I said that a lot more than Joey did when we planned our trip. (Yeah, I am a F.R.I.E.N.D.S. fan while Sh is not). Visiting London was like a dream come true.
Now, exactly a year later, as I walk through my memory lanes of London, I relive:
Having picked a window seat for myself and an aisle seat for Sh on row 74, being excited that the row had only 2 seats instead of 3.
Buying sim cards in the airport, like a can of soda from the dispensing machine with an offer of 10GB data.
Walking to Meininger Hotel from the tube station and dumping our luggage in the basement locker room for arriving early in the morning.
Crossing the street and finding our first red telephone booth. Yay, it’s London!
Walking through the serene Imperial college, wondering if the brain could process information faster in this setting. Visiting the Victoria & Albert museum only for a short while. Not going into Natural History museum because of the long queue.
Walking all the way till Buckingham palace stopping at H&M, Harrods, St. James park, the tree laden path and the wide roads, watching the dogs walking, people cycling and our gaze following the long handrail. (Ah, I wish I lived there).
Being a tad disappointed with the Buckingham palace, as it didn’t look as fascinating as I had expected. (Maybe cos I hadn’t watched “The Crown” yet).
Walking further, passing Imperial war museum, Big Ben and going to the Underground station where Harry Potter tour starts. Walking off slyly from the tour within minutes as it already sounded boring.
Lazing around for some time wondering what to do next. Staring at the Themes and wondering if it’s dirty or just the cloudy mid-May weather making it look dull. Checking out Big Ben again from a different angle and the Westminster Bridge.
Checking-in to our 4-bed dorm and wondering who our dormmate was, who had a black suit neatly laid on the window sill. Making a note to get locks next time for storing our more-than-we-can-handle gadgets.
Assuming that I would go on the top of the bunk bed and Sh would be on the lower one without a need to discuss or argue. Looking out from our room window to a view of buildings and the looming clouds.
Walking through Hyde Park, wondering what the hype is around Kensington Palace, comparing it to the buildings in Rome and hogging on some spicy noodles in Wagamama. (Also, remembering that Hyde Park is the setting for the short story “Dusk” by Saki).
With a major sense of FOMO, checking out the Picadilly circus before calling it a day.
Waking up early, ensuring Sh is still sound asleep and getting ready at my own sweet pace before others wake up.
Taking the underground, planning to go to Greenwich (No, not a green witch) and getting off midway at Tower Hill station because Sh suddenly decided to check it out right away. Woah, that’s not the London bridge! London bridge is just a plain simple one. Oh, ok, that’s the Tower bridge!
Looking at the longest queue of our lives to enter the Tower of London and unanimously deciding that we are content looking at the crown jewels in pictures.
Continuing on our way to Greenwich, passing through the suburbs and wondering what to eat. Grabbing a foot long sub and watching admiringly at my Sh while eating on the lawns of the Royal Observatory park.
Hiking up to the Observatory; soaking in the London skyline and being right on time for the red time ball to drop down. Posing on either side of the meridian line and trying to quickly take at least one good selfie together while other people waited to do the same. (Good selfie #fail)
Roaming around the crowded Greenwich Market and separating our ways to find something each of us liked and eating it in front of the Cutty Sark ship.
Catching a train back to London and exploring the British Museum using Rick Steve’s audio guide. Thinking this was the toughest of all museums we have visited, as it was a bit difficult to figure out the display item based on the audio guide. Finally, unable to complete as it was closing time.
The fragrance of fresh hot waffles engulfing us as soon as we stepped out of the museum; relishing a yummy vanilla gelato instead.
Our final day, making the most of the free museum entries, giving Victoria & Albert museum a second chance. Being blown away by the various casts, especially the Trajan column which I had studied about in Roman architecture course but hadn’t seen in Rome.
Continuing our way to Westminster Abby and following Rick Steve’s Westminster walk audio guide which took us via 10, Downing Street till Trafalgar square, right in time for our afternoon tea reservation.
Feasting on delicious scones with clotted cream (our best in U.K.) and sipping hot peppermint tea in National Dining Room. Craving for something spicy after devouring all the sweet pastries.
Admiring the vivid paintings in National Gallery, which seemed to have Instagram filters applied and not being so impressed with the paintings of the 19th/20th centuries.
Being delighted by the various hues in Fortnum and Mason and spending a longer time at the Hatchards bookstore next door.
Not standing in the queue for the hyped Platform 9 3/4 picture and having a terrible dinner at an Indian restaurant. (Just realised that we didn’t stand in a lot of queues as Sh didn’t have time to waste in his short-lived life).
Watching the latest episode of Game of Thrones with earphone splitters in the dark dorm room.
Changing trains at stations, dragging ourselves with our luggage, running and finally catching our bus to Bath and admiring the lady driver. Settling down in the front seats and admiring the scenery all the way to Bath.
Well, that’s a glimpse of how London is in my heart (Wish I could say “our” hearts)
Lastly, I am a map-person (if there’s something like that!) and the places we visited are marked here: