reading time: ca. 6 min
Oh London, how i love thee...
I have been to this beautiful city 10x more often than to the capital of my home country, but somehow London makes me feel at home.
The first time i felt like a stranger though. This colourful, crowded city can be quite overwhelming, and i was just 16 years old at that time (2007), travelling on my own for the very first time. I was a tourist at first, but after three months of living and going to school in Kings Langley (i keep wanting to say King's Landing now - thanks Game of Thrones, haha!) and going to London and it's countless museums, statues, towers, bridges and castles every weekend (as well as Watford, Windsor Castle, Brighton, Oxford...), i fell in love with the city. We even went to see the famous Les Misérables play in Soho!! Such a great performance.
When i returned in 2009, aged 18, i brought part of my family with me and we explored the parks, bridges, towers and monuments again together, but this time with a more private, less tour-group kind of perspective. Except for the Tower of London, the Tower Bridge, Chinatown, St. Pauls and Big Ben, we skipped most of the usual sightseeing spots and went to some markets, pubs and ice skating instead.
I think my favourite visit was three years later in 2012. I had just turned 21, and me and my friends from university decided to make a week's trip to London! Hurray!
Being little nerds and Sherlock fans, of course we had to go to Speedy's, Baker Street and the Sherlock Holmes Museum. Oh, and also to the St Bartholomew's Hospital where Sherlock had supposedly fallen to his death (by now we all know he didn't really die, but at that time it was still all a big mystery and cliffhanger). Anyway, i think we covered all the must-see places like St. Pauls, Millenium Bridge, Tate Modern, Big Ben, London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, St. James's Park, Covent Garden, Chinatown by night, Hyde Park, Regent's Park, and of course Camden, but also the nerdy places like King's Cross and Platform 9 3/4, the London Beatles Store and some Harry Potter-esque alleys.
That was the very first time that i felt familiar with this big buzzing city. Not like a stranger, not like a tourist (even though we did do all sorts of touristy things), but rather like a guest who has visited a place a couple of times and knows his way around. I felt comfortable wandering around in the city by my own, and not having to check on a map where to go. That was when i decided i want to live in London some day.
And now i've returned (2015) - not to stay forever, but to celebrate my brother's 21st birthday in London! This time i was the "tour guide", i was the one who lead the way and knew the the ropes. Just 3 days to show them the city.
Day 1: Tower Bridge, Tower of London, London Bridge, River Thames, Southwalk Bridge, Millenium Bridge, all by foot.
Day 2: Covent Garden, Piccadilly Circus, Chinatown, Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, St. James's Park.
Day 3: Baker Street, Regent's Park, Camden Market. Didn't make it to Primrose Hill unfortunately because it started to rain cats and dogs and we didn't feel like freezing to death. Next time though! There's still a lot to explore :)
(Canon DIGITAL IXUS 55)
Of course: the box with milk bottles at the doorstep of my lovely host family where I lived for three months! :)
(Canon EOS 400D DIGITAL*)
(Canon EOS 550D)
(Samsung S3, Sony Ericsson, iPhone 4S)
Next up are Prague and Vienna! ~
Till next time, London!
* that's the camera i usually take my photos with :)
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