London 2009

Unbelievable. The most common reaction to the fact that we’ve NEVER been to London. We’ve seen various parts of Heathrow of course, but we’ve never felt the London rain or the crowded Madame Tussaud’s.

We were not suppose to go anywhere this summer. We were going to paint our old barn and do some fixing in the garden.

Jenny got a serious sinusitis in June and was home in bed for weeks. She got more and more restless by the day. Finally she crawled out of bed to the computer and booked a week to London in pure desperation. She called Johan, who was happily unaware of what was going on, and asked him if he wanted to go to London in August. “Of course”, he said. “You’d better, I’ve already booked the flight and the hotel” she answered.

Early bird as usual. It felt kind of weird not to be able to plan the trip on the plane. One yawn and we were there. We took the tube to Kensington where we were going to stay. Dropped of the bags at the hotel and took a second breakfast at a little café. It tasted … nothing.

We took a stroll in Kensington Gardens and then to the Royal Albert Hall. When it was time to check in we went back to the hotel for a needed nap. Harrods became the activity of the evening. We are definitely no shopaholics, we couldn’t find anything that we liked! Except for those things with a huge price tag on. We had dinner with a Harrods lager though. Maybe not the best beer in the world, but quite fun. The food tasted like … pepper.

When we got out the rain was absolutely pouring and the tube station was closed for some reason. We had to run several blocks and were totally soaked when we got back to the hotel.

The following morning we went to Madame Tussaud’s. We had bought our tickets in advance, and we were quite lucky to. The line for those who hadn’t were four hours long, our line was “only” 30 minutes. However. They overcharged you when you prebooked your tickets. It’s usually the contrary, so that was kind of disturbing.

Madame Tussaud’s must be one of the most overestimated tourist traps we’ve ever seen. It wasn’t easy to see anything with everybody running around in there. You just couldn’t wait to get out again. A lot of stuff felt like filling. We were rather disappointed, but happy to get out of there.

We had a bolognaise for lunch and it tasted like … pepper.

In the afternoon we went to the Buckingham Palace. We enjoyed the view for a while, then continued to St James Park and on to Big Ben. Big Ben was far more impressive then we thought it should be. Nice surprise. We walked along the river for a while and then took the tube back to the hotel.

Jenny went to M&S to buy some water and discovered that they had chocolate covered raisins. Johan’s all time favorites that he can’t find in Sweden nowadays. And he lived happily ever after …

Saturday morning and off to Portobello Road Market in Notting Hill. Lovely houses in Notting Hill, the market was crowded like markets usually are. Jenny really hates sweet food, but couldn’t resist a whafle with chocolate and strawberries. It looked so good! She was swearing loud and clear about the extremely sweet taste and Johan was laughing his ass off. “What did you expect?” We walked through Notting Hill to Bayswater and took the tube to St Paul’s. Nice cathedral.

We sat down for a while and looked at people running over the Millennium Bridge before crossing it ourselves. We took a walk along the river. Jenny was quite fascinated over the Globe and had dreamt of seeing it for fifteen years. But when we finally got there it was crowded and we were extremely hungry. We just took a look outside, food was a bigger priority at the moment. We found an even more expensive restaurant this time and the food tasted like… nothing. We continued to the Tower Bridge. It looked kind of plastic “Disney-ish” to us. A little bit like the Excalibur hotel in Las Vegas. Quite surprising.

We went to the Tower and was amazed. It was closed for the evening, but it was really impressive. We just stood there for a while and enjoyed it. When we got to the tube the whole line was closed. It was suppose to be closed the following day, but not this day! The queue for the bus was extremely long and it was getting late, so we took off for another tube line at St Paul’s instead. We got back to the hotel, really tired but pleased with the day.

Sunny morning! We went to Holland Park and just strolled around for a couple of hours and enjoyed the day.

Grotherus golden rule: If the food sucks, find a genuine Italian restaurant. Quite bored with the food tasting nothing/pepper we finally did. And we got some great food! As usual! 🙂

We took the tube to the Hyde Park and took a quick look and then on to the British Museum. It was not as good as we thought it should be, but our expectations were rather high. We spent the rest of the night there before going back to the hotel.

The following day we took a walk in Chelsea and South Kensington. Fancy houses, but Notting Hill felt nicer. We went to TKTS to look for some tickets, but they weren´t any good that late. We walked around in the West End and on to Soho before heading back to the hotel.

Jenny´s birthday. We took the tube to TKTS to buy some tickets to We Will Rock You. We got really good ones. Then on to the Tower. We had bought our tickets in advance there as well. Cheaper actually … 😉

The Tower was really cool. We walked there for hours and just smelled the atmosphere. We had some (Italian) dinner, took a shower and went to see the show. It was really really good. It’s definitely one of the best musicals we’ve seen.

Our last day. We went to the British Museum again to see some more before having some nasty fish and chips for lunch. If you’re in London we guess you must try them. We went to the airport and back home again …

Photos from London