Monday, August 8, 2016

London 2016 Day 10 – Belmont Hall Harrow and Walking London – Longer Than We Had Intended

Our first destination on this day was Belmont Hall in Harrow where they have an open door coffee morning every Wednesday. As always we had a very good time there :)

At Harrow-on-the-Hill Station we saw this scene. Didn't seem easy to get the bus round the corner.

We took a tube train and got off at Baker Street Station. Then we walked from Marylebone Road to Oxford Street via Baker Street, Chiltern Street, Blandford Street, Manchester Street, Manchester Square and Duke Street.

We found this crocodile outside a building on Duke Street just off Manchester Square.

On Oxford Street we went into Debenhams, to buy new polo shirts for Hermann.

Afterwards we went to Hyde Park to rest a little. Then we took a tube train from Marble Arch, but had to get off earlier than we had intended, as there was a disruption. So we had to walk longer than we had thought to the Salvation Army HQ to have our afternoon tea in their café.

Afterwards we walked to Waterloo Station to take a tube train to Paddington Station where we had to return our mobile wifi device.

We thought it would be as easy as usual - take a Jubilee Line train to Baker Street, then go to Paddington by Bakerloo or Central Line. As we found the Bakerloo trains didn't stop at Paddington we chose the Central Line, only to find that there were lots of people waiting on the platforms for trains not running. On the opposite platform an overcrowded train was standing and not moving forward. So in the end we chose to take a Bakerloo train to Edgware Road and walk from there - and walk back afterwards, because there were still no tube trains to and from Paddington Station.

On the next day we had to say good-bye to our beloved London :(

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

London 2016 Day 9 – West Norwood and Along the Thames

In the morning of this day we tried for the second time to walk near Russell Square, but again the rain spoiled the fun.

We ended up standing under a scaffolding in front of a shop on Southampton Row, close to a bus station. We stood there for quite a while until I noticed that the 68 bus was still going from there to West Norwood. I used to take this bus often as it was a direct connection between Pitman College on Southampton Row (the building is now occupied by St. Giles College) and West Norwood where I used to live during my year of studying in London. That was in the late 80s and I was surprised the bus line still existed. As the rain showed no intention to ease we decided to take the bus for a little nostalgia tour.

I remembered that the journey usually took a very long time and was astonished it was now much faster. The reasons were of course that it wasn't rush hour as it used to be when I travelled to and from college and due to congestion charge the streets in the centre are generally emptier now. I remember that almost 30 years ago the busses were often stuck between lots of cars and only moved forward centimetre by centimetre.

In West Norwood we went to Thornlaw Road to look for the houses I had stayed in some of the time (my first accommodation had been in Selhurst).

This was the house I lived in for the last few months of my stay. It was the ground floor flat which on this new photo is behind the hedge. On the older photo below which had been taken while the house was being built (I think my father took it) you can see it and also the window of my room (on the left).

We returned to the centre of London by train which had been the other means for me to get to college. I used to go to Victoria Station and then by tube to Holborn, but this time we went to London Bridge because the next train was going there.

From there we went along the Thames (not directly with the river in sight for some time).

About half way we had to stand underneath a roof because of yet another rain shower.

We passed the Millenium Bridge hoping that no more rain would come while we were on the bridge.

We had planned to find a fast food restaurant, but then walked past the Salvation Army International Headquarters between the bridge and St. Paul's where they had a café, so we took our tea break in there.

Near St. Paul's we discovered this old Routemaster bus - one of very few still in operation.

In a side street close to St. Paul's we found this church by the unusual name of St. Vedast-alias-Foster which is very beautiful inside. We talked for a while with a kind lady of the church personnel who told us some of the history and other facts regarding the church.

On our walk we also saw this interesting tower - without a church, but surrounded by modern buildings instead.

We then walked along the London Wall, Bishopsgate, Shoreditch High Street, Great Eastern Street, Old Street and returned to Walthamstow from Old Street Station.