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Greetings from London

Finland
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Greetings from London

Hello everyone, and greetings from Earl's Court easyInternetCafe! I try to start with my travel report before my one pound internet time has run off. Have had wonderful time (lucky me, wasn't even near the bomb attracks).

DAY 1 Wed 29th June

Had a nice day in a Finnish town called Tampere, because Ryanair flights fly from there, not from Helsinki. Arrived in Stansted late by night and slept in Stansted Hilton.

DAY 2 Thu 30rd June

Came by bus to London. Found the hotel. Ate in an Italian restaurant near Covent Garden. The waitress made a mistake and brought me THE WHOLE lunch menu, I mean TWO starters and TWO main courses. I was wondering a little but tried to eat it all (didn't make it). If something like that happens to you, mind a doggy bag, you save the price of the next London-priced dinner! - The rest of the day I was just walking around and driving around by buses; being in London again! And of course it was raining!

DAY 3 Fri 1st July

Went to Portobello Road, because had got false information and thought it was the market time also on Friday. Well, nice place to walk around anyway. Walked to Holland Park: never been there before and it was really nice (more intime than the big and spacious Hyde Park). Took a photo on little boys playing in similar suits and ties (we don't have those school uniforms in Finland so they seem so funny to me). Drove by bus to Chelsea and went to a vintage clothing shop called Steinberg & Tolkien. I love the vintage clothing, and it's nice just to look around altough it's quite difficult to buy anything and yet be sensible (you don't really need a 1950's glamorous evening dress, do you?) Visited Sir John Soane's Museum in Holborn. It's an interesting place to see how the upper middle-class Victorian familiies used to live.

DAYS 4 - 7, 2nd - 5th July

Trip to Paris. I may be writing about it on Paris forum. Here I just like to tell I was glad I made that Paris trip, and glad I took a little longer time than just a day as I first planned to do.

DAY 8, Wed 6th July

Went to Kew Gardens. It's a lovely place to spent an easy and relaxed "green" day during the busy city days. There is a plenty to see even you are not exactly a gardener (I'm not), different kinds of beautigul gardens. Had a set tea at the traditional, famous tea room Maids of Honour just near Kew Gardens. Walked along Strand on the Green near Kew. There are very nice old houses and traditional pubs there and you can have a drink looking at Thames.

DAY 0, Th 7th July

I was just buying a new Travelcard to go to the tube when all the passengers were allowed to leave the station. I thought a long time that it was just some "normal" case, nothing serious. Then I got a text message from my mother who was very worried, and got to know what's happened.

As I got the message I was near Victoria & Albert trying to catch a bus. I realized that it's impossible so I walked to the museum and spent many hours there.

So, time is running out, have to stop and continue later...

somewhere out there
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1. Re: Greetings from London

Glad you are having a good time in London and hope you enjoy the great weather we are haing this week!

Gdansk, Poland
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2. Re: Greetings from London

Hey Johanna, believe it or not, I've been wondering about you!

Glad you are safe and well. Hope you still have some London time left! Have you been on any 'London Walk" and/or to see 'The Mousetrap'?

I am waiting for the next installment of your trip report :-)

north-east NJ
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3. Re: Greetings from London

Hi,

Sounds like you've been able to enjoy yourself. So glad you didn't get caught up in the horror of the 7th.

Looking forward to reading more.

Finland
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4. Re: Greetings from London

Home again! Helsinki looks so small and quiet after the hazzle of London, and my flat looks so spacious and beautiful after the tiny, simple hotel room...

However, I had a wonderful trip. I love this city and will definitely come back again!

DAY 9 continues

There was an announce in V&A: "Emergency, emergency, for your own safety and in the order of police please come everybody immediately to the Michelangelo gallery." We got to know there was a suspicious package on the street just outside the museum and that everyone was recommended to stay in the museum, not to go out! Well, I never got to know what the package really was. If it had something to do with the same day attacks, we would have heard about it later so I'm sure it was just a harmless package after all. But it was quite thrilling.

When I finally got out from V&A I spent the rest of the day wandering near there in Hyde Park and Kensington gardens and the street of Kensington. If you see a street called "mews" in Kensington or Chelsea (for example Drayson Mews), drop in to see it! They are really picturesque.

DAY 10 Fri 8th July

Most of the tubes did work again. They had did wonderful job to get things in order so soon.

I walked along Charing Gross Road, dropped into the book shops and bought a book. Then I travelled by tube to Warwick Avenue, saw Little Venice and walked along Regent's Canal to see the view over London from Primrose Hill and then to Camden to spend time at the markets.

In the evening I took part into The Old Knightsbridge Village Pub Walk. It was nice; the guide told many interesting anecdotes about living in the wealthy townhouses of Victorian London. I also got to know some young Londoners also taking part into the walk and continued the night together with them in a pub.

DAY 11 Sat 9th July

Slept over the hotel breakfast, which made me feel a little angry with myself. However, after having a bagel and coffee in a coffeeshop in Notting Hill started to feel happy again. Another try for Portobello Road: right time this time. Spent many hours looking at the antique items and enjoying the atmosphere and bought some costume jewellery from and old lady shouting "EVERYTHING FIVE POUNDS! EVERYTHING FIVE POUNDS!" over and over again with such a wonderful accent.

Did some shopping in Kensington before coming back to hotel.

DAY 12 Sun 10th July

Took the ferry from Westminster to Greenwich. Very hot and sunny day, perfect for an along-Thames-trip!

Went to see the meridian thing (I don't know what this exactly is in English but I think you all know it) of course, and also visited National Maritime Museum and Queen's House. My new English friend had told me that V&A is a girls' museum with all its jewellery and costumes and that kinds of stuff. Well, I might say that National Maritime Museum is a boys' museum; don't understand so much about boats and their mechanics so I didn't spend there very long. But the Queen's House's architecture was very beautiful and worth to see.

In Greenwich I also tasted the traditional English steak pie with mashed potatoes in a place called Goddard's Pie and Eel House which the guide book of mine calls "old London curiosity". Also bought there a cherry pie to go, it was delicious!

Had to see the scary Greenwich Foot Tunnel. Wouldn't go there alone after darkness. Then got back to Tower with LHR, crossed the Tower Bridge and walked along the Queen's Walk until I saw the Parliament House and Big Ben and heard it clang. That's a must thing I have to go on every London trip. It makes me feel I'm in London again.

DAY 13 Mon 11th July

On morning visited National Gallery. Worth to see indeed; though I had already visited two big art museums on this trip in Paris I enjoyed National Gallery as well. Then took part in Darkest Victorian London walk by London Walks. I've always been fascinated about Victorian London so these two walks, Old Knightsbridge Pub Walk and this one, was good choices for me and made a good combination: in Knightsbridge we saw wealthy living, on this walk we got to see the darker side of the period. I also liked the guide, Jean; she could make the things she told so livable.

In the evening I went to see The Mousetrap. I remember you, Madge29, told that you didn't like Molly. Well, I know what you mean - why was she shouting all the time? However, I enjoyed the play. I wasn't very scared, I found the play rather funny and amusing. You can see it's been running 53 years and never been really renewed during the decades. It was so pure old-fashioned theatre-making it made it to be a curiosity!

DAY 14 Tue 12th July

Visited Geffrye Museum. Very interesting, well-organised museum. Bought a sandwich and some fruits and Evening Standard and went to Regent's Park to have a picnic and spend some lazy time. Very beautiful park!

Walked along Baker Street to Oxford Street and visited Selfridges. In the big warehouses of London, I like especially the shoe departments. You newyorkers etc. people from big cities may see things like that every day, but for me they are a sightseeing. So many shoes of different kind and different colour in the same place!

DAY 15 Wed 13th July

Hanging around in Knightsbridge and Piccadilly: visited Harrod's and Harvey Nichols, especially the shoe departments (after all there were same shoes in every store - one would have been enough), walked towards Piccadilly through Green Park and happened to see the Changing of the Guard. That's one of the things why I like London, there are so many extremes: you can see so different worlds during a short time, from the relaxed multicultural bazaar-atmosphere of Camden to the extremely conservative and dignified pomp and circuimstance -things in the certain parts of the city.

Had a picnic lunch in St. James's Park, went to get my suitcase on the hotel and then by tube and Stansted Express to the airport. Was in check-in five minutes before it closed.

Next time in London I will at least

- take a trip to Bath (I've been to Cambridge, Lincoln, York and Oxford before, but I'd like to see Bath)

- visit Tate Britain, which I haven't already done

- take more London Walks; there are so many interesting walks and I only had time for two of them!

- be in time on the airport

So see you again, London!

Finland
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5. Re: Greetings from London

Yet one thing for Madge29: I have to tell you I met two Polish people in London! A girl who sold bagels in Bankside and who, heard my awful accent, asked where I'm from and when I answered she said: "Oh, we speak related languages then. I'm from Poland. I knew you must be somewhere near because we have so similar faces!" Another was a young lad I changed a couple of words with in a juice bar after The Mousetrap.