Today we set our imaginations free as we visited the home town of author Hans Christian Andersen. From June 29th – August 10th there is a festival in Odense in celebration of his creativity. In front of the H.C. Andersen Museum the local theatre performs three plays a day featuring some of H.C. Andersen’s most popular fairytales. Although they were performed in Danish we could still follow the recognizable stories that were being told such as The Emperor’s New Clothes. H.C. Andersen had talent as both an author and artist with an imagination he described both as a gift and curse. Throughout Denmark sculptures are placed representing some of his fairytales as well as his paper cut outs. 11 of them are in Odense and today we saw the paper boat, the sea horse, the emperors new clothes and the steadfast tin soldier.
This area of Odense is great to walk around in. We came across an old merchants house from the 16th century that has remained unaltered. There isn’t a bathroom in the house and the only change that had been made was the addition of electricity. The antiques within the house are all for sale and come with a both a certificate and written guarentee of their age. The shop is closed on a Sunday so it’s best to visit during the week. Guided tours are available with special activities for kids too.
We spent the afternoon walking along the river that runs through the town. There were plenty of ducks swimming about and the swans were taking bread from people’s hands as they fed them. I would not want to get too close to one of those though. As you walk along the river you can see part of the Odense Zoo. We saw some camels, zebras and goats all from the path.
The best thing about being in London over the summer is the number of FREE events. Sure the weather might not be the best, but when you can go see performances from every west end musical over the course of two days, you don’t care if it rains! West End Live provides you with the opportunity to witness a small piece of what each musical will be like. From there you can then decide which one (or few) to go spend the money on. We Will Rock You definitely got the crowd involved while I think I might just have a crush on the Jersey Boys. I will be saving my pennies to go see Top Hat or Singing In The Rain next. For theatre ticket deals check out TravelZoo UK.
If you plan on visiting Trafalgar Square over the summer double check to see what events are taking place. Next one for me will be the Canada Day International on July 1st. I’ll be volunteering in the morning so if you have any questions before the event please comment below.
Ah, food and theatre go so well together, don’t you think!?! Right across from London Bridge station is the Borough Market, attracting traders selling grain, fish, vegetables and livestock since the 13th century, making it one of London’s oldest markets. The food quality is outstanding, and they had free samples throughout the whole market. However, consider this your warning, do not visit here on an empty stomach! Everything smells so great it will be impossible to choose.
Visitors are encouraged to ask vendors anything they want to know about their products and can expect a knowledgeable response in return. The market has a panel of experts to ensure that the taste and quality of the foods being sold at the market meet their high standards. We took home some pies from Pieminister and it was (sorry Grandma) the best Pie I have ever had! The lady packaged all the pies up for us and put in a slip of paper with proper instructions for heating it up. We grabbed some Pimm’s on the way home, and had a superbly British meal at home.
A bit further along the water front is Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre , a reconstruction of the 1599 Globe initiated by Sam Wanamaker in 1949. It is not a circular building but is in fact 20 sided, and was reconstructed the same way as it would have been back in the 16th century. The roof is made of water reed, and the walls are covered in a white lime wash. The inside is beautiful, made entirely out of solid oak! The elaborately decorated ‘boxed seats’ are for those of the higher class as the most expensive seats at the theatre back then were located at the sides of the stage. We were lucky and went in the morning, catching the first tour. Any later and we would have not been able to take photos from the inside as the actors would be practicing for their shows in the afternoon and evening.
Verona has the second largest amount of Roman remains in Italy, next to Rome. Being at the center of an important roads network, Verona can equally apply the phrase from “all streets lead to Rome” to “all streets lead to Verona”. Used as a strategic base, Verona was built in the first stage of the Roman expansion.
The Arena Ampitheatre, is the first noticeable Roman remain when walking through the city. In the Summer, thousands of visitors from all over the world applaud the many opera concerts held at the arena. It can hold more than 20,000 people and is the biggest open-air lyrical theatre in the world! Our hotel, Guilette and Romeo was located just off of one of the side streets surrounding the arena.
Closer to the hilltop along the river, lies remains of an old Roman Theatre. It was only discovered in the 19th century by a business man who bought the property for development. He changed his mind however, and uncovered many Roman ruins and artifacts in the area. The original marble floor of the orchestra pit, along with rows of stone seats were discovered. The Roman Theatre is part of the Archeological Museum where you can see many of the other artifacts that were found throughout the city. This includes many coins, mosaics and sculptures. It was one of our favourite attractions to visit in Verona.