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Adelina’s note: a friend of mine recently went on a series of business trips to London (so cool!) and I’ve asked her to share some of her favourite discoveries and moments from her time in the city. Things that the typical visitor to the city may not experience. Take it away Lili!
Ah London! Who has not heard of London? One of the most famous cities in Europe, if not in the world, London has a lot to offer. With so many tourist activities in the city that even two weeks would not be enough to visit them all.
However, the London I saw was quite different from the London that most see. I went there on a couple of business trips in the last several months, so I have not been the usual tourist. However, this did not stop me from exploring the city every free moment I had. Here are my favourite moments from my trips.
A rainy morning
I realized I had to make a plan, to organize my free time and to pray to all kind of Gods that it will not rain. I was lucky in that department. The two weeks I spent in London, I only had one rainy morning, which I actually enjoyed a lot. After all, I managed to experience the “real” London weather. While I ran to the local Tesco to buy an umbrella, I could not resist taking a couple of pictures of the amazing streets of London in the rain.
The streets of London
I loved everything while I was walking in London – from the architecture to the monuments to the cute little buildings, the flowers on the street lamps, and yes, of course, I love how they drive on the opposite side of the street. Despite the fact that it is written on the ground which side I should look before crossing the road, I automatically look to the opposite. I just could not help it. It comes naturally. Fascinating, isn’t it?
Where the new meet the old
I was staying in the City of London, in the heart of the Financial Center, in between skyscrapers, all major banks and financial intuitions. All modern building made of glass and steel. As much as I love classic architecture, I loved the new trends. I loved how they managed to keep the small old building and above it, they have built skyscrapers; such a unique concept – at least unique to me!
An early morning walk to Tower Bridge
One morning I woke up pretty early and decided to take a walk before going to the office. I walked next to several amazing building, several construction sites, cute small streets and even cuter small houses.
I ended up next to the Tower Bridge and the view towards the bridge in the early morning light was amazing. The sky was so blue and the sun was shining. There were not tons of tourists everywhere and the air was fresh. I took my hot drink and just walked around, without really a destination.
Around St. Paul’s Cathedral
As St. Paul’s Cathedral was very close to my office and I had many opportunities to walk next to it. It is a very beautiful place – so very relaxing and peaceful! The Cathedral itself is majestic and very impressive, however, the area around it is spectacular – there are many small coffee places and restaurants, green areas for a small picnic and shops all around. St. Paul’s Cathedral has a protected view, meaning that the buildings around it must be built in a certain way to ensure that the Cathedral is visible from everywhere.
The streets of Soho
Carnaby street is a super cute small pedestrian area in Soho. With a lot of shops, coffee places and cute building, Soho and Carnaby street is very unique.
I ran from work to Soho to make sure one particular confectionary was open to taste their sweets. This small shop in Soho is famous for their cupcakes. They were so delicious, I went there twice!
Watching the sunset over the River Thames
I have seen some pretty amazing sunsets – in Budapest, Paris, Madrid, however, the ones I saw in London were quiet spectacular. The colours of the sky were gorgeous.
The squirrels of St. James Park
St. James Park is just a park in the middle of the city, however, it is so quiet, peaceful and relaxing that I could not include it in my favourites. And the squirrels were definitely not afraid of people. So cute!
The rest of London
Of course I spent some time exploring the rest of the city, checking out all the famous places from Big Ben and Buckingham Palace to the National Gallery and Piccadilly Circus to Covent Garden and the London Eye. Walking from one to another and you really appreciate the “wow” factor London has.
I am sure I have missed a lot of things, but there is always next time, right? London is a huge city, with lots of places to visit. I love my experiences there: I tried amazing wines in local pubs, had drinks with colleagues on the street next to a bar, went to a cooking class and learned a lot about Thai food and the power of paprika, became familiar with several clothing shops, walked in crowded streets, crossed on a red light with cars everywhere and the famous black cabs. Overall I had a great time in London and I am looking forward to the next time I will be able to visit and experience something new.
How do you make the most of your business trips? What are some things you’ve discovered?
A Bulgarian living abroad with a lot of free time to bake, cook, read and listen to music. I love to travel and discover new things, learning something new every single day. I am a vegetarian and love to try new recipes. I enjoy spending time with my friends and just be silly with them. Follow along on my adventures on my Instagram and on my blog, Coziness with Lilloo.