London weekend trip
London is a great city to visit. Having been there quite a few times now, the experience is always different. To celebrate my dad becoming special professor at the Leiden University, we decided it was time for a city trip.
My father, brother and I decided on staying in the beautiful St. Ermin's hotel, right in the heart of Westminster. A nice old fashioned hotel, on crawling distance from Buckingham Palace. My hotel room had a view of New Scotland Yard.
We spent a lot of time walking through the city, seeing the sights, and actually for the first time ever, took a bus tour of the city. The bus tour was a surprisingly good decision, as it finally tied all the landmarks together in such a way that you actually get an idea of how the city is put together. A view usually lacking when visiting everything by tube.
- Arriving at the Hotel with a Lamborghini parked in front. It makes you feel like you made the right choice.
- Breakfast at Pret-a-manger. The Netherlands lack a nice lunch or breakfast chain like that. The food is mostly handmade, natural and very fresh. It's a bit pricey, but so totally worth it.
- Creepy North Ireland Ulster hooligans marching through the streets on Sunday. A very fascinating thing in fact; that protests seem to need to have a marching band.
- Bookshops! I love to read, but mostly in English. Unsurprisingly London offers a lot in very large bookshops. I bought some nice reading in Oxford street.
- Taking night pictures. One evening, late, I decided to take my camera and a tripod, and take some photographs of Big Ben and such. The square was lovely quiet, and it's nice to just have to walk a few minutes to get there.
- So many new buildings!
At my brothers suggestion we spent one day going to the Harry Potter experience. I wasn't a fan of the Harry Potter movies, but I am a fan of great setbuilding. And I wasn't disappointed. The experience consists mainly of a museum of all the set pieces and props used in the movies. It's great to see them up close, and to a surprisingly high degree, hold up to scrutiny. It's all incredibly detailed.
Getting home turned out to be a bit of an issue; there was a general public transport strike on the day we left. Keeping a watchful eye on events as they unfolded over a few days, we finally decided to just book a taxi in advance, and take enough time to get out of the city, which was predicted to be completely gridlocked. Driving through the city of London in a taxi is an experience in itself. Dodging tourists and weaving the car through tiny streets, the good man managed to get us to the airport, somehow.
Browse through some pictures in this related photo album.