Our last day was rather uneventful, since we had to leave for Stansted Airport shortly after noon. It was also the pretty much only day we had rain. Just a bit, but some anyways.
Naturally during out stay in London we wanted to see the infamous changing of the guards. We didn't get there quite early enough to actually get a very good view, but here are some impressions anyways.
Our fourth day in London was all about Sightseeing. We decided that at least one day we needed to act like real tourists, so we took our time strolling through the city visiting all the places tourists need to see.
After two days in the city we decided to spend a day out in the green. First thing in the morning we went to Sainsbury's to buy food for a nicle little picnic. Most importantly scones, clotted cream and jam. Then we went on our way out to Kew Gardens, the royal botanical gardens. The gardens not only have giant greenhouses but also wild forest areas, pretty flowerbeds and a chinese-style pagoda.
Our second day in London went a suspiciously similar way to the day of our arrival. First thing in the morning we started into the city, our first stop being Regent's Park, where we spent sime time wandering around . We saw quite a few cute little critters, mostly squirrels, ducks and geese.
Our destination was Primrose Hill, one of the few eleviations in a mostly flat city. The 'peak' of Primrose Hill gave us a great view of London's Skyline, and a lot of wind to mess up our hair.
From Regent's Park it's not far off to Camden Town, a place we really wanted to visit anyway, and a place promising to extend our previous London-Street-Food-experience. So off to we went to the Camden Lock Market and its Street Food Stalls.
After both having started new jobs at the beginning of this year, in May we finally managed to take a few days off for ourselves to have a little trip. Since I have a friend there that I really wanted to visit for a while, and it had also been on our list of "want-to-go-places" for quite some time, we decided for a short trip to London.
Our trip started early in the morning, when we got up at 2 o'clock to drive to the airport and catch our flight. The good thing about flying early is that you still have the whole day ahead of you. And we used it well.
With my friend as a guide we explored the city. Our first stop was the Borough Food Market, a wonderful place where you can not only buy all sorts of fresh vegetables and fruits, cheese and deli, but also great varieties of street food, freshly prepared for the passers-by.
From 19th to 22nd of December I went on a short trip to Amsterdam together with a colleague and her friend. The weather was pretty cloudy and we didn't see too much of the sun. Of course those are the shortest days in the year, so we experienced mostly night and didn't get to see as much of that beautiful city as we had hoped to. But during the winter season there is a light festival showing off numerous installations centered around light.
Before we had to leave the Denali National Park we decided we wanted to drive the Park Road as far as you are allowed with our own vehicle. And we were so glad we did! We not only saw the first bull moose of our vacation, we also did finally get to see a bear. A real life grizzly bear.
As we first saw him, he was really far away and could hardly be seen without the help of our binoculars. He was on the other side of a riverbed and went into the bushes. After a while we decided to go down there to get some pictures of the valley - not having the best feeling....
The second day of our road trip began early for us, as we had to make our way to Denali National Park until 11.30 at the latest to be on time to board our shuttle bus. Since we hadn’t seen any animals on the previous day and were almost through the scenic parts of the road, we didn’t expect too much of the last bit of road left on the Denali Highway. But just about five minutes after we had started driving again two caribou stood right in the middle of the road. We stopped. They looked at us and then started to walk towards us. They stayed in sight for quite some time, looking at us just as curious as we looked at them. Then another car drove by and they went off into the bushes.
The beginning of our trip to the Denali Highway led us up the Glenn Highway, a route we had taken before, up to Glennallen. From there we followed the Richardson Highway to Paxson where we finally took a turn onto the Denali Highway. Just getting there had already swallowed up 6 hours in the car, and we were determined to drive at least half of the Denali Highway that day.
The craziest thing though was actually the process of gassing up. We knew we’d have to gas up again before we went onto the Denali Highway, but didn’t want to gas up as early as Glenallen. We had a map that showed a gas station in Paxson but I really didn’t want to take the risk of taking the very last possible gas station. Turned out it was a good decision, because Paxson ended up being something like a ghost town. The lodge advertised in our brochure was abandoned and the gas station was nowhere to be found...