London

September 7th 2015

Tower Bridge, London at nightSource: http://www.freeimages.co.uk/galleries/buildings/bestofbritish/slides/tower_bridge_night.htm

I spent the last few days in London. While unpacking my suitcase from the visit to my mother, I had exactly one day to pack our suitcase for London. We visited a colleague of my husband’s who had invited some colleagues and friends to dinner on the occasion of his retirement. Our reception was particularly warm and we were very much spoiled on all sides.

Since we were in London anyway, we also took the opportunity to meet other friends. That was also a great experience! I knew three of these friends only via the social network, but it was as if we had known each other for a long time. Of course, we were also spoiled by the presence of cats and cat attention, because our friends are cat lovers just like us.

We had a professional tour through London, one of our friends learned for tourist guides, and have experienced a lot of remarkable things, visited a nice pub and had a great meal. We even went to the pub where Bob Dylan gave his first concert!
Sometimes it was a language mess, because one of our friends is German and her husband is English, but to my surprise it worked well. Not that I have problems with the languages, but you have to switch every time and if you have to be constantly tuned to the tones and mouth picture of the language, like me, then this is exhausting. And I was indeed very tired, but it was certainly worth it.
I like London very much and we have seen a lot of the city this time, as we had to cross some parts of the city by bus to get to our friends. I also had a lot of fun with it: you feel less tourists. At the stations, information- and other counters the people were very friendly and nice. Unfortunately, not all passengers were very polite, but in general the British are very friendly and helpful.

What surprised me, however, was that the Brittish were not really disciplined at the traffic lights. I thought I was almost in Amsterdam as far as crossing the street was concerned! It was crossed at red as well as at green. I hadn’t really expected that in London, but it made me feel at home…
At the British stations one should pay careful attention, because the trains race past the tracks with quite high speed! But the British can still learn one thing from the Germans and Swiss (and even the Dutch)! The trains and the tube are LOUD! Sometimes so loud that I had to turn off my hearing aids because the noise became too much for me. The Swiss trains or S-Bahn are virtually noiseless.

With many thanks to our friends, we especially enjoyed the London adventure and we hope to return to London soon!

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