Ever since Kylie pressed the button and the lights went on everything is oh so jolly in the town of Londinivm.
The retailers have grins envied by Lewis Carroll, pubs are proudly presenting their Christmas menus and the streets are slowly starting to resemble those of Las Vegas – although they don’t really need much to be any extra-extravagant.
And as if there wasn’t too much of sugar, spice and everything nice, they take over the Hyde park and turn it into Winter Wonderland. Of course we couldn’t miss it for the world.
I have no clue where lies the connection between Christmas, wonderland, UK and Germany but according to this Sunday’s visit there is something about it.
Being it a pretty rainy Sunday – which in London doesn’t mean just the everyday casual drizzle but a proper shit-I-might-need-an-umbrella rain – the mood wasn’t the best to start with. But we didn’t give up. For what has the rain to do with our intentions?
Not much, really, unless you’re visiting a temporary amusement park on a December evening.
The reporting 20-minute waiting line from the previous day got down to a sustainable 20-people one which gave us, after a half-hour walk, a bit of a heads up. Still, rain or no, the good people of London were rushing and crowding around stalls and attractions.
German is probably the word that best describes one million three hundred and fifty-nine thousand and seven stalls screaming “wurst” und “bier” and nearly every ride and attraction containing at least one German word or suspenders.
Roller coasters, haunted houses, sugar houses, useless Christmas stuff houses and beer houses. And, oh, pancakes, sorry, crepes houses. If you get a kick out of beer and crepes with Nutella there’s nothing from stopping you blowing your whole November salary. Quite the opposite. There’s everything and everyone encouraging you not to not do it. With a price of five pounds per pancake – sorry crepes really doesn’t stick with me; we used to do pancakes – and five and up for a pint of beer you’ll start counting if you have enough left for your rent quite quickly.
We treated ourselves with a beer, a glass of mulled wine – actually quite tasty I’ll give them that – a portion of sausages and roasted potatoes, a pancake with apples and a dry-ish table.
If you feel like going crazy – and I mean that money-wise – you can try and win huge plush toys with shooting or throwing balls at cans, fishing for closed packages or just get rid of your dinner the fast way taking of the rides.
All in all it it’s not as bad as I may make it sound. If you’re a young family out to have fun or a bunch of friends after a couple of beers it’s probably a blast. It’s just all the hype around it that makes the expectations Disneyland high while it’s really not that special. Nothing that I haven’t already seen every November in Italy when I would fish frogs and shoot tin poker cards with my dad. About twenty years ago.
And nothing’s changed really. Except for plush toys. Oh yes, they did update those. Everyone had the latest Shrek and Ice Age characters hanging by their necks.