Anytime I travel somewhere with Jorge, my boyfriend, and as we have very different tastes – I go more for museums and architecture and he likes more football and to enjoy things slowly – we usually split the time, so both can see things we like. The last time I went to London was 12 years ago and I thought it was time to go back there and for him to know this amazing city. We stayed with two portuguese friends who live there. What did we do?
Half Day: We arrived in the afternoon and we just had time to take the metro to Picadilly Circus (which had all the screens off…), before our friends would arrive home. From there we walked to Trafalgar Square and then to the Big Ben where we took the metro home. It was freezing (February) and raining…
Day 1 (Jorge’s): We left from Oval to Chelsea to visit the stadium. The metro had some problems so we had to cross the neighborhood on foot, which was one of the highlights of the trip. It was sunny and the houses are so beautiful. From there we walked to the Natural History Museum, also walking through this amazing neighborhoods! We spent there more than three hours and the old building was closed for restoration Even if we were really tired we still walked to the Royal Albert Hall and to the Albert Memorial in front of it. We stayed a bit in Hyde Park until the security guards asked us to leave because they were closing.
Day 2 (Mine): We decided to walk from the house to the Big Ben (40min walk). The idea was to walk the whole South Bank until Tower Bridge, except we crossed because I wanted to visit Covent Garden. I was very excited about it because the first time I was there, with my mom and sister, there were some musicians playing and they made me play the cello, it was so funny! On our way we still had the opportunity to see the changing of the horse guards at Whitehall street. We were freezing, starving and a bit tired and though we took some sandwiches we decided to go inside somewhere to warm up and sit. We found Pret-a-Manger, a food chain there is all around London, with not that expensive prices for London. Jorge was in love, he didn’t want to live. Then we walked to Somerset House and we found out that in there, there are places with sofas as tables and people were eating from their Tupperwares… so that is also an option if you are freezing and want to sit down! We crossed again to the South Bank and my host friends, one of them is also an architect, told me I had to visit the National Theater. So we did, but while I was taking photos Jorge noticed that Denzel Washington was speaking that afternoon… so we bought the tickets to see him, as he is one of Jorge’s favorite actors. We still had some hours so we continued to the Tate Modern, to see the extension of the museum by Herzog & de Meuron, to go up to the free panoramic floor and to cross the Millenium Bridge. We then walked back to watch Denzel (you can hear it here) and then, as one of our friends works in a pub (Prince of Wales, go there and say hi!) we ended the day there, drinking some local beers and resting from the long day!
Day 3 (shared): In the morning I wanted to go to Notting Hill and Portobello Road and so we did it. It was gray and cold and there wasn’t that many people in the streets so we got bored and decided to go to the City. I still convinced him to go out at Saint Paul’s Cathedral and to walk a bit from there. We ate again at Pret-a-Manger and then we walked to London Bridge just to see the Tower Bridge from closer. Then we walked to the Leadenhall Market, a pearl hidden in the middle of the skyscrappers, and with a lot of places to eat and shop. As we were next to the Gherkin I couldn’t let Jorge take me anywhere else… and fortunately he liked it too! The last thing we did was to walk to Liverpool Street Station to take the metro to Arsenal to see the stadium. I still wanted to go to Kings Cross Station, for him to see Platform 9 and 3/4 but he was too tired. The day ended beautifully with us cooking a mexican dish for our hosts. The next dawn we were flying to Frankfurt.