My Thames Waltz – A River Cruise of Cultural Discovery

Imagine a river cruise on the waterways of London, gliding through picturesque landscapes dotted with skyscrapers and old buildings: an escape where the destination will be as pleasant as the journey.

On the 28th of March I had the chance to join the world of river cruising on the Thames, alongside my fellow ambassadors and, let me tell you this, it was breathtaking.

Will you join me on a trip through memories?

via ASALONDON

                                                                  via ASALONDON

Our day started of with a short, but colourful, visit at the National Portrait Gallery, in Trafalgar Square, where history meets with contemporaneity and talent is boasting everywhere. At first, finding the Gallery seemed a little complicated but after about 50 stairs and a short walk, we managed to get to our desired place.

Trafalgar Square view from The National Gallery  entrance

Trafalgar Square view from The National Gallery entrance

As you enter the National Portrait Gallery, your visual perspective is being flooded with portraits of all sorts, old, new, colourful, black & white and your breath is just simply taken away by their beauty. I am a much more simpler person, and I have to be honest, my understanding of art is not that wide. However, one thing’s drawn me in for sure: The Tudors Gallery

Words cannot even measure the satisfaction I had while being in the room with the portraits of all the Tudors, and I’ll let the pictures speak for me:

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Mary Queen of Scots

             Mary Queen of Scots

 

The Tudors

                     The Tudors

After strolling in the National Portrait Gallery, it was time for us to take off and do some City River Cruising.

Just so you know, City Cruises offers a spectacular trip on the Thames, and it’s only £9.10 for a student and your cultural experience will not only be enriched by the views but will take your breath away!

For those of you that don’t know, City Cruises:

Is a company that operates scheduled public sightseeing cruises on the River Thames in London, serving Westminster, London Eye, Tower and Greenwich piers every day (except 25 December) throughout the year. It operates the services mainly using purpose-built wheelchair-accessible ‘RiverLiner’ vessels, which have a large open top deck and enclosed lower saloon with panoramic windows and bars, backed up by some ex-Paris single-deck conservatory-style sightseeing boats.

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If you are a Harry Potter fan, with City Cruises you can actually see the school where Daniel Radcliffe ( City of London School)went, and, also enjoy an abundance of historical facts without getting bored.

Take my word for this, you’ll feel like the cruise is taking you back to time and you’ll enjoy every moment of it!

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                                        The Old City of London School. River View via Panoramio

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Our lovely Ambassador Leader, Kim Duller

Our lovely Ambassador Leader, Kim Duller

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London Eye, under heavy clouds of rain

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Enjoying the view with my friend and guest, Rita

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What would be the City Cruise without this famous view?

Just to finish off my tale about the City Cruises, I’ll let you enjoy a video that our friend, Divi Malshe (http://whatiluvv.blogspot.co.uk), created to enchant your views:

If you are interested in finding out more about the exciting things that City Cruises are offering, make sure you check their website and buy yourself a ticket!

Until next time my darlings,

Csilla xx

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Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park

This month’s specific is very special, as everyone knows it, and London is a magnificent place to be in December. Not only because of the varieties it offers, but because it contours a beautiful side of the holidays. But let us not dwell too much on that and move on to the actual topic. Today’s post is all about Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park and how a small trip to it can change your perspective about winter in London.

Going back in time, 2007 was the year when Winter Wonderland was inaugurated in Hyde Park and ever since, it provides its visitors a glamouring and traditional winter experience!  It has become by far Londoners’ ( and of course, mine) favourite choice to do during the cold season.

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It includes a large variety of options, such as: an ice rink, fairground rides, Santa’s grotto, Christmas market (yaay!) with wooden chalets and Bavarian-style bars and cafes, the helter skelter ride and so much more!

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Photo taken from Winter Wonderland's Facebook Page

However, I wouldn’t recommend going with an empty wallet, because it’s not cheap ( unfortunately) and it’s fun!

As an international student in London, this is by definition not the cheapest place to go and visit, but, even on a budget, you can still have fun.  From my experience, £20 is more than enough to have some fun :drink mulled wine, enjoy a ride and buy a souvenir , with the transport to the park included! It’s a free-entry market, so you can still go there and delight your vision and senses !

Make sure you go at least once before it closes, forgot to mention, it runs from the 21st November 2014 to 4th January 2015 ( closed on 25th of December); opening times: everyday 10 AM until 10 PM.

For live-updates check out their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/winterwonderlanduk

Get some warm clothes and boots on, cover your head and hands in wool layers and hit the road!

Have fun!

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London Parade welcomes the Chinese New Year of the Horse!

The Chinese New Year is the longest and the most important celebration in the Chinese calendar. This year, the Chinese calendar celebrates 4712 years of existence and the animal that is attributed to it, is the horse.

This year, I chose to attend the New Year’s Parade downtown, on Sunday February 2, mostly because I’ve never been to something similar and also because I like the Chinese culture.

Thousands of people gathered in Central London to welcome warmly the event, and nonetheless, they were gifted with surprising acts. At 10 A.M a parade through the West End headed for Trafalgar Square, where the traditional opening ceremony took place on the main stage at noon. It was followed by an afternoon full of Chinese event including a gravity-defying lion dance performed atop high poles.

The parade in Leicester Square started off with a traditional dragon dance, followed then by floats and beating drums, in an explosion of colours, which brought to life the entire celebration.

Little girls and boys were dancing dressed up in traditional Chinese costumes, and even a Flying Lion Dance Performance was set up for the delight of the audience.

Chinatown became lively and active.

New Year-themed decorations, special menus and events at its 100-odd restaurants, bars, cafes and shops and all sort of food and craft stalls were empowering the streets.

Even little children were dressed up in traditional costumes and playing with funny crackers, and the performances last throughout the entire day, in order to welcome properly the New Year.

London definitely knows how to bring Asian culture to life and how to celebrate it in a lovely way!

农历新年



 

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