May 16, 2020! From home I heard that the situation Germany and a few other European countries was getting better and better. Restaurants and shops started to open again, which represented a step back to a rather normal life. However, the United Kingdom was still in complete lockdown. For myself, it didn’t feel like anything would get better any soon. It rather seemed like it’s getting worse. I couldn’t believe why this country was in those terms so far behind. Whatever! Therefore, we still weren’t really allowed to go outside. Many people did go outside, because just no one cared and got controlled. But for us, we just felt unrespectful going outside and pretending everything is great and nothing is going on right now at the world. That was just not true. On the other side, we were getting tired of spending every single day in our small room on campus. I just had to get some fresh air, walk and see something else than my laptop and my bed. And that’s how our little day trip came about.
It was all quite spontaneous. I woke up and ate some breakfast when Elle and Ilya asked me to go for a “walk”. And that’s what we did. However, the “walk” turned out to be rather a “hike”. We walked quite long. But I absolutely enjoyed it to see some other “non-touristy” parts of London. Before we even reached Richmond park, we came by an ice-cream truck. I’ve never seen one in real life. We don’t really have them in Germany. So far, I’ve only seen them in American movies. Even more excited were we, when we saw the iceman selling yummy ice-cream. That’s the first and only “business” that open and allowed at that time.
Then, we walked through Richmond park, until we reached the big big house. It took us almost an hour until we saw the house. When we were running that distance, the distance felt much smaller. Anyway, we had a lot to talk and to see. Then we came buy a many deer again. So, the walk didn’t feel that long at all. Honestly, I have no idea what’s the big house called or what’s in it. But that’s not important. Important is, that from there it wasn’t far anymore to the river side.
We could already see the water from the top. Surrounded by gorgeous nature, it looked absolutely beautiful. We randomly walked further, hoping to reach the Thames. I guess we didn’t take the straight way to the river, but that was okay. We crossed a big field and came by a cow herd. Or was it a buffalo herd? Haha, they looked a little like it. Then, we ended up at the little village, called Petersham. We walked through the small alleys, came buy a German school, a Polo club and much more. Then, finally we made it to the river.
It really looked beautiful, the river with all those little boats floating enlightened in the sun and surrounded by so much green. There were quite a few people around, but it was still easy to take distance. We made a small break and just sat by the water, enjoying the sun.
From there, we walked further and further, until we reached Teddington Lock Footbridge. The way always went along the river. It was super nice doing and seeing something non-touristy. I mean, what tourist would come to the Ham Lands and Teddington Lock just to walk for hours and hours along the Thames? I don’t think many. It was cool feeling a little like a local. We crossed the river and came to the little British village “Teddington”. There, we strolled around the main street, had a look at some coffee shops that opened for take-away only, ordered some pizza and waited on a bank for the delivery to come. With the food, we walked to The Woodland Gardens, another huge park. That’s what I love about London. Even though you are in such a big city, there is so much green everywhere. So nice.
And that was it! We headed back to campus by train and bus. That was when we realized how far we actually walked. It was so good to get out of that room, see something else, enjoy the weather and London’s surroundings!