Pardon My London
The adventure continues from my previous entry on Netherlands. Next up is London. But the start of the journey was not the one i care to repeat. Same applies to the final day. But i will get back to the final day later.
We were in Schipol Airport to take our flight to London via British Airways. Paid GBP50 per person for one way ticket to Gatwick. It was Christmas eve. We were supposed to depart at 2.30 p.m. but due to bad weather in London, the fly was delayed for almost 5 hours. That totally ruined my early plan.
Took the BA flight to Gatwick and another problem struck us. There was a power shortage (i don't really know what went wrong) at the terminal. So we were stuck in the feeder bus from the plane to the terminal for almost 30 mins until someone came and opened the door manually for us. The immigration process went smoothly without much question. But the trouble hit us again when it came to collecting bags from the belt. Almost all flights from Gatwick was cancelled and there were hundreds of people at the belt trying to retrieve their luggage. We were lucky enough to have our bags in less than 10 mins as the uncle next to me said that he had been waiting for almost an hour for his luggage. The sad story continue on when we were informed that all taxis and buses to central London are sold out. We quickly went to another terminal to take the Gatwick Express to Victoria. But we were informed that all trains are cancelled due to something that related to the bad weather. But then again, the officer informed us that they prepared one time concession train to London Victoria at 9.30 p.m. For free. So we had to wait for another 2 hours for the train.
We reached London Victoria at about 11 p.m. along with hundreds of other people who took the same train. Then we went to the tube to take the train to the hotel and were informed that all tubes that night were free. Reached the hotel at about 11.30 p.m. after grueling incident after another. We booked Hilton Olympia Hotel for 3 nites as they had promo GBP65 per nite with minimum stay of at least 3 nites. It was a good deal and i consider to spend on that since we had save a lot on accommodations for the previous cities. Walked to Edgeware Road (which was quite far) to get some food for ourselves that nite. Wifey surrendered and fell asleep as soon as we were in the room. The next day will be a different story.
It was Christmas morning. One thing you have to bear in mind is that all public transportation in the whole UK cease to operate on Christmas. Hahahaha. I knew that which was the main reason why i choose the hotel near the Kensington/ Hyde Park. If it was not for that, i would rather stay at Ibis Wembley which only cost about GBP30 per nite. We went for our morning walk (which later turns into the whole day walk) through the Kensington Garden cross to Hyde Park. Mind you that London was filled with foreigners on Christmas day. The shops are all closed but the are many tourist swarming the city including us. Hahaha. It was a total one whole day walk which was freaking far. The route roughly was like this.
Hyde Park - Buckingham Palace - St James Park/ Square - Westminster Abbey - Westminster Bridge - London Eye - London Bridge - Tower of London
The we walked back to our hotel from Tower of London
Tower of London - St Paul's Cathedral - Trafalgar Square - Regent Street - Oxford Street - Marble Arch/ Edgeware Road (where we had our dinner) and back to our hotel.
It was freaking far far far on foot. I guess we covered almost 25 miles on foot that day. Wifey went cranky because of too much walking. Hahaha.
That nite we went to sleep rather peacefully after a rather tiring day on foot. The following day is the Boxing Day. Errrrr. My cousin came from Birmingham and pick us up from the Hotel and informed us that since he was on leave, why don't we just follow him back to Birmingham later that nite. So one nite of hotel considered burnt as we paid for 3 nights. Also the train ticket from London to Birmingham. But it was indeed a better arrangement. Off we went to Oxford Street (of coz everyone headed there). It kinda reminds me of Jalan TAR during Ramadan. There were so many people who really wanted to spend serious cash on the sale day of the year. We were not excluded. Hahaha. But the thing is, you might get the items you want and thought was worth it, but when it comes to pay for that. Well, the queue feels like queuing up to buy football tickets. It was damn long. So we end up not really spend a lot except for a few Longchamps, Anya Hindmarch and Clarks. Zara and Primark were filled with people as if they never seen a store before (including us). Same goes to Gap, Uniqlo, etc.
After that we went for short stop at Harrods before we went off to Birmingham and en route we actually stopped at Bicester Village and get some more stuffs. Hahahaha. That was definitely not a travelleryangsengkek moment (literally translated into cash-strapped traveler). Hahaha. We spent the rest of our stay in England in Birmingham with some short trips to the nearby cities which i will elaborate more in my next entry.
That was my second time to London and i love it as much as the first time eventhough with all the series of unfortunate incidents along the way. For one thing wifey was more adaptable to London since there were many muslim communities and halal foods are easily found. My english still needs a lot of work since the british has different way of speaking as opposed to the manner that we were exposed to (i mean we were more exposed to American-style). Even my writings are horrendous. The grammar are all went down the drain. But it was great experience. In the end i always end up saying, pardon my London.