Tuesday, June 29, 2010

London, day 3

On Monday, after eating an English breakfast here at the hotel (sans eggs), I had planned to go to the Royal Albert Hall first, but judging by their website they don't have tours, so I blew it off and went to the Old Bailey a.k.a. the Criminal Centre, down near St. Paul's Cathedral. I didn't go inside because the line was too long and you couldn't take a camera inside, however I did take a picture of solicitors outside, though it's not the best photo since I was trying not to bring attention myself. I'm gonna have to go back and watch episodes of Rumpole and the Old Bailey because the real thing looked nothing that iconic TV show.

Growing more confident with taking the tube, I headed to the BBC Television Centre in the East End. I had to buy my ticket the night before online; the only slot left was 1:45 pm. Despite taking my time to get there, I had plenty of time to kill. The tour was OK. You weren't allowed to take pictures for the most part, but they did let us see two studios from visitor booths up high. Both were for kids TV shows; they were shooting one, a game show. Sidenote: interesting that they rent their studios to commercial stations, like ITV. Oh, and you should've saw how many lights each studio had -- I think they were all remote-controlled. Another fascinating tidbit (at least to me), a lot of their news show have unmanned cameras because the anchors don't move around; also, the anchors write their own stories, which is why they shuffle around papers. The tour ended in the BBC shop. They didn't have two DVDs I was looking for: Quatermass and Casanova, both remakes from the noughties.

In the mid-afternoon, on the fly, I went to Harrod's, a very posh department store. I went to the HMV on the fourth or fifth floor and bought the first series of No Angels, a nurse dramedy I heard about because of one actress connected to the Doctor Who universe. I then had dinner down in their food hall. It cost about 45 pounds but was really good: 6 crab/shrimp dumplings, chips (steak fries), a house salad, and the best iced tea ever (very sweet).

Then it was off to the West End. I had bought a ticket for the Agatha Christie play, Mousetrap, yesterday, but they didn't have a Sunday-night performance just a matinee, so I had to wait a day. The play was really good. Glad they had an intermission 'cause the day of running around caught up with me in the first half -- had trouble staying awake, but a bottle of water and a cup of ginger ale during intermission woke me up.

Tomorrow's my last day in London. Gonna try and squeeze four things in.

No comments: