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My Trip to London, by Coffeekid, aged...

Discussion in 'Personal' started by coffeekid, Jan 17, 2016.

  1. coffeekid

    coffeekid Star commenter

    I had to go to London yesterday. Woke up at 4.30am to get the train from Edinburgh for 6.20. Managed to navigate the tube system from Kings Cross whilst carrying a large item, but it was fine. I like the Underground - I love the tiling and all the symbols. Some platforms are better-looking than others. I kept thinking of Peter Ackroyd's "London Under".
    Anyway - the place I had to go was 5 minutes away from Trafalgar Square so once I'd run my errand I was free to be a tourist for a few hours. Went to The National Gallery then had an all-day veggie breakfast and a beautiful cup of tea at a nearby greasy spoon. Made my way back to Kings Cross for my 4pm train.
    I know London's got a reputation for being a bit unfriendly and intimidating, but everyone I spoke to was lovely and helpful. Even the woman on the busy tube train I poked with my sharp cardboard bag. My theory is that London's one of those places that enhances your state of mind. If you feel isolated and a bit lonely, London enhances that. If you feel upbeat and adventurous, then you're in the best place.
    Anyway - I had a good time and felt like sharing. Thanks, London.
    yodaami2, Sillow, RedQuilt and 6 others like this.
  2. cosmosinfrance

    cosmosinfrance Star commenter

    Glad you had a good day CK
    coffeekid likes this.
  3. magic surf bus

    magic surf bus Star commenter

    Interesting. I visited London for the first time in 15 years last year, and the two things that struck me were a) how futuristic the river front had become (especially Docklands), and b) the huge variety of languages I heard spoken by passers-by.

    I lived and worked in one of its outer suburbs for most of the 1980s, so my impression of the city is very much rooted in that period. It was a bit like stepping out a suspended animation unit.
    xena-warrior and coffeekid like this.
  4. coffeekid

    coffeekid Star commenter

    Sitting in the café was fascinating - it was like being in the Star Wars cantina. So many different walks of life and nationalities. I know some people don't like that, but for me, its a novelty. Glasgow is probably the most multi-cultural place in Scotland, and I rarely go there.
    magic surf bus likes this.
  5. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    I love the National Gallery. And how the tube makes everything quite easy get to.
    coffeekid likes this.
  6. coffeekid

    coffeekid Star commenter

    The National Gallery is excellent. I saw several Holbeins, which was worth going for alone.
    RedQuilt likes this.
  7. lindenlea

    lindenlea Star commenter

    I love going to London. We sometimes go for an exhibition or the theatre and take son2 out for dinner. Our train trip takes about 90mins so it's easy. We used to love going from Manchester which only took 2hrs - amazing. I like the tea room in the National Gallery and love the Royal Academy. We tend to just wander round, round eyed, like real country bumpkins!
    coffeekid likes this.
  8. Duke of York

    Duke of York Star commenter

    Many places can be intimidating and seemingly unfriendly until you get used to them. You can't really judge a city until you've lived in it for a year and been involved in what goes on under the surface.

    My feelings about London are mixed. I loved it when I lived close to the centre in the 70s. After I moved out, my visits have been infrequent and each time I go back, something has changed. As msb says, there's been a huge change in the makeup of the population, which has altered London's character to some degree. Many of the haunts I spent my time in have gone, being replaced by venues more suitable for later generations and cultures. You expect that in a vibrant city.

    Glad you enjoyed your day there, coffeekid.
    coffeekid likes this.
  9. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    I lived in London for 9 years and didn't appreciate it then. I love visiting it now. It is easy to get around, there is a lot to see and do and there are some amazing restaurants.
    coffeekid likes this.
  10. Flere-Imsaho

    Flere-Imsaho Star commenter

    Did you encounter any frowsty mop smells?
    Lascarina and coffeekid like this.
  11. Jolly_Roger1

    Jolly_Roger1 Star commenter

    @bombaysapphire Strange, isn't it. We only live about 40 minutes away from Central London but I don't suppose we go there more than every few months, or for something special.
  12. emilystrange

    emilystrange Star commenter

    i love being in london. so much to do! so many favourite places to eat... though really we should branch out and find new places to explore. we tend to only spend the day for shopping, so go to our favourite haunts more than we should. need more time!
  13. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Went to London back in October... loved it, stayed a night...

    Mean to go again sometime... maybe towards Easter.
  14. emilystrange

    emilystrange Star commenter

    we can easily go for the day - it takes less than two hours - but finding a day, and knowing that it's going to end up costing a fair bit (unintentionally) are the problems!
  15. coffeekid

    coffeekid Star commenter

    My return ticket from Edinburgh cost me £30. £30!!!
    East Coast Virgin trains - they had a sale on. Usually it would cost about £200.
  16. emilystrange

    emilystrange Star commenter

    oo crikey. I can go for about that on advance tickets on specific trains and we're much nearer! good deal, that.
    coffeekid and lanokia like this.
  17. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Ruddy hell... cost us £28 and we're only 50 mins north of Kings Cross...

    Good deal!
    coffeekid likes this.
  18. aspensquiver

    aspensquiver Star commenter

    London is lovely. My sister lives in Brighton and while I was down in the late summer, we went "up" to London to see the exhibition Shoes: Pleasure and Pain at the V&A. Earlier in the afternoon we went to Covent Garden so that she could get some boots.
    I have always found people to be friendly - as I have always found in Paris which also has a bit of a rep for being cold.
    On returning to one of the London airports after being on the Continent, I am always struck by how friendly the airport security people are - in contrast to those in the country we have left behind!!
    coffeekid likes this.
  19. GLsghost

    GLsghost Star commenter

    I'm glad you had a good experience in London @coffeekid . I love the place and visit it often, as I have family members who work there and have to go there for training. I find is a really interesting place to be. Will be in Tottenham Court Road area on Friday 22nd January, if any one is around and fancies post-conference drinks! Lima Floral Street beckons! :D

    New area to explore properly: Smithfield and Clerkenwell.
  20. foxtail3

    foxtail3 Star commenter

    I lived in London for a couple of years when I was first teaching. For a Yorkshire lass, it was intimidating and took some getting used to. I also hated the job for quite a while, but once that settled and I started to meet people, it improved. I enjoyed the accessibility of everything from shopping to clubs to museums etc. I lived in Richmond and loved that, although the train journey back to Finsbury Park was tedious.

    I worked in Hillingdon for three years and hated the traffic, which seemed to become even more manic the second you left the M25.

    Surrey and NE Hampshire were the most convenient for getting to London- now, it's not too bad and I enjoy going (rarely) for the day.

    Glad you had a good day @coffeekid.
    coffeekid likes this.

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