Hi there! It so happens that I visited London, again, with a friend of mine. I am back home now. So you will be facing the misery of my posting of the happenings in that remarkable city!
On Friday I left the office, for good, and headed for Brussels South to find a train that would take me to the other side of the Channel. I was feeling great! The next Monday would not take me back to office. Nor the Tuesday. Instead I would be relaxing at home, chilling and having me time. Lovely! I was missing Waffle though, this weekend was the first one I spent separated from him since I moved to Belgium. So great things were happening in my life. Mainly I hoped that he would not burn the house down while I was away!
The train sliced through the undulating countryside of Belgium and France, dived under the channel and dropped me off at St. Pancras in London. It was a nice realization, that I apparently live about 2 hours away from there! Someone had forgotten their piano at the station as I walked out of the train. And someone had taken upon themselves to play it. I always have the feeling of walking through a TV series while I am in London. Thanks to everyone talking perfect English, I guess. Add the piano to that, well, it is a funnily wholesome experience! (The song was this one, if I am not completely mistaken)
Never the less, I dived down into the underground and started navigating my way towards Hoxton and our apartment, my first go at Airbnb! It was on a small, peaceful street and equipped with nice hosts. My friend Ana, coming from Finland arrived a little later. We got ready and hit the down town, aiming for our reserved table in the City Social -restaurant. Rather good food that was, although the atmosphere in the place was not quite what I was hoping for, but the view is nice!
That was our Friday, we climbed off the bus, got to our apartment and fell asleep. Good rest was needed for Saturday, since we had plenty of streets to explore. Somehow I see London as a really welcoming place to be such a big city. Normally I do not feel too good in metropolises like that. Saturday was the day of the “Must see” things in the down town London. We grabbed some discount theater tickets, English breakfast and strolled around Westminster abbey, Big Ben and all that stuff as well as staring some fine artwork in the National gallery and the so very important visit to a travel book store.
The air was cooling down fast and we started to find our way to the theater to watch the play called The Maids. Which was our compromise between timing and and money. We would have liked to see either The play that goes wrong or the Wicked musical, but myeah, this was what we ended up with. It did not quite live up to the expectation, but still managed to be entertaining, so not such a bad choice after all.
Sunday came, nice and sunny at that, so we decided to keep outdoors. Luckily there was a flower market in Hoxton, not too far from our apartment. The market is held on a narrow street sided with stores. It was easy to find, since out of there was coming a steady stream of people with all sorts of bouquets in their hands. The street itself was perfumed by the sent of thousands of flowers, lavender being the dominant tone, and of course crammed people. We managed to find a pathway between the flower stands and the boutiques, popping in and out of them when ever we saw something interesting.
Rest of the day was spent around Primrose hill, and for the evening we went to back to the shore of Thames, to enjoy the view and some food. Both of us were leaving the city early on Monday morning, so we were not feeling too much like spending the late night out in the city, although many pubs did seem very cosy and welcoming.
Monday came and took me back to St. Pancras and into the bullet train towards mainland and home. Weather was absolutely beautiful and I ended up walking the last stretch home. Rupelmonde can be rather beautiful when you approach it from the river side in sun light. I felt relaxed and ready face the new found freedom from working life. Waffle was still at work and the house was eerily silent and calm, just the pigeons cooing on our roof.
I still am liking UK very much. Next time the direction is most likely north of Wales. Snowdonia and such.