London: The “Royal Family” and much more

The young man we met on the hotel terrace comes out Colombia. She has traveled half the world: “a good 25 hours with stops in between,” she says. and everything in the distance Europe the anniversary to witness the Queen. The South American is not the only one looking to do it this year London it opens

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The first question that arises is how to get there. This time we will take the train, that is, the journey through the tunnel under the english channel. The side effects (check-in two hours before departure and strict security checks) are more like a plane than a train. It only takes 20 minutes to traverse the 50-kilometre tunnel section 75 meters below the seafloor, but it feels strange somehow. Especially if you know the thriller “SAS Red Notice”.

Tips for visitors

get there: For example by train: Three hours from manheim after Paristhere are a few hundred meters walk from Gare de l’Est to Gare du Nord, to register for the ride in the tunnel under the english channel.

time in England go to clocks different: an hour before.

Money in London not the euro, but the pound. A pound costs around 1.20 euros. However, the traveler does not have to change much in advance. Most payments are made by credit card anyway, and since Corona it has been like that too. cabeven the entrance to the public bathroom.

Hotels: On the south bank of the Thames River they are cheaper than in the north, where the government and commercial district are located. “English” breakfast, of course: eggs and bacon, lots of toast, rarely rolls, almost no “regular” bread.

Food/Drink: National dish “Fish & Chips” (fried fish and chips), plus Guinness (beer).

Local transport: ideal! Buses (still mostly red double-deckers) on one line run every nine to twelve minutes, most also at night. Line 44 is ideal for going from one bank of the Thames to the other, it is best to book a weekly ticket from home. -tin

And when is the right time to see royalty? Of course, when they celebrate in a big way like this year, for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. But that’s exactly when a lot of people want that, crowds of people are on the move. To control them and for security reasons, many places are cordoned off. At the celebration in early June, for example, most just saw something in the sky, like helicopter formed the number 70 and the jet planes painted the national colors in the clouds.

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Oddly enough, you are luckier in everyday life. Just beware of police motorcycles driving car convoy. It’s not uncommon for a royal to sit inside. Like that Sunday, 12:20 p.m., before the albert’s royal hall: Princess Kate greets in a red dress. By the way, such “encounters” are not so rare; after all, royalty lives here and has to get from A to B too.

But on holidays, the whole city is dedicated to them. Almost every shop window congratulates “Her Majesty of her the Queen”, Union Jacks everywhere, even put on muffins, at hotel breakfast. A life-size cardboard cutout of the Queen is available for selfies in the lobby. “How small she is,” a lady marvels. And if you want to make it even more realistic, at Madame Tussaud’s famous wax museum, royals are realistically recreated.

The legendary crown jewels, on the other hand, are very serious. Stored in the tower, well secured. After passing through the wall-thick steel gate, the tourist slowly walks past them on a treadmill.

The destination of a trip under the motto “Queen” naturally also includes a visit to the westminster abbey, church of coronation and burial of the kings. But great minds also have their place here: Newton, Darwin, Stephen Hawking they are immortalized on floor plates.

The character of St. Paul’s Cathedral, the site of important royal services like the Queen’s in early June with Charles, William & Co., is entirely different. In view of this, the seating arrangement is striking: seats like from the furniture market.

The visitor meets recent British history at the Winston Churchill Museum. A must because history can be touched, a masterpiece of museum education. In those original rooms where the great Premier waged war. And they also look familiar, yes, from the Oscar-winning film “The Darkest Hour.”

Speaking of cinema: walking past a discreet but legendary office building on Vauxhall Bridge: the headquarters of the secret Service MI 6, world famous for the James Bond episode in which the villain Blofeld blows it up. But we can report the reassuring message: construction is still going on.

Just like Big Ben. The tower at the top of the parliament building can be seen without scaffolding for the first time in a long time, glistening in the sun. A visit to Parliament is complicated. Long-term booking on the web is necessary, the earliest dates now are only at the end of July. the downing streetseat of the prime minister, is completely sealed off.

On the Tower Bridge, a technical and architectural jewel, runs through the Thames River – to two cultural landmarks: the replica of Shakespeare’s Globe Theater and the Tate Gallery of modern art. In the building of the old factory a performance takes place: a Japanese artist forms sand on the ground with a broom.

Generally the right bank of the Thames. Formerly a port area, today it’s a single food mile with recreated historic cafes and pubs like the “Ancla” – you don’t even know where to stop. And in between, the piers turned into beaches, the site of something quintessentially English: a picnic. Apart from that, sadly there are only a few typical things left: the red telephone boxes are being replaced and the classic taxis are hardly seen anymore.

Londoners no longer have anything in common with the image in travel guides or our old English schoolbooks, which showed stiff gentlemen in black suits and bowler hats lining up on their covers. They are as quiet as anywhere in the world. Only one makes the difference: the Queen.

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