Going through old pictures while transferring files into my new MBP. Back then, I never really blogged about my trip to London. Armed with a black Sony 8.0 megapixel digital camera, I shot about 300 pictures within the two-week trip (back then seemed like an achievement).
Here’s my London story.
A cousin who was studying in Manchester came home for a while. We met at a relative’s kenduri when she told me to give her a visit. Told parents what she told me. I made a proposal without being really serious, so I was a bit surprised that they gave my brother and I the green light. Such an offer didn’t come often.
After we were done with our final exams we flew to London for the first time. That was the longest flight I’ve been on. Heathrow was unexpectedly small (how is it now?). Braced the chill of winter and headed to a family friend’s place, a cozy and warm flat in Zone 2. My dad’s friend was a PhD student there. His wife was a great cook who’d prepared us dinner every night. Their daughter was raised and schooled in London and had a thick British accent! They were all very helpful and we appreciated the hospitality.
My first thought of London? Gloomy. I know it’s winter but it’s too… gloomy. Sometimes we’d cheer when we get a glimpse of sunlight in London (which lasted only for a short while, usually), but that didn’t stop us from loving or having fun in the city. London’s got so much to offer! I loved the aesthetically pleasing buildings, parks, museums, shopping for high street clothes (back then my naive mantra was “Buy, buy, buy!”) and how convenient it is to get from one place to another.
The tube! I was on the tube!
- The Big Ben
- Houses of Parliament
- The Tower of London
- The Tower Bridge
- Hyde Park
- Buckingham Palace
- Piccadily Circus
- Royal Albert Hall
- St Paul’s Cathedral
- Westminster Abbey
- Covent Garden
- Trafalgar Square
- National Gallery
… and a couple more parks, museums, malls and famous streets. I won’t bother boring anyone with the whole list.
I discovered that in winter, walking morning to evening non-stop is possible. At the end of some days, I’d look back of the places I’d gone to earlier and be amazed at the amount of kilometers I’d walked.
I was at the prime meridian, 0° longitude.
It’s great to be able to visit the places we’ve previously only heard from books… and Monopoly! We had covered most of London in less than two weeks and learned a lot more about the historical city. Good and enriching experience. Just remember to take time, read, see and explore (and if you’re looking for travel partners, make sure that they appreciate the same things as you do to avoid possible conflicts).
If I ever get sick of Tokyo, maybe I’ll return one day… with a better camera.