Thursday, July 4, 2013

Let me take you to London! - Day 7

From June 15 to 23 I was on a nine day trip to London! These posts are my slideshows of that vacation so you can all travel along with me and enjoy the sights. 

I also kept a journal while I stayed there which I will show completely when I'm done with the photographs. Enjoy!


I had two plans for day 7: visit the National Gallery and visit the area around Charing Cross Road because of all the bookshops, including the famous Foyles.

I was really looking forward to visiting the National Gallery and taking many a picture there, especially of the insides of the building, but alas, they would have none of that! I still don't get why. In the Tates everybody was taking pictures everywhere and no guard said anything. In the National Gallery they got all hysterical about it. It's not like I was going to use flash or anything, so I still don't see what damage it could possibly do and I do believe the copyright on these old paintings has pretty much expired. Oh well...let it go Caatje and move on with the day already! ;-)

I started every day at St. Pancras station which has a backdrop of things like this.

There's a St. Pancras national and an international station. This is the international one.

Arrived at the National Gallery. A little early as always. That's okay, good to recover from the tube.

This is the National Portrait Gallery next door. I still haven't been inside. Damn!

Gotta love those columns. Yep, those old Londoners liked their buildings impressive.

The only picture I managed to take of the insides until the man in the center stopped me. I could just cry over that.

Okay, I was capable of taking a picture of my serving tray during lunch, haha. Nobody objected.

Pictures or no, if you want to be blown away by the most beautiful art in history from the 15th century until today you must visit the National Gallery. And if you have people with you who don't give a crap about art they may still be blown away by the beauty and atmosphere of the building itself. It's like a sacred place. I can't say enough good things about it. Sigh...

After art overload at the Gallery I went in search of books. This little street has a whole collection of second hand book shops.

And this is one of the shelves at Foyles with books just for me! I'm so jealous these things are right there in your shops Londoners!

With my two plans executed I actually had time for a third: Covent Garden!

These old market halls now house loads of little quaint shops and stalls.

Also there's a lot of street theater there. From talented musicians to acrobatics. It's a lot of fun!

I think considering the amount of possible purchases I was very good about my loot of the day. Only two books.

Times sure have changed. I remember when I first came to London almost twenty years ago it was a place where you could purchase stuff you couldn't get anywhere else. Especially when it came to books in English. I really stocked up whenever I got there. These days everything is available through the internet, so a lot of the time I already know about what's for sale and if I see something new I like I can just write down the title and author or the name of the product and order it online. How spoiled we have gotten through the ways of the internet! not buy anything while there...well that's just blasphemous, isn't it? Good thing I had saved up for it in advance, considering my cut in pay and all, haha.

After all those impressions I was more than ready to go the hotel and kick back. A nice cleansing shower first (with the sticky weather the city sticks to you like glue) and then...

That's right: the day ended with a fire alarm and me standing among other hotel guests with a towel in my hand and wet hair on a hill behind the hotel! Luckily I was not the only one that just got out of the shower, but it was not my finest hour I can tell you that. ;-)

Of course it's also a relieve it was only a false alarm (it usually is) and after a while we could all go back into our rooms and recover from this rude intrusion of our day. Now I really needed to put my feet up!

Just one more real London day to go before we have to travel home. Let's hope we get to make the most of it. See you tomorrow!


  1. Love all your photos. What a surprise to hear of a fire alarm. Your page in your journal was really good on that! And yes, the internet has completely changed how we shop or what we find everywhere (along with McDonald's, KFC and Starbucks) so modern life has brought sameness everywhere but it sounds like there wasn't enough sameness to make the trip not worth it.

    1. London couldn't be more opposite from my island. It's like a completely different universe. And I can't get any of the books or goodies I bought here in any shop. But...yes, I can get them through the internet. I suppose it saves me a lot of luggage weight. But first hand impressions cannot be beat and London is full of impressions. ;-)

  2. Caatje, I'd like to encourage you to take the bus in London. The air is so much better than the tube and there's a free sightseeing tour thrown in as a bonus!! The buses are frequent and easy to use, are safe and have clear indicators to tell you where to get off. The number 15 is the best tour of London there is, especially if you can get the front seats on the top deck!

    I too have stayed in the Kings Cross Travelodge and agree, it's not a good place ;-)

    Thank you for sharing your journal. I'm really enjoying reading about your stay!

    1. I know, I'm just so used to the tube. I know exactly where to switch trains and which one to take. With the bus I'd have to figure it all out again. Maybe next time. Thanks for the tip on number 15.
      As for the hotel, I knew it would be very basic and in a bit of a dingy neighbourhood, but it was cheap and clean. I would't recommend it as a great place to stay, but if you're on a budget and just need the place to sleep than I've been in far worse than this. :-)

  3. Can't believe the alarm went off! Oh dear! More fab photos. The National Portrait Gallery is also worth a viosit if you get a chance next time - I saw a great exhibition there a few years ago, but I think it's more somewhere to go to see a specific something. Lovedd the Covent Grden pics, always enjoy a wander through there.


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