September5th to 9th 2011
Monday, September 5th
This trip was spontaneous. Flight and hotel was booked Saturday morning, and Monday morning I left by Ryan air from Tirstrup at 10.25. It takes 1½ hour to go to Stansted, where I catch a bus for Victoria. Then there was only a short walk to Central House Hotel. Room 405 was on the tiny side, but pretty expensive nevertheless. That’s what happens when you make your arrangements so late.
First stop is at the local pub for a pint and a fish’n’chips. Now this unplanned attack on London can start. First I take the Underground to Charing Cross. It’s close to Trafalger Square. Then I walk up Whitehall, which is the center of power in London. You pass Downing Street among others, and at the end you will find The Parliament and Big Ben. On the other side of the road is Westminster Abbey. It’s closed for tourists for the day, but people are getting in for an evening choral at one of the side entries. I sneak in as well and am rewarded with an hour of singing and bible-reading.
Then I walk towards Victoria. Dinner is at a local Italian restaurant, with more waiters than customers. Finally I head for my tiny room 405.
Tuesday, September 6th
It’s raining this morning. Rain in London means it time for a museum-visit. Imperial War Museum has been recommended, so I head out for that one. It’s an exiting place. It’s a good mixture of things on display, interesting information and a little entertainment at the top. For instance you can walk around a ditch from WW1, or experience the bombing of London sitting in a bombshell.
After this I head for London Bridge Station. I walk along the southern side of Themes, crossing Tower Bridge, passing Tower of London before heading back to the Hotel.
In the evening it’s time for football. We are 77.000 at Wembley for a EURO 2012 qualifier England vs. Wales. The match is nothing special, and England is quite lucky to win by 1-0 on an Ashley Cole goal in the first half. But the stadium is nice – Wembley is something special.
Wednesday, September 7th
A daytrip is always a good idea. Today I go to Canterbury. 1½ hour by train from Victoria. It’s a nice and quiet town with an old and famous Cathedral. This is where the English Archbishop has his headquarter.
The cathedral is huge and pretty messy, since it has been build over many years. The most interesting is the crypt, where the tourists do have to shut up – which is not the case in the rest of the church. The Chapter House and the garden are also nice areas.
The rest of the afternoon is spent walking around this nice town, only interrupted by lunch at a local pub. At 4 I head out for the railway-station, and take the first train back to Victoria.
The evening is quiet. Dinner is at Garfunkel's at Victoria Station and a foolish game show on ITV.
Thursday, September 8th
This is an “off-the-beaten-track”-day. First I take a short walk from the hotel down to Thames. Then I cross Chelsea Bridge and head for Battersea Park. London is full of parks – one more famous than the other. This one is not famous. It’s a local park. No tourists – only locals and their dogs.
I head on for something that’s really not a sight. It’s Battersea Power Station. It closed down years ago, and is now standing empty and almost as a ruin. Unfortunately I can’t get into it. There is some event with electric cars on the parking-area, so the place is full with security making it impossible to get close to the Power Station. In many ways the building reminds me op a dinner table turned upside down, and the whole thing is probably best known from the cover of the Pink Floyd album “Pigs”.
Next stop is Liverpool Street Station. I’m lucky. Just outside the Power Station is a bus that takes me directly there. So this trip is over ground all the way through the center of London. From Liverpool Street I take a walk that’s also not mentioned as the top spots in London. First I pass Spitalfields Market, where you can buy almost everything. Then on to Brick Lane, the Bengali center of London. Here there are restaurants all selling different versions of Curry. The street is also known from a famous book. Then I head on to Whitechapel Road, another ethnic area – before taking a bus back to center at St. Paul's Cathedral.
Then I am in more of the normal tourist district. I walk across the river on the Millennium Bridge to another closed power station – but this one is better located and has been turned into the very modern Tate Modern. It’s free to get inside, so for once I check out a museum of modern art. My main focus is to find the toilet, but when you’re here, you can just as well check out some modern art. You just have to be sure the toilet is not a part of the exhibition.
I head back across the bridge to Mansion House and a District Line back to Victoria, and a break at the hotel. Dinner is at a local Indian restaurant, before I am going to bed pretty early.
Friday, September 9th
There was a reason for going to bed early. The alarm clock rings at 3 am.
Then I head for the bus terminal at Victoria, to get an early bus to Stansted. You don’t want to be late for a Ryan air plane. It’s time for a little shopping in the claustrophobic airport, before the plane leaves for Tirstrup at 7.25. I’m back at 10, and an hour later I’m home in Aarhus – and it’s time for a little nap.