Let me say…. “What a day!”
After a long night of insomnia, I woke up quite early to go to the train station and to catch the train that would have taken me right to the centre of London. Once I arrived, with no map (I must admit!), I just walked outside the Liverpool street station and tried to understand how I could find a tourist office without losing myself in the city. 😛
Fortunately, I was not too far from the Museum of London and St Paul’s Cathedral, so I decided to go there using the maps that you can find through the city (I was so glad that somebody thought it!). I have to say that the district of Liverpool street station is not the best start for a tour in London, unless you are fond of skyscrapers (I am NOT!). It is sooooooo modern, so business centre that I immediately hated it!
In the middle of my tour I finally found a tourist office and I could obtain a map of the centre (the only things that interested me) and go to the Thames to meet my friend. I planned this visit to London because I have a friend there, working in London for a while. So, we met at the bottom of the Tower Bridge to start my real guided tour of the city.
Our first stop was Trafalgare Square. But to go there (it was not too far), we decided to catch a double decker, in order to have a different view of the city. To see it from the top. And it was worth it! Trafalgare square was just amazing: full of tourists and life. Next stop, Piccadilly Circus, just to have a quick idea of the most beautiful place of the centre during Christmas, especially. Even without the christmas decorations, it was still a wonderful square and meeting point. At that moment, we were too hungry to continue our tour. So Soho invited us to have lunch in its roads. We also took advantage of that to see the celebration of the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Horse! Some chinese people carried the Dragon all around the Chinese neighborhood to inaugurate this New Year. The Dragon passed in front of each door, restaurant, shop of the district to bring good luck.
Unfortunately, after lunch my friend had to abandon me, because he was asked to work. So he showed me Covent Garden, the birthplace of all the street artists, in my opinion: every kind of musicians, singers, dancers, performers was there and entertained the people eating, shoppping, relaxing in this marvellous heaven.
I booked a free guided tour of the city centre, so at 14h20 I arrived at Temple Station, its meeting point. Charles, the guide, took me and other 15 people in an unprecedented tour to discover the hidden secrets of London: from Temple Church to the Tower Bridge, via the Twinings shop, the Royal court of Justice, the Museum of London, Mansion House, the London Bridge, an ancient roman theatre, St Paul’s Cathedral, the Bank of England, Tate Modern, Oxo skyscraper… .
In 2h30 we walked around the very centre of the old London, discovering what the English themselves probably do not know. Absolutely unmissable! Go and do it!!
At the end of the tour I was so tired that I just went to Liverpool Street and waited my train. I just wanted to go home: I finally arrived at 22h, but it was worth it! Definitely!!!
– do not take any public transport, unless you have to go very far!
– buy in advance an Oylster card, if you planned to stay more than one day (you will be refunded)
– look for some free guided tours of the city (you can book them directly on the website, and it’s free)
– if you want to have a different view of the city, just choose carefully a double decker
– try to go and eat something typical