London calling

Typically Englisch: Rain, afternoon tea and cucumber sandwiches, red double decker buses and telephone booths, baked beans on toast or fish&chips, Notting Hill, pubs and binge drinking, red mail boxes, driving on the wrong side of the road, Sherlock Holmes, Scotland Yard and of course Her Majesty the Queen of England.

Lndn_Rain
Regent Street | London in the rain – what else?!

Day or night, London is always busy and there is always something to do. If shopping, sightseeing or indulging in the London lifestyle the city is pulsating. Though it is said that it is always raining in England, this time I got lucky. Sunshine but fierce winds dominated my stay. While I thought 15 degrees would feel like spring, in London it is still freezing cold.

Lndn_Belfast Tower Bridge
A sunny view of the river Thames with slight overcast. Photo taken from London Brigde towards HMS Belfast and Tower Bridge.

London has a lot of great architecture and each structure comes with a name. There is the Gherkin, the Walkie-Talkie, the Shard and the Cheesegrater, all these post-modern high rise buildings peak out next to old Landmarks such as the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, Kensington Palace, Trafalgar Square, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Buckingham Palace and many more. There is so much to see that you just have to come back to be able to take it all in.

Lndn_Collage
From left: Constitution Hill, the Gherkin (above), Notting Hill’s Portobello Road and Picadilly with a typical black cab and red bus

This city has a lot of charm. There is a lot you can explore by foot around the Thames and once one worked out the underground system you are good to tour and explore further parts of the city. The ticket system with the Oystercard is easy to use. Once you purchased the card and topped up some credit you just swipe as you go. When leaving the underground or entering the bus, you see a balance statement of your card. Leftover credit as well as the 5 pound deposit for the card can easily be transferred back to your credit or debit card. For transportation from any airport into the city and back allow 40 to 60 minutes.

Lndn_St. Paul's
view of St. Paul’s Cathedral from Millenium Bridge
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