The Expats:Katka,Check Republic,Frederico,Spain,Nacima,French via Morocco,and Sabrina,The American. Four friends,getting together for a day on London’s Southbank to enjoy Shakespeare at The Globe.Katka and I used to work at the Rizzoli bookstore in Santa Monica together and would cause a bunch of mischievous havoc together. Now living back in Check Republic, she came to visit me in London with her posh American doctor boyfriend, who was really gracious and treated us to pizza after the show.It’s a small world after all.
London is one of the most diverse and cosmopolitan cities in the world. It’s a virtual historical theme park. There are more free things to do per square feet. But apart from there being more free galleries and museums than anywhere in the world, London can be seen and enjoyed on any budget. If you are an Expat and you want to see more of London and you’ve seen British Museum 10 times and you are a bit bored by King Ramses, and you are tired of having tea with the Queen, here are some ideas that will give you some inspiration to delve a bit deeper in English and London culture.
1)Royal Historic Palaces. A membership for a whole year will cost you just £39 and you ‘ll be able to enjoy free entrance on all five historical palaces for a whole year. In addition be invited to exclusive parties and events for example concerts in Banqueting House. The five Historic Palaces are: Kensington Palace. Tower of London. Hampton Court. Kew Palace and Gardens. Banqueting House.
The Tower of London
I know Disneyland was modeled after the castle in Germany, but I can’t help it, but The Tower reminds me of Disneyland.It’s no Disneyland,for sure,it’s filled with ghosts from England’s torturous past. Anne Boleyn was decapitated here.Guy Fawkes and countless other poor victims punished for sometimes innocent crimes.Some, were fed to the eels in The Thames River.
Sabrina with the judges at the Anne Boleyn Trial.
Notice that the judge would not let me hold his hand, it had to be like so, very proper Elizabethan Court etiquette, mind you.What I really wanted was to hold the judge with with the dark brooding looks,I mean hold his hand that is.Isn’t he gorgeous? I would like to get a job at The Tower of London just so I can look at him all day.
2. London Walks One of London’s best kept secrets is The London Walks.Go on a specialized London Walks with the London Walks people.They have walks on Victorian London. Occult London.The London of Harry Potter.Da Vinci Code London. Shakespeare and Dickens London. Many are specialist in their chosen field, some are actors so the walk is not only educational, they can be quite funny and entertaining.
Oscar Wilde( Alan Titchard)- London Walk
3. Thames River Dinner Cruise. This is a great way to see the city and enjoy the architecture. For only about £7 you can get an all day pass. You can go up and down the river. Or, if you are feeling like you want to celebrate and paint the town, go on a River Boat Dinner Cruise.
Hey! Save some for me man! My American friend Chuck from Texas, that doesn’t like to admit he’s from Texas.Can you blame him(Lol!)
After a full day of site seeing, going to about 5 museums, the London Eye then we went on the Bateaux London River Boat Dinner Cruise. It included live music,full 7 course dinner, complimentary glass of champagne,vodka sorbet,desert, and then a bottle of wine to boot. Two crazy Americans in London, we were so happy, we ate, danced and drank and if that wasn’t enough when the cruise ended,we hailed a cab to take us to Buddha Lounge to party more. We didn’t realize it was just 2 blocks away,How stupid did we feel.Hilarious! This was one of my most memorable and MAGICAL days of many magical days in London!!
The riverboat tour is wonderful it meets at Embankment(across from the tube) and goes first West then makes a loop and at the Tower of London( all sorts of excited hoopla happens there for some reason) and then goes East towards Greenwich. Seeing London by boat is a first class superb way to see all the major London attractions and architecture without walking around or getting into a car.I really recommend the Bateaux Riverboat experience.
4.See Theater-London is perhaps best known for its first-class theater scene. From raucous musicals to serious Shakespearean dramas, there is a show for every taste. Go to a matinee. Matinees are always cheaper than night shows and are generally less crowded. Go to a show just before it starts. If the show is not sold out, leftover tickets are often sold at a lower rate. See shows in the middle of the week rather than on the weekend. Shows midweek are generally less crowded and you are more likely to get cheap tickets. Buy tickets online. Many online ticket agencies offer specials for as low as 10 pounds. But, the best thing to do is just head over to Leicester Square about an hour before the show and buy your tickets. Then, go to a pub, or the Theaters cocktail bar for a drink.
5. The best thing about living in London is that it’s so close to so many fantastic English towns:Cambridge,Windsor, Oxford, Brighton,Stonehenge and Bath just to name a few, and are just a few hours away on the train. You can also travel all over the United Kingdom, Edinburgh, Scotland and Wales. Book online and in advance and you’ll get a good offer. Book online with National Express, Virgin Trains, and Megabus. Megabus, like in America offers really cheap fares even for the same day.
Some Important Websites