Bishops Visit – Interval – London “Once” and the Imperial War Museum

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We all know Ronan Keating, from Boyzone and the X factor but did you know he appeared in the London musical “Once”. When we were in London earlier we saw posters announcing his appearance form November 17 in this production so we took the opportunity to visit London again to see the show and for Doug and me to visit the Imperial War Museum.

Now visiting London is always expensive. Expensive to park and to stay. Well we have worked out the parking. There is a website for private parking spots – people in London don’t always have a car but they do have a parking spot so these people act like a booking agency. The website is  www.justpark.com.

We stayed at the Commodore Hotel which is good value for money and well located at Lancaster Gate in easy walking distance of the underground of the same name. You can find it easily on the web.

The weather was fair enough for London in November. I convinced Doug that we could travel to the Museum via the underground, but be warned that it is a good 10 minute walk from Lambeth North station.

I have seen Les Invalides and Napoléon’s tomb, and now the Imperial War Museum however overall I don’t think either rivals Canberra’s Australian War Memorial. But this Museum impresses from the moment of arrival with a pair of huge naval guns staring at you as you enter. It is free to enter except for special exhibitions. Inside is a story book type of presentation with representational pieces from many different conflicts involving Great Britain. You could easily lose yourself for a day. It is well done. There is a very detailed section on the Holocaust which is very emotive and for some people much be gut wrenching.

Doug and I could only spare two and half hours before returning to the hotel to ready ourselves for “Once”

We decided to take a taxi into the West End. Our tickets were in the upper stalls giving us an aerial view of the stage. This is a musical where the orchestra is present on stage and their instruments are in keeping with the story which is essentially about a musician trying to launch a career, a lost love, motivation from another possible love interest, the trip to stardom and the choice between stardom and his mentor. The music is great and Keating surprises with a highly charged emotional performance from the heart. I left the theatre on a high and with a tear in my eye (much to the mirth of Kerry who made certain to bring it to everyone’s attention).

We caught a cab back to the hotel and requested the cabbie to go via Regent St for the Xmas lights. As with most London cabbies he knew what the girls wanted and took us through the whole gamete of London’s Xmas lights. So ended our trip to London but before we went I got a few snaps of an old church used as the basis for a new apartment block. Very dramatic.

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