A study of London: No.1 – Views

So, here it is, finally, after much thinking and writing and sorting through pictures – London post No. 1. As promised, it’s all about views!

All pictures courtesy of M, my fellow traveler! Cheers, mate!

Almost everything in London was exciting and interesting and – obviously, because this was my first time in this city – new (for evidence, see the 280 pictures M took!). So writing about views should be a bit redundant because nearly every look produced a ‘postcard view’, a sight, something a bit grander than a mere look.

The most striking views could be caught from higher places, like Parliament Hill..

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or the Royal Observatory in Greenwich Park…

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…but also in surprising glimpses where I didn’t expect them. The Gherkin seemed to pop up in the most curious places, behind other buildings, amidst foliage and more exposed while viewed from the Southbank…

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… and the steps in front of the National Gallery provided a surprising angle of Big Ben.

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Even before arriving I was sure I would like London. Looking on the map back at home, there were lots and lots of place names and streets sounding familiar because I’ve read about them. I drove my travel companion M nuts with this ( he was a lot more sceptic about London and always rooted for Amsterdam as the winner. He is now a staunch supporter of all things London, apart from the ghastly coffee they served at our guesthouse, but that was easily remedied by Costa:

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This coffee was a sight in itself 😉

But back to the views! London is filled to the brim with historic sites and beautiful old buildings next to high-rise glass and steel structures and my overall impression was that this mixture worked very well.

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The buildings at Canary Wharf looked even more futuristic than those in the City…

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I don’t think I’ve ever seen a river as dirty as the Thames (and bear in mind that you could once pop your films into the Rhine and fish them out fully developed 😉 ). On our last day in London I bought a German newspaper (Die Süddeutsche) which featured an article about a British comedian (German article) who swam in the Thames for eight days to raise money for charity and was accompanied  by BBC Radio 1 with Abba and the sound of a toilet flushing… But despite this walks by the river and the views from the bridges were among my favourite moments in London.

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We came back in the evening to see the city lights from Waterloo Bridge…

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…and couldn’t resist a few touristy shots…

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So, we’ll definitely be back next year to explore and experience the things that didn’t fit into our week! See you, London!

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Next up: London post No.2 – Curiosities

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I’ve got news for you…

I can’t seem to get back into a regular blogging habit (if I ever had one…) and this trend translates into other parts of my everyday life. I haven’t cooked a proper meal in weeks (which means I’ve lived on take-out and sandwiches) and I have a really hard time getting into a work flow with my dissertation research. So, what did happen if I can’t get anything done?

Good news #1

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I finally got rid of my old sofa which was A: beyond ugly (think muddy grey 80s design with no sidearms) B: uncomfortable to the point of torture C: too short even for little me.
This gorgeous and cushy sofa came to my top floor flat thanks to IKEA and even made me nod off in front of the TV once.

Bad news #1

is directly related to good news #1:

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Yesterday’s mail contained the new IKEA catalogue in which IKEA happily announced a reduced price for the sofa shown above. This means I paid nearly 100 € more because I bought it one measly month too early.
(This is an experience I usually take in stride when it comes to cds and books and only associate with my best friend M. who has been known to either whine for hours if he paid too much for a record or wander around with a maniacal grin if he paid less is another store.)
But this?! Bad IKEA!

Good news # 2:

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Finally, a little bit of knitting! This should become a ‘Celery cardigan’.

Possibly bad news #2:
My gauge is slightly off although I already switched to a smaller needle size. Since I couldn’t bear to knit a THIRD swatch I’m following directions for a size smaller. I still hope it will somehow fit me.

Good news #3:

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We’re leaving for a week in London next Wednesday! Since we’ve never been there before, M. and I will do most of the tourist things although we’ll limit ourselves to one museum per day for the sake of our nerves and backs. As for a non-touristy thing, we have tickets to see ‘Toots & the Maytals’ at Brixton Academy while we’re there. Yay!

Bad news #3:
My back started hurting about a week ago and I feel like I’ve been squeezed into a very tight straightjacket. This could spell disaster for the London trip: Hotel beds + walking around a big city all day = major strain to my back. I’m packing Ibuprofen, hot patches and my hot water bottle and hope for the best!

Next stop: London, St. Pancras 🙂