As I am writing these lines, I am still not sure if I have already processed the last week. There are still pieces of memories popping up all the time of things I have experienced in those nine days. Already on the way back I thought to myself what the most important moment of the whole journey was for me personally. Even though I could not give an answer to that question to myself back then, I think writing down my thoughts will help to finally settle my thoughts.
Anyways, I would lie if I would say that I could easily pinpoint an event which sticks in my memory the most. Again, so many things happened in those nine days and almost all of them I remember positively. On one hand this is due to the people I was surrounded by, but on the other hand also because of the beautiful sights. But if I had to decide, I would probably take the daytrip to London.
I had been to London the last time when I was about five or six years old. Ever since I wanted to revisit the UK, and this city in particular. So when I heard about the daytrip in the first meeting, it came to me as a pleasant surprise. From that moment on I already had a sort of to-do list in my head, which, among others, included a trip to Buckingham Palace, seeing the Royal Guards and Big Ben. I know, I know, your typical corny visitor attractions, but I still was keen on seeing them.
Already on the way to London I had a feeling that this day was going to get adventurous. It did not take long for this feeling to prove true. As I consider myself a country bumpkin, this city was the total sensory overload for me. And on the first zebra crossing near the coach I almost ended up as the figurehead on the bonnet of a Black Cab. Things continued to get kind of exhausting as we rushed through Central London to the nearest Tube station, in order to get to Victoria Station. Squashing myself into the overcrowded tube carriage was also a special experience for me – again, the country bumpkin in me is speaking here – one I am not looking forward to repeat again in the near future.
I felt almost equally cramped when we finally arrived at Victoria Station and made our way to Big Ben. All the crowds of people did not really give us a feeling of quiet and relaxation – quite the opposite, to be honest. But at least I was able to take some nice pictures without being rolled over by some madman in a cab. Speaking of madman: whilst we were enjoying the nice view onto River Thames, we had the opportunity to witness some of that polite British mentality everyone talks about. I am not really sure about the reason for this incident, but a driver of a scooter decided to make a U-turn on the middle of Westminster Bridge in order to go bonkers and insult some guy in a cab. Road rage par excellence, I have got to admit.
After this special moment it was nice to actually relax at Hyde Park. The sun was shining, I was surrounded by people I like and this whole situation was accompanied by some equally nice music. Suddenly, a grey squirrel appeared and we even had the chance to feed it. Everyone was totally surprised and took pictures of it without hesitation. But things got even better. As we were sitting there and enjoying ourselves, a little girl together with her younger sister appeared and seemed somehow interested in us. Actually, when I think about it, this is probably my most important moment of trip. It seemed that she did not want to let go of us and one by one she took us by the hand, in order to sit beside her parents and her younger sister. As we were having a nice talk with her parents, the girl had such a wonderful smile on her face that could leave nobody of us cold. As one of my fellows put it: children don’t need language to communicate.
Still delighted by the whole situation, we left off shortly after. Back in the crowds of people, we immediately went to Buckingham Palace and in typical tourist fashion stared at the Queen’s Guard. But as the place got crowded again we decided in unison to leave, in order to visit the temple of decadence – Harrods. Awe-struck by the sheer size of the place, part of our group almost became lost as they searched for a toilet. Luckily we found us all again so we could continue strolling around. For the most of us the toy section was the personal highlight, as were reminiscing about our own childhood whilst starring at the exorbitant prices. But I also took the opportunity to buy some tea – I mean, it is British, so it has to be good, hasn’t it?
To round the day off the day we went off to Abbey Road zebra crossing. As we arrived, we successfully annoyed the locals as we were desperately trying to duplicate the famous Beatles photo. But at least we were not the only ones and got some nice shots out of it.
Unfortunately, on our way back stomach upset struck. Some had the smart idea of taking stomach tablets prior to the trip, but others, well, did not. So we not only had to rush back in order to get to the coach in time, but also find a place where they could resolve their private business. Luckily, we got to the coach in time and the sanitary installations of a sushi restaurant nearby came to the rescue.
So all in all it was an eventful day, whom I am not going to forget anytime soon. I have got to admit: if I had the chance to repeat this trip, I would not hesitate one moment!
Soon I will write you again,