[UK 2011] Buckingham Palace, Harrods, British Museum and Wicked the Musical

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

We had pretty definite plans for this day, and we started (early) to watch the changing of the guards at the Buckingham Palace. We got there early enough, but unfortunately, we settled for a less dense area. Turns out there weren’t that many people because it doesn’t have a good view of the proceedings. That aside, it was still spectacular to watch. I mean, how many years has that tradition been in place? (A long time probably; I’m too lazy to google).

Hurrah for tradition and fanfare!

The horses are beautiful: Huge, healthy, and majestic.

We dropped by Wellington Arch, took a few pics, then went off towards Harrods. Well, we stopped by H&M along the way and spent a lot of time and pounds in there.

Wellington Arch

Okay. Harrods. My friend, Mon, calls it “the fourth museum”. One of these days, I will ask him just how many museums in London he thinks there is. Since we can hardly afford anything in Harrods, the most fascinating for me was the food hall (free tastes for luxury chocolates, ZOMG). I would love to be someone able to shop at whim at Harrods one day, but even if I had that much money, I’d still be busy converting to peso to enjoy shopping at such a high end establishment. I make an exception for the food hall, of course. As limited as my budget was for that trip, I managed to buy cupcakes. They were worth it.

This pic reminds me of "The Parent Trap", somewhat.

Only a tiny portion of the sweets you can purchase at the food hall

Another feature of Harrods I was most keen to visit was the Diana and Dodi Memorial. Princess Di was my idol growing up, and though in my entrance essays for college, I always featured Mother Teresa (how pretentious was I?), it was really her that was inspirational to me.

Diana...Gone too soon.

Then off we went to the British Museum, where we spent a measly 1.5 hours trying to cram everything we could. We got there near closing time so we had to prioritize. And priority numero uno for me was the Rosetta Stone. When I laid eyes on it, I was disappointed. Then I realized I was looking at the back of it. So I went ’round and that’s when the magic happened. Haha.

Stoned

Sadly, I barely got to explore the “Enlightenment” section (my favorite part from what I’ve seen) when the museum had to close. 😦 It’s fine, we’re going back, right?

This day, I also crossed out one thing off my bucket list: Watch Wicked the Musical live. How can I describe this experience? Is it enough to say that the set (the set alone is a triumph of creativity and engineering), the wardrobe, the costume was miles away from any play I have ever watched? I’m pretty sure that even if I tried explaining how I felt, it wouldn’t be adequate to describe the moment. Let’s just say that I’ve been waiting for this for years, and the wait is worth it. To be honest, I thought I would be 30 before I got to watch it, if at all. I was already resigning myself to waiting for the movie version. I’ve memorized every songs, and most of the lines. I’ve downloaded every bootleg performance, and watch videos in youtube. So you see, it was more than a great show for me. It was like the realization of a wish I’ve given up on. The first strains of “No One Mourns The Wicked” sent me into tears. The moment that mechanical dragon started moving, my heart felt like it was going to burst with joy.

Set for Act 1 Scene 1. The Witch of the West is dead! The wickedest witch there ever was!

It was awesome that we got such good seats too, and for a bargain (we got them last minute). The Elphaba and Galinda were superb! Of course, no one can match Idina and Kristin for those respective roles, but then again, I got to watch this one live. Fiyero was a bit weak for me, but it doesn’t matter. IT DOESN’T MATTER. I was watching “Wicked the Musical” at the Victoria Apollo Theater! God knows when I’ll be able to watch Wicked again. But on the first opportunity, I will. And you all should do the same.

After the show. I have been changed For Good.

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