Existing Member?

WT09 your two favourite gap-yearers make their way around the world armed only with a sense of adventure and a photocopied lonely planet guide to the mekong. wish us luck!

I AMsterdam (and also london)

UNITED KINGDOM | Friday, 20 November 2009 | Views [1388] | Comments [1]

high tea at the london ritz

high tea at the london ritz

after a very long bus ride next to a quite unfriendly chain smoking french man, i finally completed the journey from london to paris where iona and i were REUNITED in the relatively unglamorous gallieni bus terminal.

for the next 2 days we hung out in paree gorging on croissants and bakery food (as usual) and also got very enthusiastic about a french halloween party which was made quite a lot easier by everyone's determination to practice their english!

THEN, as november started, so did amsterdam. or at least, so did our really really long trip to amsterdam, which saw us arrive in the pouring rain, in the dark, with our massive bags and no real clue as to what was going on. this was not assisted by the eurolines woman informing us that we were in a completely different spot on the map from where we actually were, and it took all our (ok fine, iona's) map reading ability to actually find where we needed to go.

our hostel was right in the middle of the red light district, aka right in the middle of the action, so to speak. it's a bit weird at first to walk through the area - for those of you who have never been, one of amsterdam's main attractions is it's sex industry, and the 'girls in the windows' but we did get used to it, and because there's so many people out at night, (parents, this is for you) it's actually quite a safe city.

something that we found quite astonishing was that for a city with such potential to be completely seedy, amsterdam is actually a really beautiful place - something that others who had been there before failed to mention. it's full of canals, museums (we went to the van gogh one which was really good), old, beautiful streets and buildings, and, as we learnt on a fateful 4 hour walking tour in the freezing cold rain, lots and lots of history.

we really enjoyed amsterdam, but as a place notorious for its party atmosphere, the 2 1/2 days we stayed there left us exhausted and quite happy to jet off to london, where we arrived (once again) in the middle of the night and curled up in out massive bed at the ritz.

no, you did not read that wrong, and i'm not making some sort of joke about the quality of london hostels - thanks to my lovely nana and papa (HI), our first 3 nights in london were spent feeling very snazzy and important at the ritz hotel. the staff even knew who we were and what room we were in, most likely because we were the only people there under the age of about 60, and therefore stuck out like 2 sore thumbs.

during the day we did all the touristy things (i know you've heard about them a thousand times so i won't bore you with too many details) like the london eye and buckingham palace, and we also got to see lucy and franny which was cool as well!

BUT the highlight of our daily activities was definitely the day that all four of us had afternoon tea at the ritz, where high tea was born. it was incredible and so so posh, so that just by being there we could almost forget we were backpacking, except that we were so excited it was obvous we weren't exactly there every day! we even ate gold (no, really. we did).

london is a great city - there's so much to see and do and i don't think you could ever get bored (we didn't, at least), especially not when there's all the monopoly places to spot! we even made a trip out to old kent road, to discover that there is definitely a reason why it's the cheapest place in monopoly...

after a fantastic 5 days in london it was time for the next phase of WT09 - SOUTH AMERICA. but, quite clearly, that's another story and so you will have to wait.

much much love,

vivienne (and iona)


Tags: amsterdam, gold., red lights, ritz, windows



Old kent road!!!!!!!!!! What a laugh. Your dream road Iona. I forgot to tell you that I bought you a house there :)

  Laura Main Dec 11, 2009 5:05 AM

Add your comments

(If you have a travel question, get your Answers here)

In order to avoid spam on these blogs, please enter the code you see in the image. Comments identified as spam will be deleted.

About vivienne_and_iona

it got cold

Follow Me

Where I've been

Photo Galleries


My trip journals

See all my tags 



Travel Answers about United Kingdom

Do you have a travel question? Ask other World Nomads.