Apex Hotels Blogs

The London Marathon

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The London Marathon 2012 (22 April 2012)

It’s that time of year again where London opens its doors to host one of the most iconic events of the year – the London Marathon has arrived! Millions of people from all over the world will watch, scream and cheer on the runners from street corners and pubs right across the capital. It is such a popular day in the London event’s calendar – some people even call it London’s 26,2 mile street party!

London Marathon runners

We are so lucky here at Apex, as the marathon route is right on our Apex City of London Hotel’s doorstep. We will make sure Edwin – the resident Apex Duck at City of London – will be there to cheer the runners as they whizz (or some cases limp) past.

The former Olympic champion Chris Brasher is the man responsible for the London Marathon. After his experience of running the New York Marathon, he felt London had to have its own marathon. Chris was overwhelmed by the sight of over a million people from different cultures and countries across the globe - all united by the one challenge.

Some supporters may choose to run from the sidelines to show their support, or like the most of us, will choose to just cheer in admiration from the sidelines. Whatever you do, this is a London supporting event you don't want to miss.

The 2012 London Marathon will host around 35,000 runners, most of which are taking part to raise money for charity.

Luckily for our Apex City of London guests as the biggest crowds of spectators gather at Tower Bridge - which is less than a 1 minute walk away from the hotel! Or you may choose to watch the emotional finish as the runners cross the finish line in front of Buckingham Palace.

Make sure you experience this legendary race; gather your friends and family and enjoy this great day out with a fantastic atmosphere!

Apex Hotels London Marathon Packages

London Marathon website

Mummies in Edinburgh

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Fascinating Mummies (11 February - 27 May 2012)

The National Museum of Scotland showcases ancient Egyptian treasures dating as far as 4000BC in this exhibition bringing together two of the world's great collections.

Mummy and xray of Ankhhor

Just around the corner from our two Grassmarket hotels, the Apex International and Apex City Hotel, this is the first major exhibition in the museum's new purpose-built hall.

The exhibition is split into two parts. The first explores the ancient rituals surrounding death and the afterlife. The Egyptians preserved the bodies of their dead because they believed they had to remain in tact to be re-born into the afterlife. This process of preservation is called mummification, and the embalmed bodies are known as mummies. They were buried in tombs with great treasures and possessions it was thought they would need in the afterlife. Some tombs were so well hidden from intruders and grave robbers that the contents remained untouched and perfectly preserved for many thousands of years. The exhibition features an array of these treasures including painted coffins, amulets, jewellery, papyri, and ornaments.

The second part of the exhibition focuses on the way archaeologists and scientists have studied the Ancient Egyptians over the years. For example, early attempts at analysing the mummies involved unwrapping them in a process which is now seen as invasive and destructive. Now, modern technology allows them to scan the bodies using x-ray and CT scanning, leaving them undamaged.

This truly is a fascinating exhibition and a great family day out. Admission: Adults £9, concessions £7.50, child £6 and family (2 adults and 2 children) £26.

The Steamie in Dundee

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The Steamie at Dundee Caird Hall (3-7 April 2012)

This Easter weekend, the 25th Anniversary tour of beloved Scottish play The Steamie comes to Dundee's Caird Hall for a four night run; the tour also visits Edinburgh.

Tony Roper – yes, Jamesie Cotter from Rab C. Nesbitt – wrote the play in his late forties in a biro and a jotter. It was his first ever play. It was widely rejected as having no plot by every theatre company in the land before Wildcat Stage Productions first performed it in 1987. It was a huge success.

The Steamie

The play remains popular even though fewer audience members directly remember its 1950s setting.

"Steamies" (or "washies") were corporation wash houses; communal clothes-washing places. Women from the city would take their washing there and pay a small fee to use the facilities to hand wash their families' clothes. Now that clothes washing is automated by a convenient white machine in your house, The Steamie is a window into a bygone era.

It's also a look at the nature of communities at the time. Residents saw cities change drastically in the 50s and 60s. It might be nostalgic, but it doesn't over-romanticise what were tough times for these characters.

It might be set in a world that only people drawing a pension remember, but this doesn't diminish its appeal to a wider audience. In 2009 it came second in an STV poll to find Scotland's best loved shows. Only Taggart received more votes.

The 25th Anniversary tour celebrates the play's place in Scottish culture. It's hugely entertaining and with Roper himself directing it's a rare chance to see it performed the way he imagines it.

More information about performances at Caird Hall - within walking distance of Apex City Quay Hotel & Spa.

More information about performances in Edinburgh