Nostalgic weekend in London #1


Seven years ago, the Boyfriend and I met in Greenwich, one of the boroughs of London on the southern banks of the Thames.

I was coming from Lille to spend my Erasmus year and he had left Milan for 3 years to study in England. At the end of the year we both came back to our respective countries so we knew it wouldn’t be easy but, after 1 year and a half of going back of forth between Paris and Milan (thank you Easyjet), we finally settled together in Paris. Since, We’ve gone back to London only once in 2010.

Last July OUIBUS (formerly called IDBUS) contacted me to propose me to try their bus travel services. I had the choice between London, Amsterdam and Brussels. The choice was quickly made, especially since we were celebrating our 6 year anniversary that month! Having said this, London isn’t necessarily the best destination for just one weekend because it takes over 7 hours of bus to go to London from Paris and I’m not a big fan of travelling by bus.

I have a pretty bad inner ear, I’m very familiar with motion sickness. For example when we were travelling by bus with my school, I always had to sit up front in the bus with the model students while my friends were having fun in the back. Or when we flew over the Grand Canyon with my parents, I didn’t see a thing because I spent the whole flight with my head in a bag. Let’s not even talk about seasickness which is the worst for me and finally I can even be sick on skis when slaloming too much… I’m a lost cause!

I wasn’t too happy about this 7 hour night trip  but the opportunity to enjoy 48 hours in the citywas too great to miss it.

We left on Friday at 11.30 PM from Gare de Lyon and  arrived in London at Victoria Station on the next day at 6.30 AM. The trip turned out great actually, the seats were very confortables, we had wifi and even plugs to recharge our phones and the driver was very nice. I slept well (the medicine I took for motion sickness also helped) even though we had to get off the bus when we arrived at the border at 2 AM to show our passports.

The return trip however was more chaotic. We had to leave London on Sunday evening at 10.30 PM and arrive in Paris on Monday morning at 6.30 AM. However, the bus couldn’t get on the train so we had to take the ferry. This meant we had to wait 2 hours before boarding and then spend 1h30 on the boat surrounded by drunk people at 3 AM… We arrived in Paris 2h later than planned. We only had time to go home to take a shower and then run to the office!

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OUIBUS pictures

Traveling with OUIBUS is a wonderful alternative to the train because it allows you to travel at unbeatable prices (around 15€ for a round trip Paris-London) in a confortable bus but if you want to go to London, the Channel crossing making the journey unpredictable  (especially at the moment) so I would advise you to plan to go for more than 48h.

However I don’t regret it a single moment, we spent a wonderful weekend and we are young, we could sleep another day. :)

In this first post we will talk about 2 boroughs of London : Greenwich and Notting Hill.

Greenwich :

It’s with a great deal of emotion that we went back to the place we first me. This year had been one of the best of my life, if you have the opportunity to study abroad, please do it, what a rich and unique experience!

We went back to our former university which is very impressive, it has nothing to do with my university in Lille. At that time, I was very proud of showing it to my friends visiting me and for a good reason :  Greenwich University is part of an architectural complex called « Old Royal Naval College » listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s also a place suitable for film shootings (Four Weddings and a Funeral, Pirates of the Caribbean, Les Misérables and many more…). Amazing no ?  Very often after leaving the classroom I ran into actors in period costumes and in carriages, it’s rather confusing when you’re not used to it! Unfortunately this day we couldn’t go very close because the whole site was closed because of a concert, I was so frustrated and disappointed! I guess this is the disadvantage of fame…

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To stroll in this charming city that looks like a doll village and to see again the café we used to warm up over a cup of warm tea, the shops I used to buy my bow dresses, the bar we used to go on Friday evenings, the market we used to go for lunch on Wednesdays, the Marks and Spencer I used to rush in the morning to buy delicious cookies just coming out from the oven, to relax in our favorite tea room…

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Peter de Wit’s Cafe – 21 Greenwich Church St, LONDRES SE10 9BJ

And then go back to the park where we used to spend most of our time, to picnic, to play frisbee or to study surrounded by squirrels and to realize that the parc still bears the marks of this memorable winter we hurtled down the snow-covereded hill sitting on all sorts of sledges (everything could be used as a sledge, a piece of plastic or even a door). Go on top to the Observatory to admire this amazing view I used to never get rid of and still don’t!

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Just by looking at this pictures I have so many memories that come back and that make me nostalgic. It seems that as the years go by, I’m becoming more and more nostalgic. It’s kinda ironic when you know that I’m the first one to make fun of my father because he lives too much in the past. Greenwich is and will remain a city dear to my heart. <3

Notting Hill :

Finally, let’s finish this first English episode by a colorful stroll in the streets of the famous district of Notting Hill. I think I wrote enough and that you will be happy to just look at these pictures.

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Are you also becoming more easily nostalgic as the years go by ?

Thank you to OUIBUS for allowing us to travel 7 years into the past and for bringing back all these wonderful memories.



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