My wife, Tatjana, is a true culture vulture. And long has she wanted to visit the famous opera house in London.
However, like many people around the world, she had no idea that the opera house in London is actually, the Royal Opera House, in an area called Covent Garden. She always thought that Covent Garden was the name of the opera house.
So, I decided that she needed a special treat in the form of a night at the opera and a more extensive tour of London so that she could better acquaint herself with the capital. Last year, I was lucky enough to be on the opera house list for best seats in the house, for the famous Russian opera, Eugene Onegin.
I kept it a secret until last week when I told her about my little surprise treat for the coming weekend.
She is a huge fan of the work of Russian poet, Alexander Pushkin. There’s not a scribble he made she doesn’t know about. She can almost recite his life story backwards! And like many Russians and lovers of poetry worldwide, one of her favourite Pushkin works, is the poem, Eugene Onegin.
Famously, the poem was used as the basis for an opera by one of Russia’s most esteemed composers, Tchaikovsky.
So, we had a night at the opera, with my wife saying a little thank you to me with a bottle of my true favourite tipple. The Royal Opera House has the most wonderful champagne bar!
The opera was, in a word, sublime (although a little difficult for me to follow at times, as my Russian is dreadful). But the champagne bar was a dying-and-going-to-heaven experience, for me 🙂
As we were in town, we had a little touristy type walkabout so that Tatjana could get a better feel for it. She took control of the camera as we started our walk around the Serpentine.
I rang the bell a few times but she didn’t answer. I think she was round at the Duke of Wellington pub having a traditional Sunday lunch of roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, washed down with a pint of London Pride bitter.
We had a stroll around Westminster, where I explained that, much like the Covent Garden thing, Big Ben is actually the bell inside the clock tower, not the tower itself, as my wife thought.
Earlier this year we were in Milan and went to see the famous Duomo cathedral. However, when we got there it was covered in scaffolding for maintenance work. This time, we went to Trafalgar Square to look at Nelson’s Column and the famous Lion statues and guess what?