London Calling

As I already had some first days off during my internship and did not want to spend them only in Barcelona, ​​I decided to go to London. I have not been to London since a school trip back in 2011, when I was there for the first time with my family. Thus, it was about time to go back to one of my favorite cities again. This time, I even had a good reason for going there since I also had the chance to visit Konstanze, who is currently doing her internship there.

On August 5, my flight to London left early in the morning, so I had to get up at 4.30 a.m. to catch the first metro going to the airport at 5.00 a.m. However, instead of 38 minutes, the ride to the airport took me nearly an hour. So by the time I finally made it to the airport, I was already a bit late and had to hurry through the security check and passport control, and as it was very crowded at that time, I lost even more time. Yet, after I passed security and figured out from which gate my plane departs, I rushed to the gate and luckily made it there right in time for boarding. But if this stressful morning was not enough already, the plane was not allowed to depart for nearly 1.5 hours. And we all had to wait inside before we finally took off.

2.5 hours later, I finally landed at London-Luton, but since the airport is quite far away from London’s city center, it took me another 1.5 hours till I finally got there. From there, I went straight to Konstanze’s place to drop off my bag, and then back to the city for some sightseeing. Once there, I met up with Alex for lunch before heading to Oxford Street for a little (window) shopping. I crossed Regent Street and walked in the direction of Piccadilly Circus afterward, where I finally met Konstanze in the evening. Together, we walked through Chinatown and stopped by M&M’s World as well.

As it was about to get dark, we hopped onto one of the many red double-decker buses and got off at Trafalgar Square. By the time we got off at the square, my heart was filled with joy. For me, cities at night always have such a unique flair with all those sparkling city lights. The National Gallery lit up all the space around Nelson’s Column, and when looking straight down to river Thames, you could even spot Big Ben. Btw, did you know that Big Ben is only the name of the bell, while the tower itself is called Elizabeth Tower? Anyways, before heading back home, we also stopped at Buckingham Palace, which looks even more majestic at night. So, we just sat down at the fountain in front of the building and enjoyed this unique atmosphere of London at night.

On Saturday, after a late breakfast, we headed to the city to watch the Changing Of The Guard at Buckingham Palace. Yet, by the time we got there, the main part of the parade was already over. So instead, we went to Hyde Park and walked around there for a while. Later, we went to Harrods, which is always worth stopping by when in London. After lunch at Piccadilly Circus, we went to Covent Garden and then to St Paul’s Cathedral, which I’ve never visited before – although I’ve been to London for the third time now. From there, we then walked across Millennium Bridge to the Shakespeare Globe Theater, passed by Borough Market and London Bridge until we made it to the Monument. We stayed in the city a little longer this time, had a drink next to the Tower of London, and then went to Alex’s place in Shoreditch, and checked out the bars there. After a few drinks, we went back home again. Because the next day was already the last one I got to spend together with Konstanze, which we, therefore, wanted to use for sightseeing again.

We started our last day with brunch at Dalloway Terrace, which is named one of the best breakfast spots in town. Motivated for our last day of sightseeing, we walked to Westminster Abbey and St Margaret’s Church and then went to the Elizabeth Tower. There, you also have a great view of the London Eye. Although I’ve seen most of the main sights on my last two trips to London already, there were still some must-sees on my list. But before, we had to stop at the Victoria’s Secret Store on Bond Street. We then reached our first must-see, Notting Hill, famous for its Victorian townhouses as well as high-end shopping and restaurants. There, we strolled across the streets for a while, and after having a quick picnic at Hyde Park, we headed on to our last stop, King’s Cross Station. And if you’re a Harry Potter fan, you also know what’s so special about this train station, namely the platform 9 3/4. The day passed by too fast, and we were already on our way back home again. We went to bed earlier as we both had to get up early the next day. Konstanze had to go back to work, and I had booked a table at an earlier time for breakfast at a pretty cool place.

So Monday was already my last day in London. Thus, I’ve decided to have breakfast at Darwin Brasserie on the 36th floor of SkyGarden. I ended up paying only £ 15 for the continental breakfast buffet, which is cheap compared to London prices. But as an add-on, you can also enjoy your breakfast with a breathtaking view over London. However, you can also visit SkyGarden without eating there. But then make sure to book your visit at least one month in advance as slots always sell out fast. After breakfast, I walked across Tower Bridge and spent my last hours in the British capital sitting next to the Tower of London and writing postcards. Later, I slowly made my way back to Konstanze’s place to grab my bag and then took the metro to London-Heathrow airport. But, it was not time yet to go back to Barcelona as I still had planned a stop at another destination. Which one, you ask? Stay tuned and find out in my next blog post.

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