Updated: Oct 3, 2020
We are already planning our 2021 adventure, join us as we take a virtual look at what would have been. Through the summer we will share links and information about the special places and activities we had planned for 2020. Keep checking back here or follow us on Facebook.
I really didn't have the heart to blog anymore after this post. It seemed like too much was lost. But as I sat down to post again in October I was stunned by just how remarkable our summer was while "trapped" in the confines of a worldwide pandemic. Check out our 2020 COVID summer in the Home and Beyond post.
June 15- August 12
June 11-14 The Globe, Musicals and off to Glasgow
The Globe Theater is on the Southwark side of the Thames to the right down past the Shard. On our first visit to London, we stayed on the Southwark side. Just remember Tube access is more important than a specific location when finding accommodation in London. Like any major city, there are neighborhoods to be avoided but the Southwark Side is delightful and offers excellent views of London's most famous sites including Saint Paul's and the Westminister Tower where Big Ben is located.
The Globe is a replica of the original theater where Shakespeare's plays were presented. The theater is open to the air and the rough-hewn timbers make for a stunning structure. Don't miss the tour which is about 40 minutes in length. After the tour, we were to be watching 12 Night.
The same day our evening included tickets to Hairspray. This long-running musical might be known to many from John Travolta's appearance in a film version from 2007.
Friday the 12th would have seen more exploration topped off with the musical Waitress.
If you have never experienced a song like this live in a professional production, as soon as theaters re-open run to get tickets to a show, nearly any show. The God-given ability of the creative is inspiring and heart moving.
Don't worry if you haven't heard about Six, but once you know about it, you will quickly add it to your list of must-sees. Our last night in London was to include Six, the story of Henry VIII's six wives. Told through music, the score itself is worth the Itunes purchase. When your daughter is a 17-year-old theater addict, you learn about shows like Six.
Sunday the 14th would have been a travel day off to the City of Glasgow, Scotland.
June 7-10, 2020, Exploration and Hamilton
On our previous London adventure, we covered about 10 miles a day walking around this magnificent city. The London public transportation is fantastic. By taking a little time to learn to navigate you can get around quickly and efficiently. For instance, after attending Wicked in 2017 the cue for taxis was probably an hour-long, the Victoria Station is just across the street from the Victoria Theater, on the Tube we were back at our Southwark Hotel within 30 minutes.
On this visit, we had planned on getting to some places that we did not have time for on our previous visit. These places included:
The British Museum
The Borough Market
Wednesday was the event that we had the highest anticipation for, Hamilton. Of all our losses around the world from COVID-19 theater feels like one of the biggest. One reason for this is that we don't know when we will be able to gather again and enjoy the creative prowess of actors, writers, stagehands, costumers, sound and lighting engineers, and musicians. Our family has been participating in and enjoying good theater for decades, we will be back on the stage and in the auditoriums as soon as we are allowed to do so.
If you are a fan of theater you know that tickets to Hamilton are difficult to come by and expensive. That is the United States. By being aware of when tickets go on sale prior to the pandemic it was possible to get Hamilton tickets at a good price. Our three tickets in London came to about $350US the same seats in the states would have been $500-800 dollars.
Our morning flight from Keflavik was planned to arrive at London's Lutton Airport in the early afternoon. Flying discount airlines take some additional planning and awareness. One of the ways these airlines keep such low fares is by flying to less busy airports. London Lutton requires a shuttle bus and train ride into London proper or you can ride a bus the whole distance. Just be aware that you have 1-2 hours of slogging your bag, traveling with everything in a backpack makes this a lot easier.
Once in town, we had planned to settle into our London Narrow Boat Airbnb and then find a local place for some English fish and chips and maybe a pint of cider.
June 6, 2020, Thermal River/ off to London.
After a day exploring the Westman Island and the beaches near Vik, our return trip to our Airbnb near Keflavik(KEF) airport included, a hike into the hills to enjoy the Thermal River. Iceland heats their homes, and businesses with geothermal energy and they use that energy to produce their electricity. One final note about Keflavik Airport, it is about 45miles from the town of Reykjavik and if your visit is more than a single day the most economical way to get around is a rental car. I hope you know how to drive a manual transmission because an automatic rents at double or more the price.
June 5, 2020, The Westman Islands.
Iceland Air prior to the pandemic flew 2 non-stop flights each week from Ted Stevens International Airport to Reykjavík, Iceland. With a 6 AM arrival after a brief 7-hour flight over Canada and Greenland, you arrive in Iceland ready to adventure. Our June 4th flight would have us in Iceland on the morning of the 5th. A quick stop at the car rental counter and we would be off to catch the Westman Island ferry.
In 1973 a volcanic eruption brought this remote set of islands to the world stage when the community fought back against the onslaught of lava, using fire hoses to pump seawater on the advancing destruction.
Camping in Vik returning to the mainland would have found us camping at a campground perched just above the lovely village of Vik.