It took me again by surprise. 7 am and I am in the airport half asleep, sitting in one of the most comfortable seats I’ve ever had in a airplane until now. The captain updates us, from time to time, with information regarding our arrival time, weather and altitude. On the window I can see below the North Sea and small lights, which for sure are from ships, maybe one of the them the ship we’ve been too last year. This time I am alone.
7 am and I am in London City Airport. Small and cozy, with crew members having a cigarette outside, the airport is not empty at this hour. The same in the train I am taking to get to Aldgate neighborhood, where my friend is staying, using the Oyster card I still have since our first trip in London. It’s Saturday, but in some professions being the weekend doesn’t mean much, people are going to work like in normal days – a thing my parents for sure will understand.
I get out at Shadwell and using GPS I walk on the narrow empty streets. The houses remember me more of Ipswich than of London, but as soon as I get to the main street the immense buildings are striking me with a flash back. Suddenly, 2 double deck buses are approaching and I feel a little bit energized, since I enjoy seeing the red “bug” passing near me.
The two days spent in London, together with my high school friend, were more for wandering and speaking than for touristic attractions. We preferred parks and walking instead of museum and high attractions. Even so, I couldn’t miss Borough Market – one of the thing we’ve missed 2 years ago because of a full stomach. The food was OK, but not extraordinary. From Borough Market we’ve came back on the other side of Thames, and walked to St. James Park, Green Park and Hyde Park. I can’t estimate the number of squirrels, but, follow my advice, take with you some (pea)nuts and you will have good friends in these parks!
From Hyde Park we’ve followed the street to Marble Arch, where people were gathering in the area for singing. Oh, and after… Saturday evening, we’ve entered Oxford Street, extremely crowded with stores opened, people entering, searching, buying. I was already awake for 16 hours and the throng just exhausted me. Good thing that Soho was somehow close by and I managed to freshen up with a Stella Artois, a beer I am not easily finding in NL.
And now. How can I forget about Halloween? It’s not a tradition I like or find amusing, but that night in Soho!… I used to read about the drunks from England, I always thought it’s a cliche and I still do in principle, but you can not imagine the amount of puke on the streets! It was almost hard to walk in the area . So, after we admired some costumes and realized it is already 23:00, we decided to slowly walk back to Aldgate. And you can imagine our surprise when we met on the street a fox, a real one! She was kind of scared, but we’ve intersected for 3 times, until she went to the opposite direction.
On the next day we’ve enjoyed the extra hour by more sleep, ending up having a English breakfast at around 11. It was almost impossible to walk after the huge glass of cider, but I managed to get to Big Ben, just to wish to leave the area because of the crowds. St. James Park was awaiting with birds and squirrels and after a stroll around them we’ve headed to Victoria Station, from where my train was leaving to Gatwick Airport. Goodbyes are always hard, so only kisses and hugs were there and I embarked on the expensive train, which passed through nice neighborhoods of London I would like to visit some day. And like they wanted to fix the sadness, the guys from the gate discovered with 20 minutes before departure time that in the airplane there were no crew members!