Blogventure – We blog our adventure
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Dear friends and family,

it’s been a while since I wrote my last post and this weekend in London happened already two weeks ago as well. Nevertheless, now some minor and major details about my weekend with German friends in one of biggest cities of Europe.
– During my time in London, there have been the horrible attacks in Paris, and I will mention them briefly. We already wrote about that beforehand and even though such thing shouldn’t happen, we still need to go on and live our life. Otherwise the terror already won. –

The short version: It was awesome and we had a really great time! I enjoyed seeing Tobi, Claudia, Daniel, Heilgard and all the other again plus being in such an amazing city – quite a good combination 😉

So, we all came into London from Dublin, Aberdeen, Norwich and the lovely Rhineland round Friday, 13th November and stayed there till Sundaynight or Monday, 16th November. After my flight to Copenhagen the weekend before, I travelled on my own again, which is fine but totally different. Luckily, my plane left in the early afternoon, so no early waking up this time, at least.

Arriving at Heathrow Airport, taking the tube to Gloucester Road and meeting Claudia at our hostel near Hyde Park – everything worked out well and the location right in the centre was perfect. As we brought some food we made some dinner ourselves, but this was a lot about improvising…. the only possiblilty to heat up food was a microwave, no oven, no stove, no pots or whatsoever…we finally managed to prepare a nice rice-vegetable pot using our lunch boxes and the microwave. It wasn’t too bad :)

Later we met Tobi and Daniel across the Hyde Park in a nice pub called “The Mitre”. While drinking some stout and enjoying our time, we got to know about the attacks in Paris. The first information were brutal already but didn’t show the whole dimension of it. Only later, back in hostel I realised, what was going on.. and to be honest, it was a strange feeling being in one of the biggest cities of Europe at that point in time…

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Natural History Museum at night // Naturkunde Museum bei Nacht

Saturday, 14th November

The reason we all met in London was the German tradition of Saint Martin being celebrated by a German-Lutherian community there and Tobi, Heilgard and the others playing a concert for them. Because of that, they wanted to rehearse Saturday afternoon. Before meeting the others again, Claudia and me explored the area a little bit.
Have a look….

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Claudia and telephone box in front of the Victoria and Albert Museum // Claudia und in einem typischen roten Telefonhäuschen vor dem Victoria und Albert Museum

 

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the luxury shopping hall “Harrods” … we only walked through, but… // das Luxuskaufhaus “Harrods”… wir sind nur einmal durchgegangen, doch….

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we couldn’t leave without a brownie each.. it’s been worth it! // wir konnten den Brownies nicht widerstehen. Hat sich gelohnt ;)

Afterwards we spent some time on the tube and walking through some other parts of London with Tobi, Daniel and Marcus. We’ve been to King’s Cross, Baker Street, Westminster, London Eye, Big Ben and shortly saw Trafalgar Square and Buckingham Palace as well.

Finally we came back to the church, listened to the Brass musicians rehearsing and thought about plans for the evening. Tobi and Daniel had tickets for Les Miserable, so Marcus, Claudia and me drove back to Leicester Square to figure out something. Cinema, comedy, theatre … we were literally spoilt for choice. In the end comedy was a good decision and we enjoyed British humour from different comedians.

The evening ended in another pub with Tobi and Daniel again over another stout. As pubs are closing round midnight in London, nights aren’t very long there. So people actually have the chance to sleep :)

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The German Lutherian Church

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St Pancras Station (alias Kings Cross in Harry Potter)

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Kings Cross Station from the inside with a cute Christmas tree (made of plushies) // Kings Cross von innen mit einem verrückten Weihnachtsbaum nur aus Kuscheltieren

Note: In real Kings Cross looks a little bit different than in the Harry Potter movies. They used St Pancras Station (which is right next to Kings Cross) for the external shoots and actual Kings Cross Station for the indoor shoots.

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there it is: Platform 9 3/4 // da ist es: Gleis 9 3/4 in Kings Cross

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Big Ben

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London Eye

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me in a red telephone box

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Trafalgar Square

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one of many pubs in Soho round Leicester Square

Sunday, 15th November

After some sleep, Claudia and me used every minute of the morning and went to Covent Garden. It’s a lovely market with nice little shops and stalls full of good food and handmade crafts and goodies.. being there just from the beginning allowed us to walk around freely without running into tourist every other step.

For lunchtime we met up with Tobi, Daniel and Michael for an awesome brunch next to Kensigton Station. :)
Full of food we finally went back to the church again and helped preparing the St Martin’s parade. Setting up tents on the street to sell mulled wine, German Bratwurst and Weckmänner. It felt pretty similar to arranging things for the street parties back home in Sielsdorf.

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shop in Covent Garden

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St Paul’s Church right next to Covent Garden // St Paul’s Kirche direkt neben Covent Garden (nicht mit der St Paul’s Cathedral zu verwechseln)

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you all are superfantastic ;)

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funny lamps at Covent Garden // lustige Ideen für neue Lampen

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greetings from the north – *we wish you a merry christmas…*

In the end, believe it or not, about 800 people came to procession and walked from the Hyde Park a short while to the church. The tradition of St Martin is pretty common in some areas in Germany. It is a parade of lights and lanterns through the dark streets in round the 11th November. We remember the Roman soldier Martin who shared his coat with some beggar  who was freezing outside the cits back in the 4th century. In schools and kindergardens, children make lanterns on their own every year again.

The only thing missing was a bonfire… but well, that would be to complicated in London, I guess.

It’s been really nice and awkward at the same time to celebrate such a German tradition in the middle of London with so many Germans round me. I barely spoke English during my time in London..

The next morning I left the hostel at 4.30 am in the morning, and suddenly the big city London was quiet and empty.. strange, but I had to catch my plane back to Dublin in order to be back for my lectures. In the end, I still couldn’t make it because the bus was late, but I got back home safe :)

Being thankful is basically what St Martin is about, similar to Thanksgiving in America. As it’s been Thanksgiving yesterday and I have lots of American friends over here, I celebrated my first Thanksgiving ever. We had a great evening, lots of fun and tons of food 😀

 

All in all, things made me realise that time is literally flying… I cannot believe that’s already been more than two months since I left Germany and only three weeks left till I go there for Christmas. I am even back in Germany next week for my sister’s wedding… there has been a lot going on during my time in Ireland, and I am so, so thankful for the people I’ve met and the friends I made, the chances offered to me and things I learned. :) I am quite aware that it is not usual to be that blessed with such great family, friends, opportunities in life, great education and the freedom to live the way I like. Shout out to everybody, who turned my time in Ireland into such a special and wonderful experience!! <3

Enjoy the first advent weekend and have a great time, where ever you are right now.

Love, Anna-Lena

—-
Meine lieben deutschen Freunde,

heute gibt’s leider keine Übersetzung. Ich hoffe, die meisten von euch verstehen auch den englischen Text und wem das doch etwas schwerer fällt, meldet euch einfach bei mir 😉

Wenn ich ein bisschen Zeit finde, schreibe ich auch noch eine Übersetzung, aber ich weiß noch nicht wann!

Wünsche euch einen guten Start in die Adventszeit und ganz liebe Grüße aus Irland!

 

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Anna-Lena Oehmann

I am studying Musicology and British Literature at Bonn University in Germany and will spend my year abroad at Maynooth University near Dublin.