I arrived to live in London straight from sunny Mexico. Well maybe not that straight as I had aflight from mexico City to Madrid then Dublin and then London. It was the winter at the beginning of 2009. If you remember it many flights over Europe were cancelled because of the snow. So was mine.
I got stuck in Dublin airport with luggage containg all the things I gathered during the time I was living in Ireland. Yes I took it all with me to Mexico. So one 80l backpack and small backpack for hand luggage. I have saved some money and after a long consideration decided to try my luck in London.
So there I was tired with the journey from another side of the World waiting for information on my budget flight to London. As usual not much was known as the situation was dependent of weather conditions. In the end my flight was postponed untill the next day. I decided to rent a room in a hotel €50 if I remember correctly. I didn’t want to waste money but decided to spoil myself nontheless.
It was snowing all the time. Big flakes of snow in the street light looked like a big adventure. I was restless. Excited, afraid and still thinking if I’m making the right choice. And so I went to visit my friends who then lived in Dublin City center. We always had a good laugh together. So was this time. I couldn’t stay long as I wanted to get to my hotel before they shut the public transport. It felt so weird thinking I might as well never be coming back to Ireland. I suppose to appreciate how big decision it was for me you should know I love the green island implicitly. This doesn’t mean I don’t see the faults it’s just that I take them along.
Let’s skip the night, the morning departure and let’s just arrive in London on a sunny and frosty morning. My boyfriend found us a room in Britannia Village, Royal Docks near London City Airport. Wonderful view on plans taking off and landing as well as Canary Wharf. As this is first post on London of many I will just write a bit about Royal Docks and Britannia Village. The apartment building we were living in was quite new and clean, tall but narrow. It had 3 storeys. Ground floor – entrance, utility room, micro bathroom and garage (converted into a room in our house), first floor – box room, living room and kitchen, second floor two rooms and a bathroom. All that know living conditions in London will appreciate we actually had a living room. Everything was cramped and small. I was used to living in one family houses with big kitchen containing dining area and separate large living room. My single room was the only a bit smaller than the room I had to share now with P. It was quite difficult as you can imagine.
The most distinguish feature of Royal Docks area is a high foot bridge above the dock just opposite to the London City’s runway. You get a beautiful panorama view when you climb it. Long after those first days I used to visit my friend in Britannia Village we would walk around the dock and then sit on the bridge observing the sunset and talk about life. I miss it even though I don’t miss London.
Next to the Royal Victoria Dock ExCeL Center is located. It’s the international exhibition and convention centre. I was once inside to use the toilet I think and wanting to get something to eat. I think in the end P. treated me to something sweet but I know he visited an exhibition and was happy about it. So was my friend M. after sightseeing the sailing boats fair. I think there are plans to revive the area and recently a Cable Car was build. i think in time for the Olympics. I have to say thanks to the Olympic village the whole East London was revived.
The Royal Docks comprise three docks in east London – the Royal Albert Dock the Royal Victoria Dock and the King George V Dock built on riverside marshes. They were built for large vessels that could not be accommodated further upriver. What else I can say that there a a couple of restaurants worth recommendation among them Thai restaurant – Nakhon Thai (there’s another on the Isle of Dogs) and Caribbean – Caribbean Scene Royale, the second I never visited. Shame on me. Also that the windows prevent pretty much the noise of the airport of intruding the houses. The problem emerges when you want to open the window.