London: A rainy weekend
So I just spent the weekend, Friday-Sunday, in London meeting friends from Slovakia and St Albans. London was the perfect meeting point besides the grim weather. Getting there on a London-Midlands train from Stoke to Euston which cost £24 return which was really cheap!I stayed in the Clink261 Hostel in King’s Cross, costing £44 in total for the two nights which was cheap although I wouldn’t recommend it. The location was amazing, the include breakfast was a money saver but the sleep was atrocious as I work up throughout the night with water all over the wall my bed was against and dropping onto me from the ceiling. The showers were cold and not very clean and the wifi just as bad. So there would not stay there again. Everyone is bound to stay at a bad hostel once. The weekend was miles better though!
Friday I arrived late so I met my friend from Slovakia, Beka, and we wondered around Liverpool Street and some of the markets there and had a coffee in a cafe. Afterwards because I’m a massive Harry Potter fan I went to platform 9 3/4 in King’s Cross although, I didn’t get a picture because it was really busy, and went in the Harry Potter shop. To top off a good day I had Mexican food, a vegetarian burrito, filled with refried beans, guacamoli, salsa, spicy rice and vegetables, lush!
Saturday, as I wasn’t meeting my friends till 1, I took advantage of the time and went to Leicester Square on the tube and walked around there and Covent Gardens before waking along the Thames to parliament. It was absolutely freezing and I got soaked so spent a lot of time buying hot chocolate to keep warm! I got to see the London Eye and HMS Belfast on the walk along the Thames to the Big Ben, where I conveniently arrived at 12 so I got a picture at exactly 12! By far the best sight was Westminster Abbey, the gothic architecture is spectacular and significant in British history. Although I’m not religious or a royalist churches are always something I enjoy seeing as they are always grand.
I met Matt and Beka at M&M world where we had a coffee and walked over to South Bank where we found a huge 2nd hand book stall under the bridge, where we spent 20 miuntes searching for deals. It’s fair to say I got some good deals:
George Orwell’s: Homage to Catalonia &
Anita Desai’s: Fasting Feasting. For £2 each.
We then went to Waterloo station and got the tube to Camden and explored around and had coffee before they both had to go. I then decided to walk around by myself which was a terrible idea because as soon as I did the heavens opened and I got absolute drenched! So I decided to call it a night.
The next day I went to the the Tower of London and Tower Bridge which were both good but I had seen them before so I decided not to hang around. I decided to then go to a part of London which I really wanted to visit, Brick Lane. A highly multicultural area full of amazing street food, including one of the oldest Bagel shops in London, which had a queue out of the door. As well as these vintage clothes shops littered the streets as well as book shops and the part that I really wanted to see, the street art. Vibrant, full of colours and sometimes politically charged I feel like it adds so much culture to the already packed streets. The Street art here was spectacular better than those I seen in Philadelphia and definitely my favourite part of London. It makes you think of the meanings and messages behing each piece of art.
Later I went to Stratford to see the Olympic stadiums which were great although I was disappointed that there were only a few other people in sight and that it was deserted.
I met Beka again before her flight back to Slovakia in the Westfields shopping centre were we had a drink. I got my train back that evening too from Euston which was claustrophobic, I’ll definitely remember to get the train early next time! Overall a great time in London although the weather and hostel were a disappointment but I am in England!
Dublin next in November, December and January! Then Amsterdam in February so I’ll post again soon! Thanks, feel free to comment!
Twitter and Instagram: @JamieArathoon