woensdag 20 maart 2019

London Citytrip 2019

Last weekend, Noshi and me went on a citytrip to London, the city I feel way more at home then this buggery hole of Antwerp.

Especcially Camden, but that is for further down this story...

And we had a lot of things to explore and do, so let`s take a view back on it...

Day 1: The Tower and Jack the Ripper

After arriving at St Pancreas with the Eurostar, we took up basecamp at the Arriva hotel near King's Cross.  A simple hotel and cheap by London standards, this place was good enough for us to sleep and breakfast before we would be away all days anyways.

And so we went on to the first thing on our well-filled menu: the Tower of London.  Now the great thing on going there on a friday afternoon is that there is barely any queing, so we could just walk on to the Crown Jewels and the rest of the exhibits.

Later on that evening, we had a Jack the Ripper walk planned, organised by London walks.  Andy was a great guide, providing us with a lot of "setting" information as well to get a better emergence in the whole period.  One of the top attractions for both me and Noshi we did this weekend.

Day 2: Into the Dungeon, through London to find a ghostly woman

We started off day 2 by taking the tube to Tower, and from there follow the Queens Walk to the London Dungeon.  Along the walk, we stopped at a few things I just wanted to see, being Shakespeare`s Globe Theatre (and thanks to Google Maps, we also went by the location of the original theatre), and the Golden Hinde replica.

After the Dungeon, which was highly enjoyable, we went over Westminster bridge past (the in scaffolding atm) Big Ben to walk through St James Park and that way to Buckingham Palace.

A typical pub meal then followed, and it was time for Hamley's, where Noshi fell in love with the giant plush Porg.

In the evening, we got tickets through one of the discount sale shops for The Woman in Black, a very good and greatly performed horror story, that sent shivers down our spines.

Though the bubbles Noshi grabbed did that as well, 16 GBP for a flute is just incredibly expensive, she almost fainted when she got the bill.

Day 3: Tussauds and the War Museum

The third day, and it was time for Madame Tussauds.  And we both agreed, this was the worst thing of our city trip.  It`s not cheap to get in, and you had to pay two times extra if you wanted to see either the Alien or the Sherlock Holmes rooms, that`s 2x 5 GBP on top of the entry ticket!!!!
It was also incredibly busy (why do they assign timeslots??) and we where actually glad to be out again.  Sure the pieces are nicely made, but half of them you couldn`t even reach due to the masses present.

We hooked up with Adam in the afternoon, a friend of ours on Final Fantasy, and visited the Imperial War Museum.  Very intresting and Adam is a true vault of military knowledge, so no audioguide or guidebook was needed.

We ended at Inamo`s that evening for dinner.  Not to cheap, but the interactive table gave it a nice twist, and the duck was really crispy and tasty.

Day 4: Camden Town babay!

Aaaaah, Camden Town.  If I would ever set up a shop in London, this would be the place.

Also, the Cyberdog store is an experience on it`s own with it`s loud trance music, smoke machines and strobe lights...

It`s also the home of Japan Craft, and while it`s mainpage shows the small shop in the Market, it has a second store as well in the Locks, full of pure anime goodness.  Though i don`t get it who wrote the google review as they apparently no longer sold GunPla:

I couldn`t resist and picked up a Freedom.  At 25GBP, it`s as much as it would be online, but I wouldn`t have the 10+ shipping and customs risk if I went to my regular Hong Kong sources.  And on top, it turned out to be 2 pounds discounted as well, meaning the final tally was 23 pounds.

We ended the afternoon with a meal in late Mss Winehouse "home pub", the Hawleys Arms.

And then it was that sad moment of having to return back to Antwerp, always the hardest part for me even after all those times I was in London... perhaps best illustrated by these greatly matched restaurants next to each other:

But it was a great citytrip, and we still have a lot on our to-do list when we return, but let`s see what that Brexit will be bringing along first for now...