Friday, November 8, 2013

EUROPE TRAVEL 2012: London City Tour (Hop In Hop Off Bus Tour, Buckingham Palace, London Aquarium)

Let me take to back to a time, over a year ago when I was hot, single and available and on a soul searching journey with my Best Friend Nimi :-)

My LOOOOOONNNNGGGGGGG overdued post on my UK/Europe & China Trip will be in my TOP priority list for the next 2 months (before I loose all recollection of what happen...) LOL!
Over a year ago, my best friend of 10 years (9 years then) Nimi (Nim for short) and I decided to embark on a journey. Something that we can only do while we are young and physically fit to do.
London & Europe (namely Amsterdam, Belgium & Paris) was the destination :-)
My older brother dropped me off at Nim's place as Nim's dad was scheduled to send us to the airport. Our flight was 2.30am in the morning :-D
Camwhored while she was still doing some last minute packing :-)
and then she joined in the fun! :-D
And now you know my full name. May is my real name yo! Not like some other people *tsk*tsk*
Didn't sleep at all as our plan was to snooze all the way to DOHA to take our connecting flight to LONDON
Got woken up by the Cabin Crew for some airplane food. Om nom nom nom...
Woke up to this beautiful view of the sunrise in the horizon :-)
The view upon reaching DOHA

"OMG"! I was thinking to myself. "Really looked like the cartoon Alladin!" :-D



I really assumed DOHA was that rural (pardon my ignorance) till I caught the sight of buildings.

Civilization...lol!


Now this looks ultra modern! What a huge contrast!








I guess just my S-shaped sexy silhouette will do since I look super aunty with glasses and without makeup :-P
We had a 2-hour transit time. Too short to do anything, so we just sit around and look at aeroplanes. lol!
Tired people...

and we're off again!
Who would have known that there's a beautiful blue lagoon next to the sand dunes

The usual activities on a long haul flight is usually watch movies & sleep...
and not forgetting...EAT!!! More airplane food!
Throughout my flight I couldn't stop looking at the map!!! Super excited as I've only been around Asia & Australasia :-D
A super gigantic lake!

More plane food! lol!

Clouds that looks like snow :-)

Traveling is always exciting for me. So many unknown places to go too...some I can't even pronounce!!!
I'm still getting butterflies in my tummy reminiscing about my trip :-)
Almost there!!!
Infographics of the country were shown to us when we were flying over that particular country...
Another place to visit in the future! :-D
Some super long river that looks like an anaconda. Care to enlighten me on its' name?




Something tells me that we're really really close this time :-D

We're here!!!! land land land!!! quick!!!



OMG!!! That O2 stadium where the London Olympics was held!!! And also the location for many big concerts :-D
Upon landing, going through customs and collecting our luggages, we headed towards the underground subway to head to our location


We purchase the Oyster card. Something like the Octopus in Hong Kong & Touch N Go in Malaysia where you can use it in major public transportation when you travel around London.

The houses here kind of reminds me of Auckland. Made me feel super nostalgic :-)





 For your information, if you planning to travel to/from the airport :-)

It may look complicated but really so much more easier to navigate compared to traveling in Japan or China. Funny how being an Asian, I would feel more comfortable traveling in a Western country compared to an Asian country...
Our first stop was the King's Cross station
King's Cross Station is made famous via the popular Children's book Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
Love the architecture and there's a lot of fast food places for you to have a quick bite too!
We actually stayed in 2 locations in London. The first was Tune Hotel in King's Cross. Just about 500m walk away.

Nimi found an off season luxury goods sale but we didn't buy anything as even after discount, it is still extremely pricy for us T__T

Didn't do much on the first day there. So we headed to Mcdonalds for our first dinner in London.

Bacon!!!! Something you can only find...when you are OUT of Malaysia!!!


Next morning, we woke up bright and early and headed to Pret A Manger for breakfast

This picture was taken by my little red netbook which has since died...R.I.P :'(




Love my hair that day! Super good hair day though a stupid acne planned to come out and say hello...I donn't edit my pictures because I believe in being R.E.A.L!!! Actually I'm just too lazy :-P
What I love about the "fast food" chain outlets in London is that the food is actually FRESH & really TASTY! Price is extremely affordable too.

Good Morning London!



First stop Trafalgar Square!







Saw some "sailor" schoolboys hanging out at the square and was super fascinated by their outfit...no....I'm not cougar-ing...

Double decker bus!!!
Saw the iconic Red Phone Booth and just had to take a picture but seriously...it's DAMN BLOODY dirty and smells like!@#$%^&* I think  am damn bloody sure people pee/puke inside there when they are drunk!!! Note for tourist: If you really need to take a picture...HOLD YOU BREATH!!!




We used the Original Tour bus for our 2-day London City Tour :-D


Nim and I also bought our tickets for musicals at this place. They have discount tickets especially for matinee (afternoon) shows :-)

Website: http://www.theoriginaltour.com/
Visitor Centre Opening Hours:

Monday-Saturday 8:30am to 6:00pm
Sunday & Bank Holidays 9:00am to 5:30pm.


Address:
The Original London Visitor Centre,
17-19 Cockspur Street,
Trafalgar Square,
London, SW1Y 5BL.
And away we go on our tour :-)



Passing by Trafalgar Square again




That's our tour guide. On buses without guides, you are provided with headphones where we can hear commentary in various different languages :-)





Let's have tea at the Ritz? :-)

That's the Marble Arch. One of the landmark in London



Throughout my stay in London, I was absolutely addicted to this wasabi nuts! and it was inexpensive too
This place is called the speakers corner where prisoners (in the past) were brought to, to have one last "speech" before...

Being beheaded here!!! ekkkk!!!

Though, so far, LONDON & MELBOURNE are the 2 locations where I would ever want to migrate to, I feel that London's history is too eerie for my liking. Combined with their constant gloomy + rainy weather...my weak heart can't take it T__T

James Bond car :-)

As we were nearing Buckingham Palace, the guide told us that these houses are the servants quarters.

On the bus tour, there's a lot of stops along the way. Unfortunately, most people who does not want to keep the earphones throws it on the bus stand roof.





The guide is pointing to J.K Rowlings house :-)






Love how the policemen in London goes around on horses. So environmentally friendly :-)
We're here to see my Prince Charming!!! I wish!!!















Guess what does the sign means?
Missed the Changing of the guard :-(







I love the beautiful parks all over London & Europe...makes you wanna roll on the grass Bollywood style :-D

A nice change in scene too. Bored of our burng gagak (crow), robins & pigeons already.
The Grass is always greener on the other side? YEAP. It's TRUE :-P



By then, my hair was already super messy due to the wind riding on the open-air bus and also the humid/wet weather
Mr. Nutcracker

The guide told us that this is the oldest pub in London. correct me if I am wrong...memory failing me :-P
Throughout our London & Europe trip, we noticed a lot of construction taking place. Hence, I believe most of the places that I have visited would probably look different in 2-3 years time. That means another reason to visit those locations again :-D




The famous Hyde Park








Big Ben












London Eye! That was our next stop! But we weren't going on the London Eye. Instead we were going to the SEA LIFE London Aquarium located right next to the London Eye :-)






All over London, there are many roadside stalls selling souvenirs.


There were lots of people there that day
Especially screaming kids in the Aquarium...got so super irritated!





Out of 10 I would only give this place a 3.5/10....probably coz I had really high expectations and there weren't really much to see. I think I would be even more impressed watching a documentary about Sea Life.

Sting Rays where you can touch...if you dare...


Flat fish?


There was this particular fish...the brown one in the pictures...It wasn't swimming...just floating around...
I suspect it was about to K.O

Jelly Fish....


One of the staff there were teaching the children who were visiting about sea life...
I saw that there were many teacher & students "school trip" groups there...all getting super excited and screaming...arghhhh!!! I remember telling Nim "I'm soooo not ready for this!!!"
Turtle!!!
I feel that sometimes Malaysian take for granted how beautiful Malaysia really is...our turtles, jelly fish are much bigger and nicer to look at compared to the ones here at Sea Life...and we even have dugongs (sea cow) too!!!





Educational booth...
Some random sea creature... don't ask me what...all I wanted to do was to touch it, take a picture and run away as the kids were surrounding me and pushing me around!!! Children are the root of all evil :-P
Packed!!!









Shark!!!











I think this fish would give Lady Gaga some inspiration :-D you seen it here first at sarahlow.net
























Alligator....

Some random ice to get a feel of what it is like in the arctic because the next room was where the...
Penguins were...




Last but not least was the hurricane simulator...you need to drop coins (so prepare some coins) before you get a "feel" of the hurricane...


By memory, Nim and I booked our tickets for Sea Life together with Madame Tussauds online. It is cheaper that way.
Website: http://www.visitsealife.com/london/

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