Exploring the Brit Capital: London (Day 1)

My first Eurotrip of the year is already two months ago but I forgot to mention my stay in one of the greatest cities of all: London!

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After being to the Brit Capital in 2011 already (read more on my first adventure here and here), I had always wanted to return and give this fabulous town another chance to catch up on some of the things I missed out on. Three days in 2011 were awfully short but unfortunately I didn’t give it too much longer in 2016, either. Well, the intention was to meet old friends and take some great long exposures at night time – all of which I got to do after all.

Visiting London in the middle of February was certainly an experience. For some reason, this grey island never gets extremely cold in the winter months, which worked in my favor when visiting during one of the coldest months of the year. Indeed, it was quite comfortable to be walking the streets and not having to bundle up for a change (especially after the six days in Iceland and some snowy weeks in Germany). London showed its fabulous sunny face for most of the time. Except for during the first and last couple of hours, when it rained, but after the harshness of Scotland I had already grown used to wind, rain, and sleet.

I think New York does it better...
I think New York does it better…

I stayed once again close to King’s Cross. Perhaps a 10-minute walk from the iconic train station – and also in vicinity to the British Museum. It was quite nice to walk from here straight to Tower Bridge, which took me almost two hours, even though it could be done in about half of that time. On my walk over there, I had to stop at almost every sight I saw and re-evaluate if I had seen it during my first stay and if I was interested in checking out more of it during the day. Things like the St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Museum of London were not on my list anymore so it was good to walk past them on my first eve.

Iconic London streets
Iconic London streets
Summing up the cab and bus feel of London in one picture
Summing up the cab and bus feel of London in one picture

Tower Bridge during night fall is quite magical. It’s next to the City Hall building and when walking over the London Bridge, I had a full view on both. The lights of both the bridge, the short town skyline and City Hall made for a great view. I can only imagine how romantic it must be to be visiting during the Christmas holidays or some other major festive time.

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After slowly strolling towards Tower Bridge, I mesmerized at the fabulous boats and the grandeur of a bridge this old and still standing. I got quite a few snaps until the rain came pouring down and I had to call it the quits, unfortunately. But until then I got this epic shot of traffic pouring out of the portals of the bridge – quite a grandiose view indeed. The rain supported the mood of the entire trip so far – it wouldn’t be proper Great Britain without the one or other rain storm, right?

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A selfie in front of Tower Bridge
A selfie in front of Tower Bridge

For dinner I caught up with my friend Oscar, whom I knew from old New York City times. He is currently doing his Master’s degree (although almost finished by now) in the center of London and originally hails from Ireland. We met in the Oxford Circus area and decided to stroll along towards Soho. In between us and there was something similar to a restaurant row: One bar and food establishment next to another, offering a variety of different eats from several countries and nationalities. Since the German menu didn’t look too appealing to me, we settled on Zizzi, which is a great Italian fusion cuisine with amazing variety and prices. Oscar got a Pizza Rustica while I chose a pasta. I actually managed to go back on a different night and tried one of their pizzas, too, which was really one of the best I’ve had in a while.

Pizza and wine on our first night out
Pizza and wine on our first night out
Loved catching up with you, my friend!
Loved catching up with you, my friend!

After dinner we still had some time and plenty of things to talk about. We therefore went ahead and took the subway to Picadilly Circus. On our way up and down the steps we saw some pretty drunk youngsters already, although it couldn’t have been later than 9pm. Oscar mentioned that everyone got drunk way too early in England and that’s why most of the pubs remained closed after 11pm on a weekday by law. We really only had one drink at a cool English joint until they rang the bell and decided to kick everyone out. What a short night for the peeps in London and definitely not what I was used to from Germany (and even New York).

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Drunk teenies before midnight.
Drunk teenies before midnight.

The first few hours had been quite eventful already and I was looking forward to some sunny two days to follow.

London - more to come!
London – more to come!

Find more pictures of London at night and day under lauraskellerphoto.

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