Friday, May 21, 2010

Tale #23 - of young Dinosaurs, Irish skips and Russel Hood. And Time out.

Although a bit short on the pecuniary side, I went on my last trip but one the previous weekend: a second journey to Nottingham.

Here's the story: The main motivation for going AGAIN - besides seeing Katie, of course - came to me when I was having a cup of tea. Sitting around in a small and cosy tea room in Nottingham last time and lacking any kind of entertaining literature I worked my way through a pile of flyers and leaflets and eventually dug up one that excited my interest: Riverdance were to perform in Notts! I had wanted to visit their show in Vienna but had been deterred effectively by the horrendous prices. People seem to be more sensible in the UK and when I saw the price of the tickets (a ridiculous £22!) my choice was made: I'd be back.

Before Katie and I got a taste of Irish footwork, though, we went further north to the Kaiser Chiefs' home town: Leeds. Seems a bit random? Well, it was. But to explore the city was not our primary aim - we went to visit a concert of the band Dinosaur Jr. (Yes, neither have I. Heard of them before, I mean.); getting to see the city was only a very pleasant side effect.

Shopping Arcades

Leeds more than lived up to my meagre expectations by presenting itself as a clean, lovely and sunny city with plenty of shops, shopping arcades, markets in- and out of doors, museums (which we did not visit), churches (which we did) and a vast and slightly confusing uni campus.

Parish Church

We spent the day shopping and went to our hotel to get some rest after a night of not enough sleep, before making our way into the city centre again. After some oily food in a most unlovingly decorated Italian place we got our tickets, ready for the concert. But alas! I could not really enjoy it: the volume was turned up way too high and it was impossible to understand the lyrics over the droning of the instruments. After I had sealed my ears with tissues it was far better. (And the supporting act was good, too.)

Pre-concert pints: a novelty was Guinness red

The night was spent in a comfy hotel bed and finished off with a nice hotel breakfast and so a new eventful day was to begin: We went back to Nottingham, got changed, had some lovely Sunday roast in England's oldest pub and Katie and I hurried off to the Royal Concert Hall.

Riverdance were beyond great! I had not known what to expect but they definitely exceeded the vague expectations I had had: a mystic mixture of multimedia, mist, celtic song, fairy-like dresses, light-footed dancing and the overwhelming staccato sound of rapidly stepping and tapping feet, all together telling Ireland's history in a slightly different way! Wow!

We regained our breath in a brief visit to the middle age themed market that just started to close when we got there and were rejoined by the lads. Together we went to the next "sit-and-watch" event: the new Robin Hood film. What is the place to watch it if not Nottingham?
Despite some historical inaccuracies I found the film enjoyable - not as good as Gladiator, but nobody expected that anyway.

Well rested after so much sitting and watching we were ready to spend a good night out - several stunts included - and I finally collapsed on my bedstead and fell into long, deep and well-deserved slumber. (My sleeping bag is paying off more and more.)

Shortly after noon I boarded my train and forced my tired brain to accept and store some relevant information for my last exam. As a consequence of this eventful weekend I had resolved to get into bed early that day, but I had hardly stepped into the kitchen when my flatmates jumped on me with the proposition to go out. Hard as I tried I could not resist their charms, pushed the looming exam to the back of my mind and ended up in Time sipping drinks and shaking away for hours. Happy nights!!

PS: The exam went alright and I'm enjoying academic freedom now.

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