Saturday 19 September 2009

A night of music and tunnels

A week last Friday I took a trip to the Proms. When I looked on the map it seemed that the Royal  Albert Hall was equidistant from South Kensington and Knightsbridge tube stations. I decided to walk from Knightsbridge... trust me, South Kensington is definitely closer! It was a fine evening though, and a gentle walk through Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens was very pleasant.

Just opposite Royal Albert Hall is the imposing Albert Memorial; Queen Victoria's tribute to her beloved husband.

I went with a group of friends, and we had arranged to meet in the queue for the Arena. What I didn't know is that there are two queues for 'day tickets' and I joined the first queue I came across. Had I walked clockwise around the Royal Albert Hall I'd have joined a different queue!

We ended up in the Gallery... after climbing up a lot of stairs! I had to drape myself over the railings to recover. The concert was great though. We saw the Vienna Philharmonic playing 'Don Quixote' by Strauss and then after the interval a Brahms symphony (the 4th I think).

It was hard on the feet as there are no seats up in the Gallery but for a fiver I guess you can't complain. It also got quite warm being right at the  top and with the heat from all the lights. It was a relief when the shutters were taken off the windows in the interval and the cool evening air came rushing in.

Going home I didn't make the same mistake as my journey there and went back to South Kensington tube - famous for access to the museums and the long subway tunnel.

I had planned to take the Circle line to Westminster and pick up the Jubilee Line. The best laid plans... the Circle line was suspended and I had to take the Piccadilly line to Green Park - where there is an extremely long tunnel to walk through in order to get back to the Jubilee Line.

So from the 'Gods' at the Royal Albert Hall to the tunnels of London Underground!