The London Eye and “The 39 Steps”

This morning we made a last-minute plan change and decided to forgo the BBC Tour and go on the London Eye instead. This was because we had a luncheon date at the British Museum and wouldn’t be able to go with our group anyway.

On the London Eye

On the London Eye

The Eye is a giant Ferris wheel, 400 feet in diameter, turning two revolutions an hour without stopping. We didn’t have enough money to pay the cabdriver, so he took us first to an ATM machine and then to the Eye. For an extra 10 pounds we took the Fast Track line, which was shorter, and then, by accident, we cut that line, so it didn’t take much time to get on.

The constantly changing views were magnificent. At the peak of the ride, the buildings below looked like toy houses you would use in a traditional Christmas scene. As as we looked down, we marveled at the amount of stone that must’ve been quarried to build all these buildings. Where did it all come from?

The View from the London Eye

The View from the London Eye

We then took a cab to the British Museum where there was a new exhibit of eight recently found mummies. What was different was that the mummies had never been opened, but they had been electronically scanned, so that you could see what was inside without damaging it. For example, you could see how the organs werepacked, the amulets that were included with the mummy, and whether the brains had been removed, It was particularly interesting because we had just seen Lord Carnavon’s Egyptian exhibit Highclere Castle.

As arranged we met my sister Susan, who lives in Kensington, and her friend Jane at the Great Court Restaurant on the top floor. It was a beautiful setting, and the food was excellent, somewhat on a Middle Eastern theme, probably because of the brand-new Egyptian mummy exhibit.

The Criterion Theater where we saw "The 39 Steps"

The Criterion Theater where we saw “The 39 Steps”

We took another cab to the Criterion Theater for the 4:00 PM showing of “The 39 Steps”. The theater district is called The West End, and feels like a combination of Times Square and Broadway. Right in front of the theater is a monument crowned by a statue of Eros, and is a traditional meeting place for travelers, and there were plenty of them there. The play is a comedy we saw in San Diego a while ago, but it was fun to see it again. Is about a guy who gets accused of murder, and goes th

rough all sorts of misadventures in the process of clearing himself. What’s remarkable is that there are eight roles played by only four actors, which requires some quick costume changes, some even on stage. It was presented in a small theater by US standards, and we had seats in the

Inside the Criterion Theater where no pictures are allowed

Inside the Criterion Theater where no pictures are allowed

first three rows, center — not too bad. The theater is build in a big hole in the ground, and you enter at the top balcony level and walk down and down to get to the orchestra. After the play was over, I went back into to take a picture of the empty theater, but the cleaning personnel stopped me. Some bystanders saw the whole thing and urged me to go back in and take a picture anyway. I didn’t have the nerve but I gave the camera into one of the guys, he went in and took the picture.

We were slow leaving the theater, and we thought the bus had long gone, but when we came out, there was Tom, who had been to the bus several blocks away, and had walked all the way back to pick us up. There were others with us, so this time we were not the only slow ones.

I heard the BBC Tour was good, with members of our group doing a newscast and a drama which everyone got to view afterward.

We went to a nearby Indian restaurant tonight, that Tom Karlo recommended. The food was delicious.

A few more pictures:

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St. Paul’s Cathedral on the left and the Cheese Grater on the right

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The View

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The Thames

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This is what a London Eye gondola looks like from the next gondola.

At the top of the Eye. This is what a London Eye gondola looks like from the next gondola.

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Eros, outside the theater

 

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