Friday, April 20, 2012

Our London Visit Day 1 - Belmont Hall and Battersea

We took it slow on the first day of our London visit. We got up early (because we had been exhausted the day before and gone to bed early) after a good night’s sleep in the very comfortable bed in our holiday apartment, had a long breakfast and a little break afterwards – in which I took the task to wash the dishes.

At about 9.45 a.m. we set off to Harrow in the north west of London to visit Belmont Hall. This is a church which I had found on the internet a while ago and wondered since then whether it was similar to the brethren assembly churches in Germany we prefer to attend. At Belmont Hall they had not long ago started to offer open coffee mornings on Wednesdays – what a coincidence ;) – which was a good opportunity to learn something more about them.

We took the Metropolitan Line to Harrow-on-the-Hill – past Wembley Stadium – and from there had to walk a little while. After a little detour, as we were confused by some small streets, we arrived there. What we didn’t know at that time was that we would just have had to follow the signs showing the way to the “World Sikh University” which is just nearby Belmont Hall.

When we entered the church building we were immediately greeted by a couple of about our age who introduced themselves as Gordon and Ruth. They invited us to sit down at one of the tables and served us tea and buns. We had a very good and interesting conversation and it turned out that I had not be mistaken assuming that this church was rather similar to ours. They had a guestbook which we also signed. Everyone at the church was very friendly and welcoming.

One week later, on the day of our departure from London, we went there again (with our luggage), as we had enough time before our plane would take off from Heathrow, to meet our new friends once more and make the day less depressing.

After the visit on day 1 we returned to our flat, ate lunch, relaxed, and then set off again for our second destination on that day.

The Battersea Dogs & Cats Home was this second unusual place to visit – at least for tourists. The reason why we went there was that I had knitted a blanket for the Blanket Appeal which I didn’t want to send from Germany as this would have cost a fortune in postage fees – much more than the blanket itself was worth. So we took the Victoria Line to Vauxhall, from where according to the directions on their website it was supposed to be a 20 minute walk. At the London rush hour pace, I guess, because for us it took about 30 minutes. Part of the way itself was along the Thames, so it would have been nice to walk – if the weather had not changed just then. It became windy and chilly and started raining. So we were glad when we finally reached our destination. The blanket was gladly received and we were invited in to have a look around, even though it was obvious we couldn’t take an animal home from there. What caught our eye most was that many of the dogs belonged to the typical fighting dog breeds.

On our way back we took the bus to the tube station as in the cold and rainy weather it was no pleasure to walk. The rest of the day we spent relaxing in the flat – apart from doing some shopping at the nearby supermarket.

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