Visiting St. Albans and arriving in London

posted in: Blog, London, travel | 0

In 2014 I had the chance to spend two weeks in London for an internship with the Scrivener’s Notaries from DePinna which is located close to the Piccadilly Circus. I really looked forward to these two weeks, not only because I hoped to learn a lot about how notaries work in another country, especially the Scrivener Notaries, but also because I love London! I love the architecture, the vibe, the history, the museums and last but not least the restaurants!

I have been to London before but only for weekend trips, which quite limits the amount of sights that you want to see. So I decided beforehand that I would visit as many museums as I can (most of them do not even require an entrance fee!).I flew over with my boyfriend and we stayed at his friend’s place for two nights.His friend is German as well, living with his Spanish girlfriend in Finsbury Park. Since they have moved to London only a couple years ago, they were very keen to explore the surroundings of London on the weekends. So they took us to see St. Albans. What a lovely town!

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We first went to visit the Cathedral with its beautiful glass windows. It was built on the grounds where a christian man called Alban was beheaded by a Roman emperor, which also gave the town St. Albans its name.  While we were inside the chapel there was an orchestra rehearsing for an upcoming concert. I spent some time listening to them and then wandered off to see what was waiting for us in the different naves of the cathedral. I always enjoy visiting churches and cathedrals and this one is very well worth visiting.

We strolled from the cathedral grounds further away from the town and to some ruins. These ruins are the remnants from the time when Romans were making their impact on England. A town called Verulamium existed once here in St. Albans, the remnants of almost an entire house with storage room was laid bare there. That was very very interesting, we could actually see and trace the single rooms and apparently there have been some stores in that time as well. There were also a few signs explaining how these ruins show how the Romans built the floors a few feet above ground to leave some spaces for floor heating. Very smart!

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I enjoyed strolling around and learning about the history of the place while all the while being out in the fresh air and lush greens surrounding me. Even though it was very cold we made funny Heroes pictures, Batman and Superman etc. Funny stuff.

Afterwards we walked back to town and ended up at the market, which is apparently quite famous as well. The market seems to exist since the 9th century and even received a special Royal Charter granted in 1553. It is very lively and you can find various items for sale here, but I was most impressed with the pastries though. Didn’t know that but I sure enjoyed walking through and seeing all the things displayed there. It was a little bit different to the markets that I am used to in Germany, in England the markets seem to offer more sweets and pastries.

We drove back to London and straight away to Chinatown on my and my boyfriends request. I love visiting Chinatown everywhere because you usually get good food in every Chinatown. We didn’t have a special place in mind so we just walked through the streets until we found a place that looked nice and wasn’t too crowded. We were quite lucky as well because they even had a Peking duck dish (although it is called Crispy Duck dish, maybe because Peking duck is a branded dish and usually not allowed to be used outside one of the licensed restaurants).

I think it was my first time eating this dish and it was delicious! We’ve had it in Hamburg as well afterwards but I preferred the one in London actually (although it is obviously not licensed).

The next day was already Sunday and I was supposed to move to my airbnb apartment later that day, but first went out with my boyfriend for a nice breakfast close to the Natural History Museum. I did not know then that my boyfriend is very interested in dinosaurs! I only found out because he really wanted to go to the museum and see the dinosaurs, haha! It was very crowded though because it was Sunday and all the tourists and locals came to the museums, of course. It was still very interesting though. He left shortly after that, to go back to Germany and I admit that although I do love to travel by myself and don’t mind being alone usually, I got a little bit sad when we said goodbye at a metro station. With a heavy heart I made my way up to Bounds Green to my airbnb apartment (which turned out to be one of the best airbnb apartments I have ever stayed in!).

My two weeks in London had started so nicely, and even though I felt a little bit sad, being alone so suddenly, I was positive that the rest would be just as much fun!

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