Piccadilly Circus

If it was a square, it would be the most famous one in the world. This is the place where everyone meets, one of the centers of the world. And our hostel was just one small block from the place, so this was the first and the last place me and my girlfriend saw each time we left the hostel. It was also the first place in central London I saw when getting up from the Underground after arrival with my friend in 1999.

Piccadilly Circus is just 4 blocks from Trafalgar Square, the border of Soho, Mayfair and Westminster and the intersection of 5 busy streets. The most famous ones are Regent Street, that goes right through the Circus, and Piccadilly. The name "Piccadilly" comes from a frilly collar from the 17th century called a picadil. The dressmaker that made them became rich and built a house in the surroundings.

Piccadilly is a totally different place after dark. The neon signs and the increasing number of partydressed people transforms it. Despite it is so famous, the place itself is surpisingly small, but there are a lot of things in the surroundings, belonging to Piccadilly: 3 large hotels, 2 large record stores, a large Burger King, a wax museum, several famous theatres and cinemas.

The statue of Eros rising above a bronze fountain (right) is one of the symbols of London (I didn't know its name when I was there though).
It was originally a memorial to the philanthropist Lord Shaftesbury.

Regent Street goes right through Piccadilly Circus. Its northern part is aestheticatlly curvy.

The Queen musical "We will rock you" was going on at the nearby Dominion Theatre.

There is also a street that is called Piccadilly, that begins at Piccadilly Circus of course.

Ritz Hotel is situated on Piccadilly. The Ritz is London's most exclusive hotel. Almost the opposite to:

Piccadilly Backpackers Hostel, the place where we stayed. Probably the cheapest and most centrally located hostel in the whole London, but the standard was almost too bad. Six beds in a very small room (of which one blocking the window), a bit dirty, broken chairs in the breakfast rooms, a crazy elevators stopping at the wrong floors, the colour at the walls and the windows has been falling off, there was mould in the roof and the included breakfast was just 2 toasts with marmelade. But after all, it felt ok to stay at this place because of its central location and mainly nice people.

At the famous Piccadilly Theatre (to the right on the picture), one night we saw a crowd of girls. They had came to see and photograph the famous actor Ewan Mc Gregor (from Trainspotting and Moulin Rouge) in reality, that was acting in a show called "Guys and dolls". I didn't have the camera this time.

And the view from the window was nice (though partly blocked by a 2-storey bed), I could clearly see the nice 35-story skyscraper Centre Point, the a large and a bit shabby (yes!) courtyard just behind Piccadilly Circus and the Swiss Re/Tower 42 cluster in the background. From the corridor window just next to our room, we could see The London Eye and Big Ben in the distance.

Because our small room had 8 beds, in the week we stayed at this hostel me and my girlfriend had to share our room with: 1 girl from Brazil, 1 guy from Mexico, 1 guy from France 2 guy from Italy, a couple from Spain, 2 boys and 2 girls from California and 1 girl from Texas. Many other Swedes also stayed at the hostel (but not in our room). We became friends with the guy from Mexico (Mexico City) and the girl from Brazil (Sao Paulo). After one day, we decided to go to the pub together (all 4) and go to some sights (like Buckingham Palace, Camden and Primrose Hill) together the following days before they should leave.

I took this picture after that the fire alarm began ringing. Everyone had to leave the hostel, just after we arrived and was about to start our diner. As we stayed on the 6th floor, there were many stairs to climb. People had to stand on the street outside, but everyone was very calm. A fire engine came, but left again very soon. Someone had smoked in their room.