Yesterday, you could read about the first half of the second day I spent in London (that definitely sounds more complicated than needed, haha).. here’s part 2 for you! After the delicious sweets we had at Starbucks in the financial district (and, consequently, after having said a zillion of times: “omg… If I could only make it to work here” / “omg… if I’d only had the same amount of money as the people coming out of that private-elevator-hidden-behind-a-commercial-thingy” by all four of us, we went on to the O2 concert building. Not yet for the concert, but to hop on a cable-ride towards the other side of the Thames. And back. Yea, just for fun and to have some sort of look over the city (it didn’t exactly go over the most beautiful parts of London, no, if you were wondering about that), as a good excuse mainly also to have some rest and sit down for a moment, haha!
When that fun was over, we hopped on a double-decker bus as we just HAD to do that (to despise of Thomas, who had foreseen that the ride would take us about 1.5 hours instead of the 30 minute tube-ride he had anticipated on… Sorry! Touristy stuff ;)). We considered quite some scenes to get a proper picture (photo or it didn’t happen-mentality!) – like asking the driver to stop for some seconds and take a photo from outside.. Well.. ultimately, we set those ideas aside and kinda settled with the one above. The drive didn’t exactly take us through the most beautiful parts of London, but hey… we were on a double-decker! For 1.5 hours!! Haha.
After that, we kind of got hungry from the loooong ride and went searching for a proper fish and chips restaurant. After a quick crossing of yet another Christmas market (
ghehe, forgot the name.. I believe Googled it, it’s Covent Garden), and with a little help of google places and maps, we found what’s indicated as ‘the most renown place for fish and chips”. Sounds good enough for me. The place kind of reminded me of that scene in Harry Potter when Harry and Hermione are at a cafetaria-ish place and suddenly the Death Eaters came in… But then, almost everything there reminded me of a Harry Potter (or Mr Bean, hahaha) scene, so..
After having eaten, we went up to Regent Street to check out Hamley’s Toy Shop. I don’t know how to describe this store, but it mostly is the kind of toy store you’d expect to find in a Charlie & the Chocolate Factory-world. They had cars driving up on the walls, magicians, you could stuff your own teddy bear (<3 <3) and they had personalized alarm clocks that sang something like “Wake up, Hannah! You little sleepy Hannah! So wake up, time to get out of bed! The sun is shining, it’s a beautiful day, so wake up, Hannah, it’s time to play…” Haha, I REALLY wish I had one like that when I was younger, instead of the terrible buzzer that terrorized my mornings when I was younger, haha!
After the toy store, we went to the subway station where some men were handing out the Evening Standard, just like they did that in the old days. I loved that just so much… Those men, standing on both sides of the underground-entrance, yelling “EVENING STANDARD! EVENING STANDARD, PEOPLE!” and handing out the paper to the people entering the underground. So great.
It actually really was the moment that I should start working on my thesis, as I had a really unfavourably planned deadline in the afternoon the day after. However, we decided to test the odds and went last-minute to the Wicked box office to ask for cheap tickets. I actually didn’t expect there were any left for an affordable price (would definitely have been better for my nerves, just like when all the clothes you try on in the fitting room appear to look horrific on you, and you’re actually happy with that, because now you don’t have to buy them…-principle). Anyway, we did get tickets for only 24 pounds. Found out that our seats were’nt the best one could hope for (I mean, we even had the option to hire some binocs, imagine).. It didn’t surpass my experience with Mamma Mia! at Broadway last December, but it was still nice.
After that we had some pizza and wine at our hostel while I was trying to do some work on my thesis. First part was great, the latter kind of a failure anyway,… Ever growing fatigue of last week!
Hot spots of the day:
London Cable Car (The Emirates Air Line, officially)
You can make a trip over the Thames in East London, close to the O2 Arena. Nice to get some rest and see a part of London from up above.
A lot of shops, restaurants but also a place with a great Christmas-y atmosphere 🙂 I liked it a lot to walk around here a bit, enjoy the holiday mood and listen to some of the street musicians there. Don’t mix it up with the neighbourhood with the same name. 😉 Website here.
The Rock and Soul Place
Indicated as one of the best places in London to have fish & chips. Although it looks (for foreigners at least) a bit like an overrated cafetaria, maybe, it’s also super British and the food is indeed very good :). Click here for their website.
The oldest toy store in the world. Their flagship store in London has 7 floors (!!) with all kind of toys that you usually only hear about in books and stories. Great atmosphere, great candies (;)) and the people working there make it extra special with their demonstrations of different kinds of toys in a very Charlie & the Chocolate Factory kind of style.
Go to the box office of the musical of your choice (make sure there actually is a show then) about 20 minutes before the start. They often have relatively cheap tickets left! Be careful to do some research on your seats, haha!