22. Diary Entry: London


Dear diary,

on thursday we all went to London together. It wasn’t the first time I’ve been to London and I actually have been to London again since. However, it was a new experience to go with friends I had just made a couple days before! Thursday was already a couple days into the excursion, but I was still surprised how many people you can meet and become friends with in such a short amount of time, so I was already pretty happy. And when I learned that some of them had never been to London or England in general, I was pretty stoked to show them why I love England so much. And what better opportunity than a trip to the famous city of London?

We left Canterbury a bit later than originally planned, around 10am, because the night before a group of people – to which I definitely didn’t belong – were late for the bus from Eastbourne (another great trip I’d love to talk about). After a few hours and some time in heavy traffic we finally arrived and got dropped off at St. Paul’s cathedral. After getting our day tickets for the tube, Lena, Florian and I joined Olli and the Julia’s for our adventure through London.

Our first destination was Piccadilly Circus, a place that has left an impression on me when I first saw it and still amazed me, even after seeing it several times. It’s hard to explain if you haven’t been there, but you feel like you’re in the middle of a million people and life just flows around you. Jesus, that sounds stupid. Anyway, after arriving there we debated what to do. We all agreed that we were hungry, so we set out for a Pizza Hut Olli knew. On the way there our group had already taken a liking to the wonderful city of London. Especially when we found the Pizza Hut and it turned out that they offered an All-You-Can-Eat Buffet with refillable drinks for a mere 10£! I already knew London and its attractions, so this was probably my highlight of the day. Still, our day didn’t end there (although we did spend a surprising amount of time there).

Next we decided to walk to Trafalgar Square. On our way through London we encountered many street performers, most of them being incredibly good. While we were eating at Pizza Hut for example we got to listen to a musician playing Ed Sheeran songs quite impressively. However, there were some performers I didn’t quite understand. In front of the M&M World there was a crowd of people just watching a guy yelling “Hey!” and “Yeah! Come on!” over and over while walking around a mat on the floor. We stood and watched for a couple minutes expecting him to do something, but he really just walked around until his music stopped, then he played the song again and did the exact same thing. He was still doing it when we left Pizza Hut more than an hour later! I still wonder if there was an actual performance at all… Either way, Trafalgar Square again had some very impressive street musicians and we stopped there to listen and watch for a while.

Next we decided to go to Tower Bridge, take a couple pictures there and then go on a boat tour down the Thames to Westminster. Said tour was surprisingly cheap and we didn’t have to wait long either. As we got on the boat we learned that many of the others on the boat were tourists from Germany as well. Generally it is amazing how many people from Germany you can find just walking around. Selective hearing just picks up any German word spoken or even just the accent and you get the impression there’s more Germans than English there. Unfortunately many of them didn’t understand every joke the tour guide made, which is a shame because he was actually quite funny while being very informal at the same time. He definitely earned that one Pound I gave him after the tour. Funny enough we also saw a girl with a Uni Siegen bag who just happened to be on vacation with her parents. Small world huh?

Our trip concluded with a tour to the “alternative” part of London, Camden Town. We made it in time to walk around Camden Market for about an hour and it was a really cool experience. Some shops and stands sold some very interesting stuff, but most just sold shirts and similar things with similar prints, although some of them were really cool. I think Camden Market is a place where you could spend an entire day and still find things to do at the end of it. The various food stands also all looked very tempting, and most of them were already closed. I came to London again two weeks later and again travelled to Camden, but earlier in the day. The amount of food stands there was overwhelming and the food samples they handed out were straight up mind blowing. On the thursday however I settled with a burrito from a Mexican stand run by a lovely couple. I had never tried a burrito before and I must say; I was not disappointed. After we had eaten we found the “Cyberdog” store, a store selling all kinds of fun gadgets, alternative accessoires, rave clothes and, hidden underground, other “fun gadgets” for adults only. We spent some time in there until it was time to head back to St. Paul’s to catch the bus. This time we had to be on time, because the bus couldn’t wait again. Luckily everyone who was meant to be on the bus was there even before they were supposed to, so the day ended well as well.

All in all it was an amazing day I won’t forget for a long time. I’m thankful for the friends I spent the day with, and of course all the friends I made before who, told me all about their day in London.