Sunday, December 30, 2007

Highgate Times

Highgate Cemetery is one of the "must-see" sights in London according to pretty much every guide book and every friend who's been there. It also happens to be within walking distance of our flat, and we ended up staying in town this weekend and tours of the Victorian West Cemetery only run on weekends so visiting was a no-brainer.

It was a nice half-hour walk up Holloway Road and through a park to get there, and there were two cemeteries to explore with some famous people to visit. Sure, Karl Marx' grave is there but more interested to me personally was the marker for Douglas Adams, author of the Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy series - Adams was a resident of Islington until he moved to California late in his life. Both of those are in the East Cemetery, which you can go in at any time and wander around. The West Cemetery is locked up tight unless you're on a guided tour because vandalism, occultism and crime were big problems here until the 70s, and the group that runs the place is working very hard to restore it.

So we latched onto the first tour of the day, which was nice since there were only five of us and our guide was exceptionally knowledgeable about the cemetery and its residents. I was taking pictures the entire time and the best are on my Flickr stream if you want to take a look - our guide was really cool and let me stick the camera in some mausoleums that had been opened for restoration work, so there's some pictures of decaying coffins and other creepiness in there I feel lucky to have taken.

Afterwards we fortified ourselves at a nearby pub with mulled wine and tasty food and set off for the West End, where we caught a show of Spamalot! Somehow it wasn't as good as the first time I saw it, but watching it with Liz more than made up for that. There was no Tim Curry, David Hyde Pierce or Hank Azaria, but whatchagonnado.

Still not sure what we're going to be up to for the new year. Maybe just going to a local pub and having a few drinks? We'll figure it out.

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