3-day trip to England

I created this Blog some time ago, but never had time (read: I was too lazy) to actually write an article. So the first one is about a short trip from Germany to UK I did last weekend to attend to an engagement party of good friends in Bradford.

Departure

Last Thursday, right after work, a colleague gave me a lift to the next train station. From there I went to Cologne Central Station where I had to wait about 3 hours to get on the Coach to London.

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Waiting for the S-Bahn (train) to Cologne Central

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My backpack with sleeping bag (not used during this trip)

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Cologne Central Station

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Cologne Dom (Cathedral)

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Central Station

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Bridge I had to cross to get to the bus stop where the Megabus coach stops

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Love padlocks …

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Crossing the river Rhine

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Megabus to London

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Our coach

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Obviously another shot of our coach

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Left hand drive

I had a few beers (makes it easier to sleep in the coach as I found out) and then I walked to the bus stop where Megabus coaches use to pick up passengers. We departed about 21:30 to Calais, where we would cross the channel by ferry.

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Calais, P&O Ferry Terminal

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Waiting for boarding

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On the ferry

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Leaving Calais

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Calais docks

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Pride of Canterbury

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Time to get a few drinks …

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Stairs to upper decks and vehicle decks (closed while on route)

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Shops … never bought anything there

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People using the time for a quick nap

We barely made it to the ferry, since one passenger had some problems with customs/border control, we had to wait for about 20 minutes and finally boarded as the last vehicle. On the ferry I had a few drinks (cider, quite overpriced but heck) and stayed most of the time at the upper deck where smoking is allowed.

London

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Arriving in London

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Thankfully the seat next to me wasn’t taken …

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Crossing Vauxhall Bridge, London

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The river Thames

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Thames

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Still had a beer from Germany, about 8am at Lower Grosvenor Gardens

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Victoria Station

After leaving the ferry and about 2 more hours we finally arrived in London, Victoria Coach Station at about 7am. I chose to take a break before heading to Bradford, so I booked the 10:30 service. Had a beer at Lower Grosvenor Gardens and bought a bottle of ginger wine at Sainsbury’s as soon as it was possible (they don’t sell alcohol before 8am). After having a coffee, a sandwich, a few more sips of wine and (too) many cigarettes I boarded the coach heading Bradford.

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Leeds, North England

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Leeds Station

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Outskirts of Bradford

Bradford

Arrived in Bradford at about 16:30 local time, over an hour late. We departed in London half hour late cause one passenger was ill and had vomited in the coach before we even started, so the coach had to be cleaned before we could take off. Friday evening also is not the best time travelling on the M1 motorway, which is undergoing road maintenance for some miles at the moment.

Went to my friend’s flat, changed clothes and then went directly to the engagement party.

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For privacy reasons this will be the only photo of the party. 😉

After the party ended we got home with a taxi, had some late snacks at a takeaway and went back to my friend’s home. Fell asleep at about 2am, after 24 hours of travelling and being more or less awake for 45 hours.

Next day I went downtown alone, since my friends had a hangover for some reason. 😉 Bought the ticket and some provisions for the trip back to London. Weather was quite nice (for Bradford) but still quite cold and windy. And – typical for this area – it can change in minutes from warm sunshine to cold rainy conditions.

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Bradford Interchange

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Across the street

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Quite nice weather – for Bradford

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But still quite cold and windy

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City center

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City center

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City center

Way back to London

At about 15:30 I went back to London by coach. At first it seemed like we would arrive like scheduled but in the middle of nowhere there should be a driver change. But no driver showed up. So we waited for about 45 minutes and then (after a few phone calls our driver had with National Express) we headed for another rest station …

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Coach to London

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Waiting for the driver …

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On route to London …

 

Eventually we had the driver change and headed to London. I was so tired, I really fell asleep in the most uncomfortable position.

London again

I arrived in London and was in need of a hostel’s dorm room bed. I checked a YHA hostel before and there seemed to be vacant beds. So I headed there.

First I thought I would just walk there but then I figured out that check-in deadline was midnight and I was running out of time so I chose to take the underground.

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Arriving in London

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The Queen’s house

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London at night …

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On my way to Trafalgar Square

Okay, I chose to take the underground, so I had to buy a ticket. 4.80 pounds to Canada Water. I had 3.80 in coins. Fuck. I just gave a pound to a homeless man a few minutes ago. Anyway. Tried to change a 5 pounds note with people passing by. Didn’t work. So I went to a Tesco that still was open and bought a KidKat chocolate bar for 80 pence for change. 😉

Bought the ticket and headed to Jubilee line as the signs indicated. And found out that line was closed here due to repairs at this weekend. Asked the guy at the barrier what to do. He was quite friendly, told me to go to Embarkment by that line, to Waterloo by that line and from that I could go to Canada Water …

Great.

Well I made it to the YHA hostel in time, checked in at 23:30 …

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On my way to the hostel

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Surrey Warter

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Surrey Water, near Canada Water, London

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Nice place

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YHA hostel

In London

Spend the evening first by drinking a few ciders and chilling. Then, late at night I met a guy while smoking outside the hostel who is about to explore Europe by bike. He offered some beer (I couldn’t resist) and we talked until about 2:30 in the morning 😉

Checked out early and spend the Sunday in London walking from Canada Water to Westminster along the Thames:

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Tower Bridge … weather was great

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Some boat …

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Skate ground near London Eye

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The same …

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I think that is called Big Ben or alike 😉

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London Eye

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Downing Street, London

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That used to be a squat, but not anymore …

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Trafalgar Square

Heading back to Germany

After that nice Sunday I headed back to Germany.

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Coach back to Köln

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We made it to the ferry at last minute … once again

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Dover heading to Calais …

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Back in Cologne

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Crossing the bridge to Cologne Central Station

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Heading back to work in Niederkassel …

Conclusion

Was quite a journey, so much experiences and a lot of fun … meeting friends, having a good time. And it took only a day off work and the weekend …

🙂

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