17 November 2017

a walk through the streets of london


This week we have a guest post, from an old friend from Germany, who currently resides in Finland. (Sorry for the 'old' Frauke, but we have known each other for some 20 years!) Back in the late days of September, Frauke, for that is her name, visited London for the 100th time! She loves it here. That's also her on the steps of the monument to the fire of London, (see below). I wanted to get her perspective of the city, so this is her tail. Frauke, over to you...

Frauke - Photo Courtesy of Neil Rees

My aim for this trip was to explore parts of London that I had not been to before. Sections off the beaten tourist track, corners, buildings and sites, that are not mentioned in tourist guides or in the Top 10 Lists of what to see and do in London. I covered all of these during my previous visits. 

It was time to explore other parts of London, marvel at new sights and discover new locations. But not just that, I also wanted to walk the streets that are featured in Jane Austins novels, Gracechurch Street, Grosvenor Street, Harley Street, and Wimpole Street, at least some of them. 

Photo Courtesy of Neil Rees

Into Shoreditch

The tube took us, a good friend of mine and me, to Liverpool Street Underground station, from where we walked past the dragon boundary marks and black bollards demarking the extent of the City of London towards Shoreditch. On the way, my friend explained the boundary markers significance to an American tourist, who snatched a picture of him and the dragon.

Wandering more or less aimlessly around Shoreditch, all the time looking for that one Café. (I am somewhat picky when it comes to the interior look and style.) We walked past a real old-school detective agency, passed through the lovely churchyard of the St Leonard Church. Marvelled at the street art, passed a film-shooting, checked-out The Cereal Killer Café (go there if you like to try cereal from around the world) in Brick Lane, to end up at the Merlins, a cosy café with fantastic pastries and a German-speaking waitress. 

Photo Courtesy of Neil Rees

Up the Monument

After sampling the coffee and baked goods, we wandered to St. Dunstan in the East Church Garden, a small picturesque church ruin set amidst a lovely garden. From there we passed The Company of Watermen and Lightermen of The River Thames, the guild for people working on the river and concerned with the life of the River. 

To get a perspective of the vastness of London, we climbed the 311 steps up to the top of the Monument to the Great Fire of London (1666). Not the place to be for people who suffer from acrophobia, mark my words. The view, on the other hand, is spectacular, and we were blessed with blue sky and sunshine. 

photo Courtesy of Neil Rees

To the Park and Beyond

Our path led us on via a Victorian bathhouse (now a party location) to the Welsh Church of Central London, Eglwys Gymraeg Canol Llundain. Which is inconspicuously tucked in between residential houses just off Oxford Circus. We were given a short tour by Minister Robert G. Nicholls before sitting down for a chat and a cup of coffee. 

Our stroll of London finished with a walk across Hyde Park passed the Animals in War Memorial and a cup of coffee and some more cake at one of the numerous park cafes. 
Think Frauke had her cake and ate it! With plenty of coffee too by the sounds of it. 



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