My trip to London was very good. I went with 4 friends and with my girlfriend. We flew with Ryanair and arrived to the Stansted Airport. To return to Spain we flew with FlyMonarch and departed from Gatwick. It seems that I look like a dangerous person or something because I was the only one of us that had to submit to random searches before taking both flights.
Our hotel was the Jurys at Kensington (quite nice BTW). We were almost exclusively in central London (tube zones 1 and 2), and we visited a lot of things:
- St. Paul’s cathedral – nearly 700 stairs to arrive to the top.
I took this some pics at the top to do a cool panoramic image although I didn’t take enough to have a perfect panorama…
- Tower of London – I expected more from this.
- Tower Bridge – Nice one, but we couldn’t watch it at night.
- Kensington Palace – The garden was very nice. We aren’t used to see big green gardens because where I live we have drought contingences.
- British Museum – just a quick visit because it is BIG. It’s amazing how many things they have “taken” from other cultures…
- Big Ben and Houses of Parliament – I was a bit disappointed when I saw it during the day. However during the night the lighting added the beauty that was missing during the day.
- London Eye – We didn’t try it as I didn’t like big wheels very much.
- Namco Station – Couldn’t resist seeing a 35000 square feet place with a lot of arcade games. Unfortunately there wasn’t any old arcade machine.
- Trafalgar Square and Picadilly Circus – we needed to see this to make our London visit more complete.
- Portobello – The girls really need to go to the Portobello market…
- Westminster abbey – Very nice, but we run out of time so we couldn’t enter…
- Natural History Museum – The building was big and beautiful and the museum was cool. Very recommended, especially if you have kids.
- Buckingham Palace – There was a lot of people for the changing of guard, but for me it was an incredibly boring experience.
Some things that surprised me:
- Those “Look Left” and “Look right” labels near the pedestrian crossings.
- The quantity of foreigners in the city.
- The weather. Where we came from we usually have sun and about 40ºC from june to September and it is very rare to see some rain. However in London, there wasn’t more than 20ºC and the weather changes a lot. It rains a lot of times a day. Now, I understand a lot better why they love our sunny beaches ;)
- Most of the houses were very pretty and no more than 3 or 4 floors.
The excuse to go to London was to see Aerosmith at the Hyde Park Calling on Sunday. We had early access to the festival, but before Aerosmith there were 6 hours to wait where other bands were playing… we arrived at 12:00 and the festival ended at 22:30. I also wanted to see Joe Satriani that was playing in another stage an hour before Aerosmith, however, when we arrived to the main stage, it was clear that leaving the stage and returning to it was a more than difficult task, so we didn’t move from there.
We say the following bands: The Micki Free Electric Blues, Archid, The Answer, Jet, Chris Cornell and Aerosmith. Unfortunately, it was raining most of the time. Light showers most of the time, but it only stopped when Aerosmith started the show.
I was pretty tired before the festival for all our walks to see London, and after 8 hours stand up, I was really tired. When Aerosmith appeared my legs were a bit more responsive, but after the show I went quickly to the hotel because I was exhausted. The set list was very short:
- Love In An Elevator
- Same Old Song And Dance
- Eat The Rich
- I Don't Want To Miss A Thing
- Baby Please Don't Go
- Hangman Jury / Seasons Of Wither
- Dream On
- Livin' On The Edge
- Stop Messin' Around
- Sweet Emotion
- Draw The Line
- Walk This Way (with Darryl McDaniels (DMC))
The show was excellent but only 80 minutes! Are they that old that they can play for two hours? We all left Hyde Park a bit angry because of that. 80 minutes do not compensate a 2000 Km travel and more than 10 hours stand up. At least we were in 15th row thanks to the early entrance tickets.
Here are some pics and videos of the show:
To sum up, we enjoyed a lot our visit to London. It’s sad to hear the news about the current status in London due to terrorists threats.