permanently dropped the whole time. After the show, we totally crashed. We didn't get out of the show until 2am.

The Moulin Rouge was on my list of things I MUST do in Paris, and I was not let down at all, and I think it was worth every dime. I will say, you must have an appreciation for what the Moulin Rouge is in order to truly get your money's worth. Curious spectators, stay away. Hardcare fans, definitely catch the show!