We last came to London two years ago, and my memories are of rushing down the royal mile, so fast, that fotos were out of the question.
This time we have had five nights here, and in that time we both can say that although London is not the place where we would like to love, we could live here and get around the transport system. We feel really chuffed, and understand if nobody else can appreciate it.
The underground is an amazing system, and I lift my hat off to the techno person(s) that thought up of this.
All our travel in London experience was sprinkled with meeting up with people at certain destinations. Up in the morning with the prepared plan the night before over a meal, and away we went. The watch lined up with the sun scenario was not used here, but you did have to know where North was, as there are North and south bound descriptions inside the underground. (Still don’t get that bit of it, but the signs tell you if you have made a mistake). The other thing that you get a feel for, is the times of day to avoid traveling if you are just a visitor. After work is sardine tuna tubes. Seriously major avoidance strategies to be employed at the peak hours between 4.30 and 6.00pm. And I suspect first thing in the morning, we didn’t get tangled there though. Our trip to Heathrow airport was planned to avoid the major junctions like the Victoria one at the lunchtime period. The route was pain free, and my bag wheels lasted the distance.
The unwritten train rules:eyes directed and peoples shoes, keep you space to yourself, no verbal interchange to pass by the time, and smile but don’t expect it to be returned. And the most important one, you must wear white apple ear plugs in your ears, with the little inbuilt speaker, ……. Part of the kit.
Oyster card., pre loaded with rail and road miles, provides you with stress free travel and actually works out cheaper in the long run. By 2 July, there will be no money exchanged on the train and buses, for ticket purchases. So best to adapt now.
The area that we stayed in is Homerton, a lower socioeconomic part of London, which now looking back was a great experience. You can see how the population slowly changed form the street shopping Oxford earners to the benefit livers at the other end.
One late nite from a stage production at Victoria theatre, at the Homerton station exit, a lady bailed me up and asked me if I was okay. I replied that I was waiting for my husband in the dairy. She said ” that’s okay, but don’t fuck around in this part of the neighbourhood on your own”! My first impression that people in this area are fitting for survival in any way that they can. The walk back was in half the time than normal! Ast just read In the paper that 52% of the UK population are getting more from the state than laying in tax. !!
Another fact: the royal family don’t pay tax! How do they not?
Another one: set aside: is where the UK government stopped people from producing from the land. Was abolished completely in 2004.
Richmond park was an experience. High in the southern end of London, we could look back and see the London eye and the city! Amazing. Red deer occupied the park, and the walkways and roads supported cyclists and cars that were only allowed a 20mph speed. When we went there with a friend, we we’re talk how the park is owned by the royals, and we are allowed to enjoy the pleasure of walking I. The park. I think that a lot of London parks are lent back to the mere mortals. I am not sure I would live well bowing to royalty here. Everywhere you look there are the royal symbols, Westminster abbey, church, cathedral , the palace, the royal drive, the horses, the list never ends. Perhaps if I was born here, I would have a different attitude. Who knows. Kingston, a lovely city. A good place to commute from, as the train station is right there and accessible right to the middle of London. Lovely huuuuge department stores, that go up five and six levels and the rest. Who needs to go into Oxford street!!!!
The Thames is the major attraction is this place, river cruises from one end of the city to the other, where Hampton court is situated. We never went in, but did go around the gardens, the veggie garden: amazing. Can see this being appealing to Waipukurau and surrounding villages!
The surrounding gardens were locked in by a huge stone wall all the way around the estate. A hive of activity as a little way down they were preparing for a garden show of some sort, so the part that had deer roaming around seemed slightly out out as they took refuge from the traffic coming and going, under the trees out of the road. It is still amazing how in the middle of the busiest country in the world they have parks with live deer running around. (All lent to by royalty).
Ast found his cigar case in Victoria , and I got a pair of shoes. These are our treats from London. And the view over the London countryside.
The Billie Elliot show was great. Not quite the explosion of vocal singing glory, but the story line,message, and amazing dancing skills bought its own power to the stage. A bit of a tear jerker for Ast.
As we leave London and all it’s activities, I am impressed that people can operate in this hub. The London news will take on a different flavour on the TV news now. And looking forward to some Wimbledon news, which there seems to be little of.
Some flavours of London, sorry but all the thousands of photos can’t be shared here. There are just so many.
Buildings, churches, and me and Nelson Mandela.
Will keep adding to this post well after I get home, so don’t go away just yet.