Believe it or not, I’ve never been to London in my entire life and I’m a two hour train ride far from it. I’m travelling light, using my iPad with its magic keyboard for the first time. I’ll never need a computer again for short trips. Anyway, I’m heading to Brussels South train station to take the Eurostar and the journey is really pleasant (data I can empty from my phone, extra batteries and an empty train). I don’t really know what to expect from London, even though it holds a lot of music and cultural symbols.
I’m still trying to figure out what to do once I arrive in Saint Pancras International. I just know I have to meet Ashley there and then take a cab/uber to the Qbic Hotel. Then we’ll have to make plans. I can name a lot of things I’d like to see or do, but I don’t know anything about London geography or public transports. Hopefully, I ordered data to use in Europe for a month so I can plan things last minute thanks to the Yelp and Google Maps magic. Within four days, I hope I will have done the following: Trafalgar Square, Picadilly Circus, Nothing Hill, Big Ben, Tower Bridge, Buckingham, Eye of London, Portobello, Covent Garden. Another thing is, we booked 3 different hotels for the trip, regardless where the tourist attractions are. It’s gonna be quite challenging. The hotel is in the Whitechapel district, right to the city of London, which mean we can do a lot of stuff. We can take the metro (sorry, the Underground ) from Aldgate East.
I think we’d like to see authentical things (not tourist things) on the first day, since it’s a travel day. Plan for today will be Covent Garden, Soho and Picadilly Circus. After hotel check in and lunch, we took the tube to Picadilly Circus and walked around the shopping avenue that circle Soho. We explored Soho, had a Milk tea and then went to Covent Garden. We came back around 3pm for a nap and then headed to Chinatown (second time in Picadilly). We had an all you can eat chinese buffet. Then we took the tube to Trafalgar Square, which was surpringingly not that illuminated. I’m still wondering which part of the city has decent Christmas lights (apart from Soho). Tomorrow will be a solid tourist marathon.
We started day two with a full English breakfast. Eggs, Bacon, sausages, mushrooms, beans in tomato sweet sauce and fries (or chips, as they like to call them). Served with an xl sized tea and toasted bread. We had it three times, considering how good and affordable it was. We took the tube to see Big Ben and the Westminster Abbey. We then went towards Buckingham Palace, even though the guard changing wasn’t scheduled that day.
We skipped lunch because of the strong breakfast and went straight to the British Museum, since the weather wasn’t that great. We saw a whole exhibition about Ancient Egypt, and the famous Rosetta Stone.
Pictured above is a full English breakfast. I hope you are not hungry. After this food porn episode, we finally caught the guard changing. Crowded and rainy but worth the wait. It took forever, we could barely see them. But hey, you only do this once. After this, we too the tube back to the Tower of London and the Tower Bridge. As it was rainy and extremely windy, you won’t see pictures from that day.
We spent the afternoon in the mighty Nothing Hill, with its famous Portobello Road. Loads of cute houses and shops. I kinda wanted to see this part because in a way, it looks a bit like San Francisco. Also because my subconscious imaginary remembers Portobello Road from old movies. We stopped at a tea room to grab a bite and warm ourselves up.
To continues, we took a 2 floors bus for the first time and stopped near Kensington Gardens. A lot of space, a huge pond and birds from what I remember. We walked through it and stopped near the Alexandra Palace, the circular concert hall. Afterwards, we went to Harrods for last minute Christmas shopping. Man, I wish I could get my groceries there every week, the place is so classy.