I already made the experience several times, that if I live in a city I hardly know anything about it. When I lived in Budapest for a year I visited the sights in the end with my parents, and last year in Munich I didn’t see any important monuments at all. And in London exactly the same happens. I think I wouldn’t see anything, if I wouldn’t have visitors to explore the city with. Luckily my cousin and her boyfriend spent some days here and my parents will come soon too. Even better, that my cousin worked in London as an AuPair as well and knows the city by heart. And as her boyfriend haven’t been to the UK yet we had a lot to do.
They arrived on wednesday midday at Liverpool Street Station. Obviously the first thing we had to do was visiting the Australian at work and having a coffee. They left their luggage there and we went to Spitalfields Market and Brick Lane after having a Pizza at Pizza Union. I didn’t know that Brick Lane can be that peaceful and the shops there so empty. Normally we go there on the weekend and then it’s more like the Central Line in peak times. We had a lot of fun strolling through vintage shops and imagining us in these clothes. Afterwards we went on to Oxford Street and walked from there through Liberty and Carnaby Street to Piccadilly Circus. I have to admit, that I haven’t seen the overground yet. Until then I only changed there several times. Obviously I knew that there is a big advertising screen like on the times square, but seeing it in real is completely different. Dusk was already falling and it was getting dark, but on Piccadilly Circus it seemed to be as bright as day. Crazy! Just as the M&M’s world. M&Ms over M&Ms, statues of famous persons, sights or charakters in form of M&Ms and then the chocolate fragrance in the air. We rushed through the whole shop, we couldn’t stay there any longer as necessary. From the sweet perfumy air we got really hungry. We decided to go to Chinatown, there I have been to the last time 16 years ago, and had some food and a drink at a pub. Unfortunately the wednesday was already over again and I had to work the next day.
On friday I joined them in the city after the drop off. We went to the Tower of London by bus and walked one time around it. Before we visited the exhibition on the Tower Bridge we had a look at the St Katherine Docks and the giant Yachts anchored there. The exhibiton was very interesting and told much about the planning and building of the bridge. Furthermore we had a stunning view over London from up there, but the see-through floor scared me. I felt a bit sick, even if I didn’t even step on the glass part. Luckily the engine rooms are underground. Down there I felt better although the coal-burning stofe room looked a bit like the crematorium of a concentration camp. Unfortunately that wasn’t the only time we felt guilty for being german. After strolling through the museum shop we went on to Poppies Fish & Chips and had a tipical english lunch. Then we took the tube to Camden Town to visit the famous Camden Market. We even saw two houseboats ascending the lock. And of course we couldn’t miss out Cyberdog. I hadn’t been there before either and I was gobsmacked afterwards. I can’t really describe it. It is a shop for – I would say – very futuristic and outlandish clothes and other things. Everything is in fluorescent colour or with gaudy pattern. I think this shop is one of the things impossible to describe, you just must have been there to have an imagination of it. In the evening the Australian and me invited them to Mile End for a dinner. We had homemade burritos and some drinks at the house. After that long day and at least 20 km of walking we three felt exhausted and needed a good sleep. Therefore we agreed on meeting in the afternoon next day, so we could have a sleep in and a relaxing morning.
We met at the Imperial War Museum near Elephant & Castle. This museum was the reason we felt bad for being german the second time. In Germany you learn a lot about the First and Second World War and we get drummed in that something like that should never happen again. Obviously the germans were the bad guys in both wars and I don’t want to trivialise what happened then. But in the exhebition about WW I. I felt guilty for the things that happened, even if I didn’t live by then. We didn’t risk to enter the next exhibition about WW II., we were afraid of feeling awful again. For restoring we went to a nice pub across from Borough Market and had a drink. As I had to work that night we soon had to say goodbye. Unfortunately the saturday already meant saying goodbye in general, because they had a half past 6 flight from Stansted the very next morning.
I had a very nice time with my cousin and her boyfriend and I already miss them. Luckily I see them soon in Germany.