Well, I’m officially fucked! Over 48 hours with little to no sleep but it’s 9:17 pm and in an hour or so I can get to bed and let my body clock adjust. The second leg of my flight was a most gruesome 14 hours in the air with China Airlines with below average food a little to no refreshments which left not just myself, but many other flying companions with dry throats and headaches. Still, I can’t be too concerned because my flight over cost me less than half the price of other airlines for this time of year. And tomorrow of course, I head to Merseyside to catch up with Pearl, Chris and Pearl’s mum for the Liverpool v Tranmere friendly. Hopefully, a few of the other regular match goers will be around. To say I’m excited is an understatement!
I jumped on the Gatwick express to Victoria for the princely sum of £14.80 and, in no time at all found myself at Victoria station. From there, I undertook a 4 km walk with bags on my shoulder through the warm evening sun to Queensgate Road in Hyde Park where my hostel awaited. It’s a beautiful hostel here and only £24 for a night in a 4 bed dorm room with all the mod cons and a touch of Victorian class. It’s also just around the corner from The Royal Albert Hall, The V&A, The Albert Memorial Gardens, The Natural History Museum, The National Science Museum and quite a few other educational spots for the curious traveller to seek out.
There are memories of Prince Albert at almost every turn. Namely, The Royal Albert Hall. A curious slice of history for this venue is that, during the Second World War, a German commander was a fan of classical music and had been to The Royal Albert Hall many times prior to the war so he made sure the area was left relatively untouched by Nazi bombers. How kind. Albert died in 1861 but that didn’t stop Queen Victoria from making sure he was remembered for a long time to come.
It’s a lovely area for walking through these leafy parts of London. You see now, I have a love/hate relationship with the capital because on one side, there are so many wonderful landmarks and a rich cultured history whilst, on the other, there is great exploitation and money hungry developers who only seem interested in tearing down what’s great about London. The city itself drains your money like no other. The are the filthy rich and abject poor all mixed in together into a melting pot of multiple cultures. Once upon a time, I hated the place yet, with the passing of time and too many visits to remember, I’ve grown to find and love the many exciting pockets of creativity and culture on offer. Essentially, the older I get, the more I learn to enjoy my stays here in the capital.
It’s time now methinks to hit the hay and try and get some well earned rest. To be fair, I thought I would have passed out long ago but that doesn’t seem to be the case at all. Fingers crossed I get a good nights kip under the belt and enjoy the train to Liverpool tomorrow.