I love London newbies! Whether they be visitors just stopping by for a short time, or someone who is embarking on a new career or working holiday in the great capital, London newbies are so much fun. There is that light in their eye that hasn’t had the chance to die out with the fading summer and they are always so keen to experience unique London, rain or shine.
London newbies give you a chance to visit (or revisit) some of the most amazing landmarks and attractions that you might not have time for otherwise. They also give you an excuse to check out bars, restaurants and events that you may not have had the budget for on a normal day. When a London newbie arrives in town I relive the first few weeks that we were in London, just over a year ago.
Recently a cousin from home dropped in for a few nights on her way to Croatia and France for the end of the European summer. Luckily she arrived in time to experience two of the hottest London days in September for the last seven years.
The first thing that struck me when I collected her from the Victoria Coach Station on a humid Tuesday night was how little she had packed for her 3 week adventure. It wasn’t until my second visit to Europe that I realized what not to pack and how to pack small. Impressed by the packing talent of my visitor from Canberra, we tackled the train station and the tubes to retreat to a home cooked meal and a fold out couch that would hopefully starve off the inevitable jetlag of the long flights from Australia.
Not being able to get the time off work, my guest was thrown out on her own to explore London town and all it had to offer. That evening, over a glass of wine and sushi, she told me of her adventures through the West End, her tour of Buckingham Palace and battling the shop attendants in Harrods. Afterwards, we settled in to the Apollo Victoria Theatre for an outstanding performance of the award winning musical, Wicked, based on the 1995 novel that was a parallel novel of the classic 1939 film and story, The Wizard of Oz. Unexpectedly, I think I am developing a great love of the theatre…
On Thursday night we treated ourselves to a couple of drinks at various venues in the City of London. Sadly, large queues deterred us from trying out glam bars such as Sushi Samba and Madison’s, but after such a large day touring London’s The Shard, the Natural History Museum and Hyde Park, my cousin was happy to retreat home for a decent sleep before her departure to Croatia.
The visit and talk about tourist attractions and events has renewed my excitement to visit all of the places that I have not yet seen. Now that the rugby league season is over I can reclaim my weekends and the places at the top of my list, including Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park and the Tower of London.
But sometimes there seems like there is no time in the day to do all of the things we want to do. Recently we danced at the Notting Hill Carnival, we dressed up for an Alice in Wonderland themed house party, voted in the Australian Federal Election in London, went bowling with friends and explored the nearby markets in Brixton. We have well and truly settled into London life! (photo montage)
But with less than 34 weekends left in the UK (yes, I counted…) how are we going to fit all the rest in!!??