London Baby

Let’s start at the beginning... I went to London to visit my friend Catherine who i met during my stay in Valencia. It was a blessing to explore the city with her as a local guide, because you experience the city on an whole other level. You get to see the most beautiful and unique spots. Fine places where most tourists never go.

On Thursday I took a flight from Eindhoven to London Stansted. For me it was exciting, because I would arrive in the evening and I didn’t know the city at all. I also had to take a train and a metro to get to Catherine. On the airplane I met a really nice girl. She was also traveling alone and we started talking. Before I knew it we landed in London. Only 45 minutes of flying and I was there. The girl I met also had to take the train and she assured me that everything would be fine and that I could come with her.

So we took the train together and we talked about what she was going to do in London. Apperently she had a boyfriend there and she left Holland to move in with her boyfriend permantly. I immediatly felt a connection, because next year I will also move to another city: Valencia. This is what I like so much about travelling alone. You get the chance to meet so many different people, with different stories. And somehow without knowing each other that well, you have a connection. And those people teach you things about life, that no one else can teach you at that moment. I believe it has to be like that. You meet those people for a reason. They help you grow.

As soon as I arrived in Brixton Catherine picked me up at the metro station. And I was very glad she did.. Because there were a lot of drunk people on the street, and also some unique characters that you really don’t want to meet at night, alone.. ;-) We arrived at her appartement and she showed me the room where I could stay. Wow what a nice room it was. Catherine is so sweet that she gave me her room to sleep in. With my own bathroom. Can you believe it?

After that we went for drinks at a really nice pub. We talked a lot and made plans for the next day. The next morning we had a healthy breakfast and we were ready to begin our trip in London. The first thing we did was walk through London enroute to the river. On our way we passed Buckingham Palace and we watched the changing of the guards. Luckily this was the only touristic thing we did. And it wasn’t really that interesting, but well.. It made me laugh.

Next thing we did was take the boat to sail on the Thames. We were very lucky with the weather, the sun was shining. It was relaxing and we had a good view of the city. We got off at Greenwich and went to a food market. We bought some food and some champagne to picnic in the park. After that we had a nice walk in the sun through Greenwich park and Catherine knew the perfect spot to picnic. On top of the hill with an amazing view of London. It was breathtaking. The food and the wine tasted 1000 times better because of this. My heart was really skipping a beat, I can’t put into words how I felt. It was so beautiful and amazing that I got to experience this. And yet so simple.

After our relaxing day in the park we wanted to go to the Shard. It’s the tallest building in Europe with the nicest view of London. Only one problem.. You can’t get in with sneakers. And we were both wearing them. I was a little sad, but we thought well let’s just go to a pub then. As we passed the Shard Catherine said: well we can at least try to get in. We are here now so just give it a shot.. And guess what. We got in!!

Most people were dressed up and the girls were wearing cocktail dresses. We were wearing casual clothes with sneakers. But we didn’t give a f*ck. Above this all we got the best table right next to the window. So we didn’t see the other people with their fancy clothes, we just saw London and it felt like we were on top of the world.

We ordered a really expensive cocktail because we deserved it. And we were enjoying every second of being at this wonderful place. After that we had to eat something and we wanted to go. But the waitress convinced us to stay a little longer because the view at night with all the lights was even more amazing. Well.. We coudn’t resist so we ordered another drink. And stayed till it was dark. And damn she was right. It was a once in a lifetime experience. I will never ever forget this. As we left our wallet was empty but our hearts were full of joy.

Since we hadn' t eaten since our picnic we really needed some food now! So we went to a food market back in Brixton. It was nice. All kinds of different foodtrucks so you could order what you wanted. We eat something, we drunk something and went back to the appartment to go to sleep because the next day we were going to Sunfall festival.

Saturday Catherine’s friends came over and we had some cocktails at her place. Then we took off to the festival. I could not believe my eyes, so many people!! We had to get in line to get in. But the queues were getting larger and larger and at one point I felt stuck in the crowd. I almost had a panic attack and I wanted to get out of there. But people began to push and there was no way back.. Luckily Catherine pulled me before her (she is a lot taller than me) and I could move with the crowd and finally had some space to move and breath. I was so happy I got in alive. OMG. I don’t like to be surrounded by so many people and have the feeling that I can’t get out. So this was not a nice experience for me. But after that everything got better. We had some drinks in the sun while I was still shaking. We danced, had fun and enjoyed the music.

And like all good songs also this song was coming to an end.. I had to go home. I packed my bags, said goodbye to Catherine and took the train to the airport. After a few hours I heard my flight got cancelled. I could not believe this! Cancelled? What now.. Well the only thing I could do was to see this as a gift. And spend one more night in this amazing city..

- Jacinta -

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