zaterdag 3 april 2010

london life

I wasn't planning to do a very long London post, but I made so many pictures! So I'll just put up my favourites here and tell you the story behind them.

Notting Hill was fan-tas-tic. It was the very first place we went to go shopping (after a very long bus drive) and in the first shop we went into, on Portobello Road, I immediately bought three dresses (one of which is shown in the post before this)! The houses were all pastel-coloured, which made the street look sunny even in the dreary London weather, and there were all these little shops with cheap dresses that may have been very unoriginal in the stylish London - every store there sold the same dresses - but I have never seen before in Holland.
This was the 'lovely' view from the hostel window. The hostel itself, with the mandatory noisy bunk beds that are the cliché in every school trip, was as grubby as its view, although I was lucky because I slept in one of the better rooms - we actually had hot water. And windows.
On the first night there we ate pizza, which was nice. The restaurant had quite a fastfood-like name (something like Pizza Express I think?) but it was just like a regular Italian restaurant and my pizza with chicken and peppadews was delicious.
On the second night I ate sushi for the first time in my life - and decided at the spot that it would my favourite food, haha. Finding a place to eat on the third night was exhausting, because we were so tired our feet couldn't carry us any more, but finally we ended up in a place called Shaftbury's, on Shaftbury Avenue - I can definitely recommend it if you ever go to London; it was very affordable for such good food (I paid somewhere around 26 pounds for an entree, the main course and two drinks, and everything was delicious) and the staff was very nice (and, in the case of one waiter, very handsome).

We saw so many London Underground stations. You take the tube for literally everything in London, because it's so fast (and cheap as well - 1 pound a day for us, because we had group tickets). One time we had the choice between walking 5 minutes or taking the tube, and guess what? We took the tube.

And oh, the shops. Seeing Topshop on Oxford Street was enough to make me scream and run towards it, but it was just so expensive compared to the other stores I saw that all I bought there was some accessories. Some other stores in Oxford Street were great too, of course, especially Primark - so much better than the Dutch one! - but, as any Londoner probably could have told me, the greatest things were to be found in little shops.

Camden Town, of course, provided enough cute little shops to keep us occupied for some time. I rather liked the atmosphere there, as well - a bit more alternative and open-minded than the rest of London.

Seeing as we slept an average of five hours a night and were on our feet all day, paid a visit to Starbucks quite a few times. We do have Starbucks here in Holland, but only on the Central Stations of Amsterdam and Rotterdam and it's always so busy there you feel like you're in for some kind of special treat instead of just getting coffee. In London, however, there was a Starbucks on every corner so you could just pop in and get a moccha frappuccino and walk out again - and feel like a celebrity, strutting on the streets, sipping from your Starbucks cup.

Of course we did a bit of sightseeing too. Being faithful Harry Potter fans, we went to see Platform 9 3/4 at King's Cross station, for example; but most of the sightseeing went like this: 
Get out of the underground station...
.. make some pictures...

... and return to Oxford Street.
Some other things we saw were:
Piccadilly Circus
the British Museum
Tower Bridge
and Covent Garden (followed by a rude word in Dutch, haha).
The main thing I noticed about British people was that they were all so incredibly polite and courteous. Everyone said 'sorry' if you bumped into them, even if it was your fault; everyone stood neatly in a row at the right on the escalators in the tube stations, so that people that were in a hurry could pass; and when we were at Lush and our cards didn't work, the guy behind the counter apologized a thousand times, even though there was nothing he could possibly have done about it. I guess the English are just raised to be much more well-mannered than the Dutch people I'm accustomed to - or maybe the Dutch are just rude?
We were told by our teachers that seventeen-year-olds cannot possibly enter any pub in London, but we got in without a problem, and there we chatted with three very nice Swedish guys. When I checked my pictures later, I noticed you can see two of them in the back of this photo (that was taken more as a yay-I-got-into-a-pub-picture). After the pub closed at an inhumanely early hour - half past midnight - we talked with them outside for about an hour or so, thus drastically diminishing our chances of talking to an actual British guy - I had the mission to chat with a native British speaker to check if he would notice I was Dutch, but the only English I heard was when I talked with the people who work in shops. 
After the obligatory phonebooth-pictures and in the possession of a bulk of new clothes (in my case: five pairs of shoes, seven dresses and a lot of accessories. Prepare for loads of outfit posts), we drove home the whole night, leaving at midnight and arriving at 11 the next morning, which was quite hellish for me because tired as I was, I just can't really sleep in a bus. I do feel like I haven't even begun to see all there is to London, but a school trip was a good place to start, because you can do everything together and it's so much fun. In short - I love London!

2 opmerkingen:

  1. You look as if you had a great time! I was in London last week as well! Did you see any theatre? Its so funny to see we went to so many of the same sights and places!
    check out my london post as well

  2. Het ziet er echt leuk uit!! Alleen zit er geen starbucks op rotterdam centraal hoor :p Utrecht moet dat zijn :D