Thursday, August 18, 2011

London Calling

Thursday, 17th of August. Being in London. I arrived at Sunday (Monday), 15th August, 2 A.M. and will leave tomorrow morning, Friday, 18th August. Worth it all the time.

After staying at Dagnis' and Dagmara's place on the first day to have a long sleep, to do some computer stuff and just to relax, I went to Inner London, but after the first four kilometres the old tyre hole break up again. So I switched to public traffic. (I like the tube of London. It's placed so deep under the town…) Later I brought my bike back home and as I had to carry the bike's front it was pretty exhausting – one of the moments where I'm not totally glad about having a steel frame… Dagnis was so glad about being allowed to fix my bike, as he loves to do mechanical things but normally don't has the opportunity to do it. He was sad when he wasn't able to find something to repair.

To be a pedestrian in Inner London is great. Now there are lots of signs, and you are moving like one flow. Nobody waits longer then necessary at a traffic light, the green and red signs are much more an offer and there's no singled person who suddenly crosses the road, it's a great working mass communication. And nobody is disturbed or mad about this traffic light usage. And all these people, even if they move fast without any waiting, are still very friendly. Whenever I asked one of them for an information, same thing happened: If they didn't knew the answer they themselves asked another person, to be able to tell me instead of sending me to the other guy…

I like this town, I wouldn't have thought this could happen, as I had give a damn about London while planning my route. I just thought, it's on my way, so it would be weird not to see and to stay for a while. But it's just great. Nice atmosphere, much structure. London just has style. So great colours, the red buses (that sadly are no longer this originally old ones), all these colourful alternative markets, somehow flower power is still alive. And another funny thing: I start to think, I become able to understand English movies much better – right now I'm in such a movie. It's easy for me to discover unusual sights and details – so I hope the photo I took from Picadilly Circus isn't that much touristy.

Camden, where Dagnis and Dagmara are living, was definitely the right choice, especially for this Stable's Market (and also Camden High Street)! I get an idea what aspects of old Passerelle in Hannover I miss so much, where now there is no longer a Passerelle but a Niki-de-Saint-Phalle-Promenade. I feel pretty good in this town, this country. (But sometimes this feeling pops up about having no – reachable – home. Then I start to loose balance – that’s kind of scary.)

Everywhere in London you can see the the promotion for Conan the barbarian remake. I have no idea, why there has to be a remake as the old one still works very well and is also that much connected to young Arnold Schwarzenegger. They even don’t mention the name of new Conan. But it's in 3D.

The other day I really cycled through London, a totally different experience, pretty hard to have some orientation plus extreme much traffic, so much vehicles, and all this standing still while waiting for green traffic light. There are not so much cyclists in London traffic, but those who are there most of them have a racing bike. And we all cycle fairly risky, but nobody cares about that. In Germany they would constantly tot and shout at you how dare you to do such things (and I think it's mainly this reaction what makes the situation much more dangerous).

This day I visited Hyde Park, Regent’s Park and Notting Hill with its
lovely Portobello Road. And I also saw this Traveller's Bookshop which was archetype for the cute Hugh Grant's shop in the movie Notting Hill. Another place I visit because of a movie. (Did I mention that in Brugge there’s a guy who offers In Bruges guiding tours?) Meanwhile I have a pretty good idea of some area's map (and I am also totally used to cycling left hand for quite a while. Now I can’t understand why I had such weird feelings the first time). In Regent’s Park I got the first free hug in my life! A boy and a girl were running around calling out crossing people if anybody would like to have a free hug. Older people normally ignored that or went away, but I was so glad about – both of them were affected I get off the bike.

Staying with Dagnis and Dagmara was just great. All the days we had interesting talk about relationship and love attachment and also other stuff or we just relaxed together while sharing some thoughts sometimes. I gave some juggling lesson and we made some great music, really good playing on my guitar so both were really hooked, they danced, they made some rhythm and other escorting sounds, they even sang although both of them claimed they are not able to sing before – and it sounded fantastic. Just great atmosphere, cosy and intensely. Dagnis and Dagmara are such a lovely, warm, cute and attractive couple.

Last words:
  • …Who said London would be expensive? Things I normally buy have same price or are cheaper as in Germany.
  • …Since Tuesday my guitar is once again a six string guitar. It's an interesting sound when played. Different but good. Just after this all time playing the last few days my fingertips start to hurt.
  • When I visited London (Hyde Park, Notting Hill, Regent's Park) I cycled 42 kilometres, and I also reached the 1.000 kilometres survey point
  • …All over this country there are so many old two-coloured VW-busses (V1 and V2) still driving, that’s so nice! Some of them are so old, they actually have a splited front shield.
  • …Just for the statistics. Yesterday evening some rain felt down – the first time I saw rain in whole England. Today is just a rainy day. Main reason, why I'm still here.

An addition related to Martin's commentary


  1. Hi Sanne, did you really leave a day before Camden Lock market beeing best on Saturday? When we were there some weeks ago on our visit to Eva, we also did a boat trip from Camden to Little Venice, which added for me a total new and great sight into London.


  2. What do you mean when saying being best?
    Best experience about Stables Market was visiting at the time they starts to open (later I saw it also when there's heavy traffic). I also saw Camden Market on a regular day and all the other alternative little colorful shops. And I loved the Portobello Market. Did I mentioned this was my first time i London? (First time in the Netherlands, first time in Belgium, first time in France, in England, in Wales, in Ireland...)
    I can imagine that doing a boat trip must be great, to me it was also great to see the canal with the little boats and watergates and so on.

  3. Didn't I tell you London would be amazing?! :) I love it! And I can actually make out that your english is getting better and better. :)