London 2008

Visiting London had been on my radar for a very long time, and in May of 2008 I finally got the opportunity to visit one of the world’s most exciting cities. On my first day I started with a walk through the Clerkenwell neighbourhood, and as a railway buff, I was excited about a visit to two of London’s historic train stations: St. Pancras and King’s Cross. A stroll through the colourful and eclectic Portobello Market was next, followed by a visit to upscale Notting Hill and London’s Little Beirut.

In the afternoon of day 1 I took in Hyde Park, the Financial District with the beautiful and historic Leadenhall Market, admired “the Gherkin” (one of London’s most iconic buildings) up close and visited the historic Liverpool Street Station before heading for dinner at a nice restaurant in Walthamstow Village. I capped off the evening with a stroll past hustling and bustling Leicester Square, the busy streets of Chinatown and took in the night-time action on Piccadilly Circus.

To get a better lay of the land on Day 2 I hopped on the Number 11 bus with my local expert Andrea and we rolled past sights such as St. Paul’s Cathedral, Victoria Station and Westminster Cathedral before exiting at Buckingham Palace where we witnessed a big parade and the Changing of the Guards. At mid-day we admired Big Ben striking noon and embarked on a sightseeing cruise on the Thames River. On the boat cruise we got to see the many famous London sights: the London Eye, the Parliament Buildings, Tower Bridge and Canary Wharf before we exited at Greenwich, location of the famous Greenwich Meridian. In the mid-afternoon we joined a guided walking tour through London’s East End which also educated us about the gruesome tales of Jack the Ripper.

Day 3 was awaiting us with one of the most exciting nature adventures in the city: a sun-rise kayaking experience on London’s Regent’s Canal. Despite the early starting time of 5:30 am we got to enjoy the serene beauty of London’s canal system in the early morning. In the afternoon we went on a guided walking tour of Southall, one of London’s most colourful South Asian inspired neighbourhoods where we got to sample some delicious Indian cuisine and did some shopping.

Finally I had succeeded in getting to London after my one day delay in Salzburg. I had spent about a week in Austria and was scheduled to fly to London during the late evening of… Read more.

After a busy morning exploring Smithfield Market, two historic train stations (St. Pancras and King’s Cross), an enjoyable stroll through the world-famous Portobello Market, an interview with one of the organizers of the Notting Hill… Read more.

Our second day in London greeted us with brilliant sunshine, and even though it was still early May, temperatures in the mid twenties (Celsius, of course) were in store for us. Andrea and I started… Read more.

It was barely mid-day by now and we had already seen so much. Our ride on the Number 11 bus had introduced us to some of the city’s main sights from the comfort of the… Read more.

It’s amazing what you can pack into a day: our sightseeing tour on the Number 11 bus had introduced us to some of London’s most important sights. During our walking tour we explored Buckingham Palace,… Read more.

Our last day in London had arrived, far too quickly I might add. My travel partner Andrea and I had already spent two action-packed days in this cosmopolitan metropolis which included explorations of Portobello Market… Read more.

Our last day in London had arrived. After our serene and peaceful early-morning kayak tour on Regent’s Canal we freshened up quickly, grabbed a bite to eat and got ready for our final adventure in… Read more.