I´m back. This blog does still exist. I just took a break.
We spent the first week of October in London. Our former neighbors from Westfield, NJ do have a nice flat there and let us stay for those days. Great!
This is our first evening, dinner in the Holly Bush. Marlon and Trixi are having Scotch eggs.
On our first morning (Saturday) on the way to the underground. We lived just round the corner of The Wells.
Our underground station.
Visiting Camden Market in the morning
London Eye and Thames River sightseeing cruise
The London Eye is one of the world’s tallest observation wheels, with views over London from more than 442 feet (135 meters) in the air. Situated on the banks of the River Thames, it offers unrivalled panoramic vistas over London.
Since opening at the turn of the century, the London Eye has become an iconic landmark, up there with Tower Bridge, Big Ben, and the Tower of London. It has been used as a backdrop in countless films and is loved by Britons and visitors alike.
Thames River Sightseeing Cruise
The best way to see the sights and splendor of this great city is from the deck of a boat. Aboard the sightseeing cruise, you’ll travel in comfort and style past London’s world-famous landmarks. The boats have open upper decks for great sightseeing and comfortable lower saloons. Relax and enjoy the views, onboard commentary, light refreshments and full bar service as London’s famous sights glide by.
The cruise departed from Waterloo Pier, but it’s a 40 minutes round tour only, with a guide giving a full (and amusing) explanation about London attractions and its river. The departure time can be defined when retrieving the tickets in the London Eye ticket desk.
After that Steffen and the boys went to a soccer game. Arsenal (with Podolski!) vs. West Ham 3:1
On Sunday we took the train to Cambridge and met an old friend of Steffen and her family.
Rain on Monday. We spent the morning in the Science Museum, the afternoon at Harrods and the evening at Heston Blumenthal (without kids!)
Tuesday. We were so lucky to have this awesome park, Hampstead Heath behind our flat. We always saw the people walking their dogs and/or running and taking their kids to the park. We thought about a little walk and then we stayed there for half of the day and walked about 5km (3mi). This allee started just behind our building. Love it!
This guy walked 14 dogs of all sizes!
We are NOT somewhere in the countryside. From here it takes you 25 minutes with the underground to downtown London.
Unfortunately Steffen forgot his bathing suit….
The ladies pond is near by but Trixi and I decided NOT to go swimming.
Kenwood was totally wrapped and they want to open it after the renovation in autumn 2013. Probably we will be back then and I can show you pictures?!
But the little restaurant next to it was opened and we had delicious lemonade of white grape and elderflower (in German: Hollunder)
In the afternoon we went to the Barbican Center. The art center doesn´t look that (next picture) nice but it is huge! We wanted to visit the rain room but the lines were much too long!
Random International invites you to experience what it’s like to control the rain. Visitors can choose to simply watch the spectacle or find their way carefully through the rain, putting their trust in the work to the test.
More than the technical virtuosity necessary for its success, the piece relies on a sculptural rigour, with the entire Curve transformed by the monumental proportions of this carefully choreographed downpour and the sound of water.
Random International are known for their distinctive approach to digital-based contemporary art. Their experimental artworks come alive through audience interaction and staged performance.
Random International are represented by Carpenters Workshop Gallery, London and Paris.
In order for visitors to enjoy the sensory experience of Rain Room, there is a limited capacity of 5 people at a time in the rain.
Please be aware that due to the popularity of Rain Room, the queue time currently stands at around two hours, at peak times including evenings and weekends up to three hours.
We advise visitors to arrive as early in the day as possible, a minimum of two hours before closing time. Entry to the queue is subject to the number of visitors already waiting. Anyone arriving later may not be allowed to join the queue as we are unable to admit visitors after the gallery closes. Thank you for your patience.
From there we walked to St. Paul´s Cathedrale. We just had a look from the outside because we were too miserly (adult 15£,18€, $24, child 6£, 7,5€, $9,6).
Next stop was the Tate Modern
And we were still not done for this day! We took the train to Greenwich and visited the Prime Meridian-longitude zero.
I saw this sign somewhere in Greenwich
Cutty Sark is the last surviving tea clipper and the fastest and greatest of her time. Venture aboard and beneath one of the world’s most famous ships; walk along the decks in the footsteps of the merchant seamen who sailed her over a century ago, then marvel as you balance a 963-tonne national treasure on just one hand.
Back in Hampstead we got some delicious crepe from “La Creperie de Hampstead”
Wednesday. I met two friends in the morning for breakfast/coffee. First I met Rob from the master gardener class in Westfield, NJ which I visited in the winter 2009/2010. He lived in London since then. And then I met Nicky who was an au-pair girl in my home town Deidesheim in 1986.
Steffen and the kids went to the Buckingham Palace to watch the changing the guards. Impressive!
We met again at the tower bridge and learned everything about it´s history
Jake needed new shoes but Trixi was much more successful!
One of the old buses
Dog and Duck. We stopped here at 5:00pm for lunch and had hand ale battered fish and chips and award winning Gloucester Old spot sausage and mash.
Thursday. Breakfast at the Coffee Cup (Will and Maddy´s favorite place for breakfast!)
This was hard to understand for my family. This is 2 Willow Road in Hampstead. It´s a unique and influential Modernist home from 1939 designed by architect Ernö Goldfinger for himself and his family. With surprising design details that were ground-breaking at the time and still feel fresh today, the house also contains the Goldfingers’ impressive collection of modern art, intriguing personal possessions and innovative furniture. The tour takes a whole hour and I did understand that that would be too boring. Next time I´ll be here by myself!
Piccadilly Circus. Most of the time in this area we stayed in this huge sports store. Jake found shoes and a vest, Trixi a winter coat and Steffen a rugby shirt.
Then we visited the Imperial War Museum
And finally we made it to have dinner at the great The Wells on our last night!
Friday. We had to leave early. Walk to the underground. Ride to Liverpool Street Station. Walk to the bus. Take the bus to the Stansted airport. Get through security. Walk to the plane. Fly. Arrive in Frankfurt-Hahn. Walk to our car. Drive home. That took us in total 7 hours. The flight is just 50 minutes. Crazy!
But it was a wonderful week in London!