With our food stores diminished after 18 days at sea, we passed through the locks and under bridges into London where we left in the masses to explore. We arrived on the 6th of March, gaining an extra day of freedom on the town. That evening was spent eating delicious food and, as always, buying snacks to be eaten immediately.
The 7th was an extra exciting day for the ship, because of the long awaited return of Stephanie who had taken a leave of absence due to a playground accident. Alice, Ingrid and I accompanied Brie to pick her up at the airport. On the Tube ride we decorated welcome home signs with nautical themed drawings to hold up at the airport. After joyful greetings we headed back to the Vessel, Alice and I lugging Steph’s huge sea bag weighing over 50lbs.
Though all of our stay in London was wonderful, my favorite day was the 10th. This was for a couple reasons but the biggest was seeing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. The day was much warmer and sunnier then it had been so far, which helped put us all in a good mood. We were also very excited about the play. We started out by spending a little more time than usual on our appearance. We all had on some Harry Potter clothing, and I was in my new long wool coat I got from the thrift store (which is the coolest article of clothing I own). We went straight to platform 9 and 3/4 so Julia could get a picture going through the barrier.
The platform was packed with muggles and new witches and wizards going to Hogwarts or buying their supplies for the school year. After watching several muggles attempt to enter the platform, we headed to quench our thirst at Twinnings tea emporium. The smell of the shop was mouthwatering and caused us all great longing for a nice cuppa hot tea. The walls were lined with boxes of tea and tins of biscuits. There were golden mugs and beautifully coloured tins. Directly outside the shop standing like a silent sentinel was the oldest statue in London: the Temple Bar dragon who guards the city gates! At this point we had to hurry to the theatre to pick up our tickets and get a bite to eat before the show started.
This was another reason it was my favourite day, we got sushi for half price and were able to eat it on the steps while watching the locals go about their business. And then finally it was time! All day my excitement had been growing and now it was overflowing, especially when we arrived at the theatre. Over the door there was a huge sculpture of a boy in a black nest with raven’s wings on it. Inside the theatre the architecture and decorations were very impressive. There were carvings of cherubs and gold plating on all the banisters.
Julia and I were seated in the balcony, and from our seats we had a clear view of the whole stage. Now I was giddy with anticipation for the play to start. And it finally did and for the next 6 hours I was on the edge of my seat. I loved everything about the play! The music is one of the best soundtracks I have ever heard, good enough to rival that of Lord of the Rings. The special effects looked just like real magic and made me feel like I was at Hogwarts in the thick of it all. And of course it wouldn’t be as good without the fabulous actors all of which did an amazing job with their characters. When the play ended I was in raptures of delight which only got bigger when we were able to meet and get signatures from the cast.
London was definitely one of my favourite ports and I can see myself living there for some time later in my life. The ease of travel and the attitude of the locals made me feel welcomed to the city. That with the culture of the arts gave me quite a lot to see and do. I also really like tea and digestive biscuits.
Written by Class Afloat Student Mairead O.