Extravagant weekend in London

Last weekend was my first living in London and if it is any sort of indication of what life in London will be like, I’m excited 🙂

The band getting ready to play

We started off the weekend Friday evening meeting at the Tower of London after work for The Tower Festival. Ann had managed to get us tickets for two days at the festival and Friday it was The British Philharmonic Orchestra playing Classic Extravaganza. Before the concert we met up with a couple of local CouchSurfers at a pub and went to the venue with them afterwards. The concert was good and it was quite amazing sitting outside in central London listening to classical music. Here are two short video clips of the concert.

Saturday we went to The Barbican Centre which is a huge modern complex in the middle of London. It is a maze to figure out and although some call it The Ugliest Building in London I kind of like the place especially the inside has a very clean design in a 70s way with wood and concrete.

Handel Concert at the Barbican

We went to hear a special concert to commemorate the 250th anniversary of Händel’s death called Handel Remixed. For that celebration they had asked a couple of composers to reinterpret some of Händel’s works. The composers were at the concert as well taking applause after their piece had been played. I wasn’t really expecting much before the concert but was blown away once it started. Compared to the day before the sound was so crisp and clean. The music was also very captivating and I really enjoyed it even though I don’t know much about Händel or classical music.

Sunday we went back to The Tower of London for a day of World Music at The Tower Festival where five bands were playing. It started in the afternoon and they had encouraged people to bring a picnic, so that was what we did.

Ann at our spot

The bands we saw were Siyaya from Zimbabwe, Abdullah Chhadeh from Syria, Justin Adams and Juldeh Camara from UK/Gambia and Tony Allen from Nigeria. They were all good in their own ways but the one I enjoyed the most was Adams on electric guitar and Camara on a one stringed ritti playing “Afro-Blues”. It doesn’t get more worldly than that 🙂 Here is a short video of them playing.

What a weekend! Three separate events and we had more things planned that we didn’t make it out the door to. I’m looking forward to keep exploring London 🙂 Ann has written a lot more about the event’s of the weekend. Here are here stories for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Being in a big city like London there is such a multitude of things to do that our biggest problems are finding out what’s going on and choose what we want to do.
We have started an open calendar for the events we would like to do in order to keep track of things. If you are in London feel free to subscribe to it and let us know if you wan to join us for something.

Good bye Prague, hello London!

So my final days in Prague came to and end faster than I had expected but I’ll save that for a later blog post.

no refunds given
Photo by pnoid00

Tuesday afternoon I arrived in London in the pouring rain and it was raining a lot. Ann has been saying that London weather is not as bad as people make it out be to but this day she was a bit off. I’m not complaining tho. Ann had cooked me a nice English meal of Shepard’s Pie and showed me around our new home. Mmm, our new home. It’s been almost exactly two years since we went on our first date in Prague and now we are finally living in the same country 🙂

Our house

The next day the weather was a lot nicer so while Ann went to university I could get out and explore the neighborhood. The picture above is of the house we live in. We are in the house on the left with the red door on the first floor where we share a two bedroom flat with an Aussie/Brit couple.

Terraced houses in Willesden Green

Our neighborhood is covered with streets of terraced houses – all looking the same but also very different. It’s an interesting place to walk around and see how these maybe 80 year old houses have evolved differently depending of different styles and owners. Some are very nice and others are falling apart.

Mediterranean & East European Food

London is a very multiethnic city which also shows in our neighborhood with all sorts of exotic shops and restaurants. Compared to Prague which is very homogeneous (if you don’t count in the tourists) it’s a quite different atmosphere with all these cultures mixed amongst each other. On my trip I remember seeing Polish, Jamaican, Brazilian, Pakistani, Indian and South African and I’m sure I forgot a few. Also I’ve seen one synagogue, two mosques and a couple of churches and this place:

The new moon

There is plenty to explore still and I’m looking forward to tasting the different foods and seeing what else there is to explore in this area.

Before I made it home I came across this piece in a school yard, “Share My World” – what a nice welcome 🙂

Share My World