Was in London 3 weeks ago for a conferene on Software Radio. It was my first time in London, so here are my positive impressions:
- Awesome buildings. I have no pictures, but even the Sony Ericsson building looked like something a Count would be living in! I imagine it must be a very inspiring city for architects…
- Clean streets. Like you wouldn’t imagine. Congratulations to the Brits, for me this is a measure of civilization.
- The shops downtown were open till very late. I have long supported the extension of the opening hours for businesses, it will boost spending and create jobs.
- Lots of ethnic restaurants, something that I really like and which I miss here.
- I went out of curiosity into a supermarket to see if and how they are different from ours. Conclusion: unbelievably more variety, cleaner, but more expensive than in Greece/Italy. On the other hand, I must admit that the comparison is a bit unfair, because I am comparing Kensington, London with Thessaloniki, Greece and Ispra, Italy.
- Went to one of the Angus Stake Houses in Piccadily Circus and had a medium-rare sirloin stake + a jacket potato w/ butter. Expensive, not excellent, but good. Nice beer too.
Ok, and here are my negative impressions:
- They lost my bag. Again! I think someone up there is telling me to stay put for a while! And it took them 1 week to get it to me.
- Heathrow is a really crappy airport. Everything is very narrow, you feel like you are underground. There is not enough seating for everyone, which I believe is a way to force you to wander around in the shops and spend money. They do not announce your gate until 30-40 minutes before take-off, so you cannot go there earlier and relax. Security is ridiculous. The only other time I had to take my shoes off was in Shanghai. Oh, and did I mention they lost my bag?
- Expensive, ugly, claustrophobicly narrow, obviously old & noisy subway. I had to pay more than 4 pounds from Kensington High Street to Piccadily and back. In most places they make public transport cheap and attractive so people don’t use their cars. Why not in London?