I absolutely did not know what to do yesterday. I got up rather early for a Saturday (about 9 am), had the usual breakfast, took a shower, did the laundry, chatted on skype, did some blogging and so on. After checking the timeout London newsletter I considered seeing an expedition about experimental food for 5 pounds, but as it was afternoon already and it was about to end at 5 I abandoned the idea. Well, why not just go to Hyde Park, see what people at the Speaker's Corner had to say leave a little through my book.
That was the plan. I never got to Hyde Park. As they always try to only do construction works on the tube at the weekend, you need to be aware of that when being in London. While I am, the Northern Line always seemed to be very reliable so far and everything was roughly planned out (ok, rather in the "we'll see what happens" manner), so it was quite suprising when right before arriving Bank Station, an announcement was made that the station could not be serviced at his point. Fudge. So I got off at London Bridge Station for the hundredth time, seeing what I could do. Take the cruiser to Greenwich? Naaah, not in the mood. So I pretty much just kept on walking for a while, passing over Tower Bridge, walking in the sun along the waterside, eating an overpriced but luscious pistachio macaron from Paul's along with a mocha. As there was a Wagamama right around the corner I decided to have my late lunch/early breakfast there. No too good of an idea. The place was rather empty (maybe 5 more people inside) and the forcefully friendly waiter gave me one or too weird looks I could not really figure out. Dunno, hard to explain. I decided for the Wagamama Ramen along with duck dumplings as a side. Ramen: not really delicious (I did not feel like taking a picture, sorry). Watery miso soup, usual noodles with very little chicken, some half-assed fried tofu, one little slice of narutomaki with one sad little shrimp, nori and some undefinable fresh green stuff. Seemed like they just threw in the little rests they had. The duck dumplings really were tasty, especially that cherry-hoisin sauce that came long with it. I will definitely try to reproduce it at some point when I get back to Germany. Nevermind. I paid and walked further for a while until I reached Monument Station.
Monument Station is one of those stations you will come across more often than others as it is a junction for quite a few lines (along with Bank since they are interlinked) located directly in Central London. So I already changed lines a few times in the underground, but never actually got off there.
Although the station is called MONUMENT - who would have thought... that there actually IS a MONUMENT right at the exit? Maybe I'm stupid. Maybe I just never gave it a thought. I mean, there is a station called Angel, but would you actually expect a seraphic figure there? Or Elephant and Castle...
The actual monument (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monument_to_the_Great_Fire_of_London) is quite impressive with a height of about 61,6 metres. That was the moment where I decided why not taking a walk through the City of London from the monument to St. Pauls Cathedral - so I did. You would be amazed of how deserted the area is at Saturday evening. Really peaceful and calm - you could almost pass the streets withought checking the sides (ALMOST). So I took my time exploring the area, not taking the direct way but rather passing small alleys looking what might be to be found there (frankly, I could not name most of the sights I've seen. Maybe I should go back with a guide or something next time). It's fascinating how there are still old, historical buildings side by side with recent (or at least post-war) ones. One of the unforeseen sights I saw was St. Mary Abchurch - hardly noticable between all those tall buildings so close there is no way to actual have a good few of it. The reproduction of boys' heads you can find there will haunt your dreams.
|Sleep tight - we're waiting for you...|
Further along I came across a variety of sights nameless for me, until I finally reached St. Paul's. I don't know why, but it always had a certain allure to me. Such a characteristic view for London, being the city's Notre Dame in my humble opinion. And while it is nice being right at its feet, walking through its small garden with roses and other plants as well as a spring and sculptures, and being able to see all those ornamental details at close range - St. Paul's real fascination really evolves when viewed from quite a distance.
|Oh the horror! Not again...|
And while it cannot keep up with its romanticization in Mary Poppins, the tune still lingered in my head.
So, although starting with little motivation to really make something out of the day, I think I had one of the nicest walks I've had so far - thanks to unforeseen coincidences.