In Austria all the pupils and teachers had a week off for term break – and our Dad used this time very wisely and came for a visit to London! *yay*
Organization was a little tricky though, as both Kathi and I had to work last week. So we ended up taking turns in showing Dad around and unfortunately hardly managed to spend some time the three of us. But I think we did really well and squeezed all the best out of it.
On Saturday, when Dad arrived, I had to work an evening shift, so Kathi went to pick him up at the station and afterwards they came to visit me and have dinner at Byron.
Although I had to close the restaurant on Saturday evening, we all got up really early on Sunday morning. Well, I admit I had some troubles getting up so early, so we just went for a quick coffee at Starbucks and then rushed to the Guard’s Chapel where we attended the Sunday service. It was really beautiful, as the Band of the Coldstream Guards was playing.
Afterwards we walked trough St. James’s Park, up to Trafalgar Square, St. Martin in the Fields and Leicester Square where we had lunch in a very British Pub. Dad was smiling from ear to ear as he had a pint of beer, bangers and mash and a scotch egg.
In Covent Garden we came across some closed streets, a lot of broadcasting vans and a small crowd of people obviously waiting for some celebrities to arrive. It took some time until we realized that it was the day of the BAFTAs and that the ceremony was held in the Royal Opera house. So we skipped that part to get out of the crowd and went back to Trafalgar, where I left the lovely party and headed to work. Kathi and Dad went on to Westminster, Big Ben and over to the London Eye where they spontaneously decided to go the London Dungeon. Crazy guys! Later they went to see the Tower Bridge and St. Katerine Docks at night.
On Monday Kathi had to go to work again. Over breakfast Dad and me decided to go to Greenwich today. Our plans got a little postponed as we had to change tube line at Baker Street and decided to have a quick look at the Beatles Store there. Wow, that shop is simply amazing! They sell everything, absolutely everything with portraits, LP covers and song quotes of the Beatles on it. Even Christmas ornaments in the shape of the Yellow Submarine!! Ok, needless to say that we basically spent the whole morning in that store. 🙂 And, as we were already close, we had a look at Madame Tussaud’s (from the outside – too many people queuing anyways) so we can say we’ve been there. With a bit of a delay we finally made it to Greenwich, where we met up with Gonzo.
And, as the headline suggests, we went straight to the Cutty Sark. It’s an old British tea clipper that has been converted into an amazing museum. When I first saw that you had to pay entrance I was quite upset, as I thought we have to pay to simply go up there. But as we got in, we discovered that the whole hull of the ship had been turned in to a great, multi-medial museum. Dad, Gonzo and me really enjoyed walking trough the first and second deck learning about the times of tea trade, the life of sailors and nautical exploring. The highlights were obviously the little games and activities originally set up for children. 🙂 Our dear Brits simply know how to make museums fun!
We had lunch/merienda in a nearby pub, called “The Spanish Galleon”, before we had a walk underneath the Thames. Right! We crossed the Thames below ground! It was quite a strange feeling to walk in that tunnel, knowing that that big river is flowing right above you.
To get back to central London we took one of the boats that work like busses. As we went upstream, a London-by-night-picture-tour was basically included, as we passed London Eye, Tower Bridge and the Globe.
We met Kathi in Queens Park and had Dinner, at Jack’s, our favourite restaurant, where we took all our visitors so far. The wide rage of mezze is really tempting and so we ordered way too much food – but it was really good! To wind up the day, we went to the nearby Irish Pub for a pint and then went straight to bed. Sightseeing is so exhausting! 🙂
Dad and me started Tuesday with caffè and cornetto in a tiny Italian cafè Kathi recently discovered. It was absolutely lovely! The cornetti tasted like in Italy and some Italian chit chat with the owner made my day!
We took the bus down to Oxford Street for some window shopping and later continued our journey to St. Paul’s. We escaped a rather hefty rain shower into a nice Fish’n’Chips shop where we had lunch – and a Spotted Dick for dessert.
The weather in London changes fast – when we stepped out, the rain was over already. We passed over Millennium Bridge and had a quick glimpse into the Tate Modern. After seeing some modern art we felt very cultivated and decided that it was time for the daily dose of boat! Today’s choice was the Golden Hind, the boat of Sir Francis Drake, buccaneer and first British circumnavigator. Other than the Cutty Sark we had to explore the Hind ourselves, only with a small guide that was handed out at the entrance. Being a pirate’s ship it was significantly smaller, meaning we bumped our heads more often as we walked below deck. Now it started raining again, so we did what Austrians do best: we went for coffee and cake 🙂
After she finished work, Kathi came straight to Piccadilly Circus, where we met up and went to see The Commitments at the Palace Theatre. It was a really nice show, full of Soul, Funk and Groove!
Wednesday morning we all got up early in order to have breakfast together at that lovely bakery around the corner, before Kathi went to work. Dad and me went for a walk to Abbey Road and took some pictures on the famous zebra crossing right in front of the Studio. Of course I couldn’t help myself and wrote a nice quote on the fence ^^
I had to work in the afternoon, so Dad went to pick up Kathi from work.
Thursday was Dad’s last day in London. We had to get up super early as he had to catch his bus to the airport and I accompanied him. Seriously, I have some issues with getting up early, but when it comes to hugging Dad goodbye, there are no excuses! 😉
Thank you, Papa, for that amazing time we spent together in London! Kathi and I enjoyed it so much having you here! Thanks for everything!
PS: sorry for that novel 😉