United Kingdom
Northcote

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    • Day 2

      Sleepwalking through London

      December 15, 2019 in England ⋅ ⛅ 7 °C

      We’d arrived! 26hrs later and 6am on the dot. London Baby!
      Gatwick airport was very quite on a brisk early Sunday morning. Our tired, red-eyed faces were graced with the fresh, brisk air of London’s winter as we downed our long desired coffees and set on off to navigate the intrinsic railway network of London.
      We managed to make the 40 minute express train ride into London Victoria station without any qualms. Passing all the quaint terraces homes and small towns outside London
      We purchases our unlimited underground railway passes for the week’s adventures and after taking several wrong turns with our massive winter packed suitcase in tow, we finally managed to find our way to the correct train, next stop; Earl’s Court, our home for the next 7 days.

      Earl’s Court is a stunning suburb just south of Kensington, full of incredible old terrace mansions, now operating as various hotels and bed & breakfasts. From the moment we walked out of the station we were taken in by this place. As we lugged our monster suitcases to a little luggage storage place near our Airbnb, we couldn’t wait to get out and explore this place. We had a few hours to kill before our little apartment was ready so with excited/quite exhausted spirits we set off on foot towards Hyde park.

      After dreading the prior weather forecast of rain, London really turned it on for us with sunshine and clear skies. We strolled through the surprisingly massive Hyde park, from one end to the other. What better way to stretch out the legs after more than 24 hours of travelling.
      We were taken away by the beauty of Hyde park. Even in Winter with it’s bare trees it was quite stunning. We managed the lengthy walk to the other side where we discovered London’s Winter Wonderland. This picturesque winter show was something to behold. Smells of delicious BBQ mixed with fresh cinnamon donuts assaulted our noses as we wandered the many stores serving up delicious food & drinks. We started off with a steaming hot cup of spiced mulled wine which warmed your entire body before moving on to shishkebabs, German sausages and hot Nutella crepes. We mossed on out of the wonderland going against the crowds and crowds of people heading in for their Sunday afternoon. With our Airbnb still not quite ready we set of to tick more major tourist hotspots. This one was a big one, Buckingham Palace.

      We weren’t really expecting to head here on day 1, tired and sleep walking, but we were in the area so why not?
      Buckingham palace is one of those places we thought we’d seen lot of after binging the entire 3rd season of The Crown, but it’s sheer size when you actually walk up to it’s front gate is pretty impressive. Jo was in her element! We snapped the essential photos, waved to Lizzy and kept moving, we were craving a bit of horizontal time.
      Our Airbnb still wasn’t quite ready so it was to the classic English pub down a cobble stone side ally while we waited. Rested and refreshed we picked up our massive bags and headed to our apartment for hot showers and a chillout.
      The time difference was catching up to us and with sunset at 4:00pm it wasn’t long before we started falling like flies for bed. We were all in bed by 6:30pm an that was it. A great sunny start to our London leg of the trip!

      Asher ☺️
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      Traveler

      💗💗

      12/16/19Reply
      Traveler

      The best!! 😋

      12/16/19Reply
      Traveler

      What a fabulous first day! 👏

      12/16/19Reply
      4 more comments
       
    • Day 3

      Early Bird Explorers

      December 16, 2019 in England ⋅ ☁️ 8 °C

      Wide awake at 1am is never fun, especially when your husband is snoring himself off the bed, quite literally! Asher actually almost fell right out of our small double bed last night. Save by fast acting wife reflexes and sleep depriving affects of jet lag.
      It was a bit of a rough morning, all of us extremely tired but still unable to sleep any longer. We were all out in the lounge room by 6am which is pretty much unheard of in our house. Outside it was still pitch black like it was midnight, sunrise wasn’t until 8am.
      We killed a bit of time taking it easy and dosing on the couch while we waiting for the sun to come up, checking out the morning news. Turns out there was an epic 50 million pound jewellery robbery right around the corner from us throughout the night.
      We showered and gathered our weary bodies and set off for the day. We hit up a few shops on High Kensington St, just near our place, walked past the scene of the previous night’s robbery, and then jumped on one of those big red buses London is famous for and headed towards those infamous squares. Piccadilly Circus was first, with a hustle and bustle of classy shops and one whopping big screen. We couldn’t resist checking out M&M world and of course LEGO world. Then it was Leicester square with it’s rows and rows of musical ticket booths. We checked out some pricing for shows we wanted to see and booked a few tickets.
      It wasn’t long before we made it down to Covent Garden, a beautiful part of town with many quaint alleyways and markets. We stopped for lunch on the beautiful street and explored some of the markets which included more mulled wine of course, and then continued on our way.
      Next up, Trafalgar Square. This enormous square was quite impressive. Named after the Battle of Trafalgar where the British navy defeated Napoleon’s French and Spanish fleets in 1805. The huge column dedicated to Lord Nelson is surrounded by 4 huge lions which were so much bigger than we thought they’d be. Very impressive!

      From there we moseyed on down to the river, stopping to check out the household calvary, the scaffold covered Big Ben (very disappointing), and of course Westminster Abbey. This place was spectacular! The sheer size, ornate architecture and simple beauty of this old building was stunning. Everywhere we go in this city we’re taken back by the incredible old buildings and architecture. It’s style has lasted through the ages and each building is so rich with history.

      We rested our weary legs overlooking the river Thames and with the sun gone by 3:30pm we decided to head back. We were all feeling pretty tired still, none of us had had much sleep and our beds were calling us once again.

      We hit up the local pub for dinner and the patisserie next door for a bit of dessert and hot chocolate before zonking out for the day. We needed a good nights sleep before the big birthday shenanigans tomorrow!

      Asher ☺️
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      Traveler

      Great love nana n grandpa xxxxx

      12/18/19Reply
       
    • Day 4

      HAPPY BIRTHDAY JO!

      December 17, 2019 in England ⋅ 🌧 6 °C

      HAPPY BIRTHDAY JO!!
      It was a relatively early start to the birthday celebrations. We had big plans which meant we needed to be on the Underground by 8am. We filled a big paper bag with delicious pastries and coffee from Paul’s patisserie (our local) before jumping on the train, destination, you guessed it, Harry Potter World at Warners Bros studios to celebrate the big 24th birthday!
      It was about an hour on a few trains before we made it to the Night Bus bus stop at Watford Junction. It was cold and rainy, the perfect day for exploring the world of Harry Potter.

      We rolled in on the bus, grabbed our audio guided tour kits and got in line for the entrance. We entered the entire studio through the great doors of the Hogwarts Great Hall. As it was her birthday, Jo had the honours of actually opening the doors for everyone! It’s true, I may have been more excited for her than she was.
      And then we were off into the world of witchcraft and wizardry!

      There was soooooo much to see in this place! From interesting facts about the making of, to thousands and thousands of genuine props used throughout the 8 Harry Potter Films. We couldn’t believe the amount of effort and detail that actually went into making these movies. The amazing special effects and the tiniest of detailed props that went into the sets was remarkable. It was pretty surreal for Jo to be able to look at the making of one of her favourite stories from childhood.
      As we wandered through this amazing world, we hit lunchtime and hadn’t even scratched the surface. We stopped for delicious butter beers and questionable hot dogs before continuing on.
      It was so so impressive to see how they put these films together and interesting how it was literally hundreds of people's entire lives for the 10 years of production. Once you enter the studio it was just another world.
      Highlights would have to have been the sheer scale of some of the sets like Gringott’s bank, the detail in the huge Hogwarts model castle they used for long shots, and of course the Hogwarts Express steam train. All in all it was an incredible experience!
      To be able to see behind the scenes of some of the greatest movies made was amazing.

      From there we headed back home before Jo and I headed out to dinner and a show to keep the birthday celebrations going. Dinner was an amazing rooftop Italian restaurant for pizza, pasta and delicious desserts before we heading off to the world's longest playing play, The Mousetrap, an Agatha Christie classic.
      The play was excellent, however both of us were so tired we did struggle through it. Jo actually fell asleep right before the killer was revealed and missed the most critical moment in the whole play. A brief overview was of course given on the train home.
      The lead actor swore us to secrecy in the tradition of Mousetrap and we made our way back home. Exhausted from a big day of celebrating we snuck back into the house trying not to wake the little Lynch family and crashed out.
      A pretty unique birthday well spent! 🎉

      Asher ☺️
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    • Day 5

      Guards, Bridges, & Markets. Mamma Mia!

      December 18, 2019 in England ⋅ ⛅ 9 °C

      It was once again a beautiful sunny day and the changing of the guard was a pretty lavish spectacle! We got there 15 minutes early but it was absolutely packed. You would have thought Queen Lizzy was addressing the nation! Jo managed to push her way somewhat to the front, playing the short person card, however, the view was still pretty rubbish. We found it best just to watch one of the thousands of phone screens being held up in the air trying to get the shot.
      It was pretty amazing though! To think that they close roads and put on this lavish show every few days is crazy! The marching band had to be the highlight. Being able to play so well while staying in formation was incredible.

      From there we beelined for London Bridge and more importantly, Borough Markets. Borough markets are a food lovers dream! Hundreds of food stalls selling delicious cheeses, meats, chocolates, fresh produce, hot food and of course mulled wine, sangria and warmed spiced cider.

      We wandered the many stores struggling to decide on something to eat for lunch before settling on pulled pork rolls, fried chicken burgers, falafel wraps, sangria & hot spiced cider. Oh and of course jam & chocolate filled donuts to cap it off! We’re going to be twice the size when we come back!
      We sat in the shadow of a very old and grand church to feast on our purchases before going our seperate ways. James & Jess were heading to St Paul’s cathedral, we were aiming for The Tower of London. We didn’t quite make it though as our walk there took us through awesome Christmas markets and across London Tower. With our daylight running out we decided to leave The Tower of London to tomorrow. Instead we opted for the Tower Bridge walk.

      A lift took us more than 40 meters up one of the towers where we could walk across the the glass bottomed walkways to the other side. It was somewhat dizzying stepping out onto the glass and looking down, but extremely cool. The views over London and the Thames were fantastic, and the history of the Tower Bridge was really fascinating. It was really an artistic and engineering wonder for London. We toured the engine room which house the huge old steam engines which drove the bascules, splitting the bridge in two to allow for ships to pass through. Back when it was built in 1894 it was raised 10,000 times a year and required a team of 12 guys to operate it. Today its all run by electricity and only opened maybe 1000 times a year at the push of a button. How times have changed. We spent some time soaking in the history before heading back to the apartment in the dark.

      From there the plans were to go and see the musical School of Rock. James jumped on board with Jo & I and we left Jess and Hudsy to hopefully a quiet night. Even after talking to the booking people, it wasn’t long before we discovered I had mad a big mistake. Turns out the musical wasn’t even playing tonight! Spewing!
      Lucky we hadn’t travelled too far and London has about 400,000 theatres scattered across the city. No, I exaggerate, but we were lucky in that Mamma Mia was playing jsut a street away and we had time to make it! So we went from School of Rock to Mamma Mia… not a bad compromise… in fact I think Mamamia probably turned out to be the better option anyway. By the end of it they had us on our feet singing along to Dancing Queen and all those ABBA classics. We felt horrible for poor Jess when we broke the news to her we were heading to Mamma Mia instead! We resolved to telling her it was terrible if she asked.

      All in all it was yet another great day in this incredible city!

      Asher ☺️
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      Traveler

      Love the video!

      12/19/19Reply
      Traveler

      “Jo managed to push her way some what”😂 Mmmmm, we have a friend that’s talented in this way too, wonder who her father might be 😂😜 Great your seeing so much. 🥰

      12/20/19Reply
       
    • Day 7

      Au naturel up in the clouds

      December 20, 2019 in England ⋅ 🌧 8 °C

      Wet… again…but we were still pumped for our second last day in London. It was a day for exploring some things involving a bit of nature, bit first, it was down to the local barista Over Under cafe for a delicious flat white. Oh and yeah, we did swing by good ol’ Paul’s patisserie too…

      We hit the pretty wet underground and zoomed through the tunnels toward Land Sky Garden. This was a like a huge modern sky scraper with a basically a fancy greenhouse on top. We hadn’t booked tickets and were planning on just showing up to see what we could do. Turns out if you don’t book tickets and you go at a certain time you actually get priority entry! We felt like kings and queens as we wished past the ticket checks and people waiting in-line with their tickets ready for security checks.
      We made it through security and up the 360m tower to London’s highest public garden. Up here we enjoyed the 360 degree views of London city, wandered through the greenery, and sipped coffee while we relaxed high above the city.
      We did however have to get moving cause we were slowly but surely running out of time in London. We had yet to hit up St Paul’s Cathedral, Kensington Palace, The Natural History Museum, & Harrod’s!

      We zoomed down the tower, jumped back not he underground and went our seperate ways from J,J, & H. St Paul’s Cathedral was absolutely enormous! Yet again another super impressive old building with so much history. We decided not to pay the $40 dollar each entry fee and just admired the spectacle from outside. We just can’t get over the incredible architecture involved in these old buildings. The cathedral just sort of popped up out of nowhere as we walked around the corner from the underground station. It’s huge domed center soars above the surrounding city and its massive entry-way is something else.

      We got our happy snaps, but we had other places to be. We zoomed back towards out apartment, heading for Kensington Palace. This palace was pretty nice. The home of Queen Victoria before she became queen, one of Jo’s favourites, and of course Princess Diana at one stage. This Palace was nice because it was on a much smaller scale to what we’d seen so far, particularly Queen Victoria’s residence. We found we could appreciate her childhood and life a lot more as we wandered through the rooms of the palace. It was also fascinating to see how Princess Diana impacted the world through her actions and even through her fashion!

      From Kensington we wandered through the edge of Hyde Park, the sun even came out for awhile which was delightful. From there our destination was the natural history museum. We waited for a bus which seemed to take forever in the freezing cold. We rolled up tot he natural history museum and our mouths hit the floor.
      This building was an architectural masterpiece! It was absolutely massive and so grand in design we were sure it must have been used as a cathedral or a palace. We asked on fo the guides and turns out this whole marvellous building was designed and built for the sole purpose of the natural history museum. Whaaaaat?
      The Natural History museum used to be a part of the British museum, but there was just tooo much stuff, so… they simply built an enormous new building for it. Why not?

      As we wandered through this incredible museum checking out the incredible wonders of the natural world it really made us appreciate the enormity and complexity of God’s creation. There was so much to see here we just couldn’t do it all. We spent about 1.5 hrs here before our feet just couldn’t go any further. We had great plans to go ice skating int he shadow of this incredible building, under the night sky, but as we excited the rain was coming down and we breathed a slight sigh of relief as our feet definitely wouldn’t have held up!

      So we set of in the rain for home where we relaxed with the rest of the team before Jo and headed out to our 3rd show for the week, Wicked. Yet again, another brilliant show, however we quietly reckon Australia did it better. I guess these guys do it every single night over here so they need to pace themselves. When shows come to Australia for a few months at a time they seem to go above an beyond a lot more.

      After the show we hung out on the London streets and face-timed the fam back home, before tip toeing back inside our apartment and falling into bed.

      One more day in London to go! We’re sad our time at this location is coming to an end but, we’re looking forward to our coming adventures!
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    • Day 1

      Köstlicher Ramen mit Ra(h)menprogramm

      December 5, 2022 in England ⋅ ☁️ 8 °C

      Ich finde ja in Asien kann man echt gut essen. Und in London auch, weil da gibt es echt gute asiatische Restaurants. Oder Restaurant-Ketten, die trotzt Systemgastronomie geschmacklich echt fein geblieben sind.

      Und darum gibt es heute zum Abendessen in der Ramenbar Tonkotsu feinste Londoner Nudelsuppe, die ich auch in Tokio oder Osaka nicht viel besser gegessen habe. Und damit man weiß, dass man doch in London ist, und nicht in der japanischen Provinz, gibt es als Ra(h)menprogramm noch ein Döschen Pale Ale und wahrlich großstädtisches Outfit der Gäste … wobei, wenn ich mich recht erinnere, Bier und Cosplay gab es in Japan auch ohne Ende.
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    • Day 1

      Ein schnelles Pint nach Dienstschluss

      December 5, 2022 in England ⋅ ☁️ 8 °C

      Ich finde ja London irgendwie schon sehr nett. Und auf zwei Dinge freue ich mich immer ganz besonders, wenn ich unsere Europazentrale in Battersea besuche: den herrlichen Blick auf die Albert Bridge und ein gepflegtes Pint Ale in einem gemütlichen Pub nach Dienstschluss.

      Das Duke of Battersea liegt praktischer Weise gleich ums Eck und begrüßt uns gemütlich vorweihnachtlich. Ein wenig überrascht war ich über die neue Bierauswahl - jede Menge schottischen Brewdog für die österreichischen Gäste und Stiegl für die Einheimischen. Ich meine es gibt bei weitem schlimmeres, aber irgendwie halt auch lokaleres.

      Na wie auch immer - das Hazyjane New England Pale Ale hat jedenfalls bestens gemundet.
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    • Day 1

      Battersea Powerstation

      December 5, 2022 in England ⋅ ☁️ 8 °C

      Ich finde ja, dass die Kombinationen von alt und neu bei Gebäuden schon echt spannend sein kann. Bei der neuen, alten Battersea Powerstation finde ich das Konzept jedenfalls sehr geglückt.

      Das ehemalige Kohlekraftwerk am Südufer der Themse wurde ursprünglich in den 30er Jahren des 20. Jahrhunderts errichtet und gilt als das größte Ziegelgebäude Europas. 1983 ging der Koloss dann endgültig wieder vom Netz und war danach Jahrzehnte lang sich selbst überlassen, bis sich 2012 endlich konkrete Pläne für eine Revitalisierung abzeichneten.

      Gute 10 Jahre und kolportierten 9 Milliarden Pfund später beherbergt das im neuen Glanz strahlende Kraftwerk nun nicht nur alle möglichen Luxusmarken in einer geräumigen Mall, sondern wurde vielmehr zum Mittelpunkt eines neuen und boomenden Stadtviertels, inklusive jeder Menge Gastronomie und spannender Architektur jenseits des 08/15 Wohnungsbaus.

      Diesen architektonischen und finanziellen Mut würde ich mir in Wien manchmal auch wünschen.
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    • Day 2

      Der perfekte London-Spaziergang

      January 10, 2018 in England ⋅ ⛅ 8 °C

      Eine wirklich schöne Strecke, auf der auch immer etwas los ist, befindet sich zwischen Tate Modern und der Lambeth Bridge. Kaum eine Stadt hat bessere Straßenmusikanten als London und auch sonst sind die Menschen wirklich kreativ. Auf meinem Spaziergang begegne ich einem Seifenblasen-Mann der jedes Kind glücklich macht, einem Sandkünstler, der gerade ein Gesicht im Sand modelliert und komme am London Eye vorbei. Außerdem gibt es eine tolle Sicht auf den Big Ben und das Parlament.
      Mehr London-Tipps gibt's im Blogpost: http://www.lilies-diary.com/die-5x5-insider-tip…
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    • Day 1

      Angekommen im Hotel - The Lodge

      May 29, 2018 in England ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

      Nachdem wir fleißig umgestiegen sind, kommen wir um 10:30 Uhr am Hotel an. Der erste Eindruck ist schon mal gut. Die Lobby ansprechend und die Gegend auch gut. Anscheinend gibt es in der Umgebung einige 'neighbourhoods', in die man nur per Code/Schlüsselkarte,... hineinkommt.

      Wie erwartet ist unser Zimmer noch nicht bezugsfertig. Aber das ist nicht weiter schlimm, weil wir unseren Koffer im Hotel lassen können. Damit können wir unbeschwert und Sightseeing starten.

      Nur leider zieht es sich gerade zu und beginnt zu tröpfeln. Mal sehen, vielleicht suchen wir uns auch gleich eine Indoor-Besichtigung.
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