We started off our Sunday in London by going to church … the Greek Orthodox St. Sophia’s Cathedral to be precise. While putting together the surprise trip for my birthday/anniversary, my husband stumbled across this five-star gem on Trip Advisor. As it is only open one day a week, he made sure to plan activities in the area accordingly, so we soaked up the spiritual energy of the stunning architecture and harmonious singing before embarking on a 3-mile Treasure Trail of the Notting Hill area.
Using clues and photographs to guide you on around a region, Treasure Trails are a good way to explore areas and see details you might otherwise miss. This particular trail took us through some of the ritzier areas of Notting Hill, down the antique shops and traders’ stalls on Portobello Road, and along the canal side path. I was amazed at the energy that crackled along Portobello Road, even on a cold Sunday afternoon, and how, despite its age, the film Notting Hill continues to pull in the punters in search of that infamous blue door.
After completing the trail and re-hydrating ourselves at a local cafe, we had some time to kill before my husband’s next booking, so we went to perhaps my favourite building in all of London (if not the UK): the Natural History Museum. I love the architecture, I love the exhibitions, I love the dinosaurs. During this visit we caught the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibit, which has been greatly enhanced by the ability to view the photo captions on your phone. In such a crowded environment, this made for a much more pleasant viewing experience rather than everyone trying to stand in the exact same spot to read a paragraph of text. As usual, there was a mix of absolutely stunning photos and a few that leave you scratching your head: why did the the judges pick that? Regardless, this annual competition does a wonderful job of highlighting the beauty of the natural world while also showcasing the peril in which many animal species now find themselves.
Being a Sunday, I wasn’t expecting there to be anything on at the theatre, so when we passed the marquee for Peter Pan Goes Wrong later that evening, I commented that we had to make sure to record it when it was aired over the holidays. My assumption was that we were going to the cinema. However, my husband managed to surprise me yet again and Neverland was indeed our final destination. Similar in many respects to Mischief Theatre’s other West End production, The Play that Goes Wrong, scenery malfunctions, prop mishaps, dialogue failures, and general am-dram wackiness abound, but Peter Pan has its own share of fairy dust that kept my husband, myself, and the entire audience in stitches from beginning to end. If you’re in the UK, make sure to catch it on BBC1 at 6:20pm on 31 December; 2016 hasn’t given me much to laugh about, but I suppose it’s better late than never.
And that, in a nutshell, was my incredible trip over the last weekend of November. After a half dozen blog entries and hundreds of photos, all I have left to say to my husband is thank you … and where are we going next?