I always thought about writing a blog, but when it came down to it I could never go through with it. Questions ran through my head: how would I start it? Would anybody be interested in reading what I wrote? Would I be able to consistently come up with content for posts? Finally though I have decided that none of these things matter. Thus I am here, I am starting my blog and I am doing it for myself – And instead of fretting about the initial start-up of it, I am going to dive right in.
So the last couple of weekends I have spent down in sunny (luckily for me) London. I was visiting a friend, Jo, who was carrying out an intern-ship. Thus it was prime time to take advantage of the free accommodation! I mean who wouldn’t, right? Seeing the sights, eating, drinking, you name it we probably did it. They were two very packed weekends.
This was the first time I had been to the city since my 18th, so I was buzzing to get back down there again. Since I got a late train, at a bargain price (always book in advance folks!), I was pretty tired; there was no going to bed though. Predictably we found ourselves heading out, and somehow, I’m still not sure how, we ended up in the West End. The night was spent drinking copious amounts of wine, meeting new people, and just genuinely causing havoc. Understandably the following day amounted to very little – standing as a reminder: don’t get too drunk if you have lots of plans the following day, they will not happen! We were however introduced to an arcade, Namco Funscape, along the river bank near Westminster Bridge. I’ve never been to anything like it! It was floor after floor of arcade games, bowling lanes, ping-pong tables and bumper cars. I could’ve quite happily got lost in there, on a less hung over day though obviously. I’d definitely recommend it to anybody with some time to kill.
Just like any trip to London though sights had to be seen. So whilst we were still practically dying from our self-inflicted hangovers we decided to wonder the streets. We began with a stroll through Hyde Park. This led us to one of the highlights of my trip, taking a pedelo out on The Serpentine. Let me tell you, they may look like a relaxing way of enjoying the parks scenery, but my God they were hard work! We then visited Buckingham Palace, and to our delight the flag was flying – The Queen was inside! Following this we strolled down the Pall Mall. Which I must say you can’t help but imagine it filled with thousands, maybe millions, of people when there’s a significant event, like the Royal Wedding. On our wonders we went in search of Downing St, typical of us though we nearly missed it. To finish off no quick sight-seeing tour would be complete without ending up back to Westminster Bridge. This is where we stood in awe of Big Ben and The London Eye. Later on that day, or should I say early the next morning, we were luckily enough to experience part of the sunrise on this very bridge. It’s a crazy contrast being there at 5am compared to the hustle and bustle of a Saturday afternoon.
Before going home on the Sunday night I was determined to visit Camden and show Jo just how amazing the markets and the atmosphere is. Thus we spent the entire day wandering to and from market stalls and weaving between hundreds of people. I’m a sucker for these kinds of places so it’s safe to say I bought a number of items. These included a three-piece landscape photo of London and a string of elephants, both for my new room! Whilst we were there we grabbed a bite to eat. I have never been a fan of Chinese food but we were drawn in by the idea of fitting as much as you could into a tray for just £6. Suffice to say, we managed to fit a lot into each of our trays. And the food? It was delicious. I’m definitely a Chinese cuisine convert!
The second weekend was meant to be a lot tamer. The idea was to do all the things we never got around to doing the previous time because we were too hung over. This however does not seem to be something we can ever achieve. When I arrived we went straight out. A positive of this though was that we started the night by stopping off at a bar by Euston Train Station (Euston Tap). It is the tiniest bar, subsequently pretty much everyone has to drink outside. We were forever passing it and yearning to go over so we made it a top priority of the night. Following this and after wandering around in circles for a while we ended up in Leicester Sq. This led our ‘quiet, early’ night to turn into a wine fest in an underground taco restaurant/club. Thus although not as wild as the previous weekends endeavours I can hardly claim the night to have been calm.
Alas our first full day of the weekend came around so we were up early and determined not to waste it as we did before. Well when I say up early, we were out for lunch time. Pretty good going for us though! To start the day we headed back to Leicester Sq, joined the crowds watching street performers and visited the M&M store. That place has so many floors, packed with so many people, with so many overpriced goods, but still we couldn’t resist a cheeky purchase! Following this we wondered around trying to find ourselves somewhere to chow down on some grub. We ended up at a place called Garfunkel‘s where we sat outside and watched the world go by. The food was great so I’ll definitely be up for going again if I come across another in the chain. Covent Garden was our next big stop. I don’t know why but I’ve never thought about going there – which was a mistake. It’s such an interesting place, with its street performers, its markets, its boutiques, the restaurants and the bars. It’s a hub of culture! Just like Camden I could not help but make a few purchases, and since it was the end of the day we were even given discount. (ah, I admit, it was only to persuade us to buy the items, but it easily worked)
The final day came around, we headed over to Speakers Corner bright and early. Disappointedly though there was not a soapbox in sight, such a let-down! Unable to hang around in hope of some late shows we headed straight to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. This was part of my birthday present from Jo, which was perfect for a literature student like myself. I’d always been intrigued in The Globe, not only as a theatre but of the idea of Shakespeare spending much of his time there (yes I’m aware it’s a remake, that’s not even in the same place, but the idea is there!). It was fascinating to enter and I couldn’t help but feel pity on all those people who used to pay to stand in the pit to watch the productions. On a warm day with hundreds stood down there, it must have been uncomfortable. But hey, they paid for the experience, right?
After dining at one of London’s oldest pubs, The Anchor, (worth the visit, btw) we headed over to The Tower Bridge. The previous weekend we had walked that way but it was far too late to actually go up and experience the sights from inside. So we made sure we put it on our list this time. It was a great experience, but I must admit the sole reason of going up there along with the views is that glass floor! I didn’t quite realise how nervous I would be to walk over it, but it definitely gets your heart racing. It’s such a thrill! This in turn was a great way to end not only the day but also my trip. Suffice to say after coming down from the bridge we went back to Jo’s for a quick nap before I had to catch my train.
Without realising this blog seems to have turned into an essay but as you can see I had a lot to talk about this time. Needless to say, when I post more in the future it definitely won’t always be this length, if ever! How often or regular they will be? I’m not sure. I’m starting off and seeing where this goes, it’s an exciting time for me.
But until next time…
p.s I’ve really got into making these little PROPER amateur videos, so have a little boogie and check out my trip video style!