We spent 5 days in London. It was really nice since the weather was really hot and sunny! A real summer treat. The weather certainly made it easy to get around.
Anyway, we arrived at St. Pancras International Station around 9 PM. We exited, head to the underground, subway, tube (whatever you want to call it). Bought our Oyster Cards, and made way to Castle and Elephant station where our hostel is situated. It's such pity that London doesn't have any daily passes. They do have Travel Cards but the price is expensive since it includes museums and places of attractions if I'm not mistaken. Oyster card is really like Touch n Go cards in Malaysia. You have to top it up every time the balance runs out. But I only knew when we got to Manchester from our friend that the if you use the Oyster card more than 6 times in one day, after the 6th time it's FREE. Me and my brother were wondering why our balance didn't get deducted after a while. We still had £3 in our Oyster Card!
Le me at St. Pancras International Station
We just spent the night resting, since we were just too exhausted.
We didn't wake up too early. Since we had 5 days in London, I didn't want to rush anything. I just want to enjoy the time. Plus my feet and ankle aches.
By the time we step out from the hostel, it was already afternoon. We missed the 11 AM Free Tour, AND we're definitely missing the 1 PM tour as well.
So I just shuffled the itinerary. We went to Kensington Garden first instead. We boarded the underground and got down at Queensway station. We walk through the park, checking out the lake full of swans, geese and ducks and the Kensington Palace.
Swans, geese and ducks all around us!
Pictures and notes were hanged on the gate in memory of the late Princess Diana
Royal Albert Hall
Special parking space?
After wandering around Harrod's, we made our way to Hard Rock Cafe. We were tired of walking, so we rented the Barclay's public bicycles! They charge you £1 for rental, then it's free for 30 minutes. Just scan in your credit/debit card and you bicycle is ready to use! Our Maybank Debit Card was in good use! You can ask people around how to rent a bicycle. It pretty easy actually, but you can't really understand the instructions if no one is there to help you out. Luckily for us, the Olympic volunteers were around to help us rent the bikes. So we took the bike from Hyde Park Corner, rode if for about 20 minutes and find the bike's parking nearby Hard Rock Cafe. There's a map on the machine showing where's the bikes' parking are located. You have to park them before 30 minutes or they'll charge you another £1. I can't really explain in details here. Just try and google them if you want to find out more about it! ;)
Riding the bicycle!
Royal Air force memorial at Green Park (it's opposite the Hard Rock Cafe)
Hard Rock Cafe, London
Later we took the bike again, and thought of parking it outside Green Park station, but the parking was full, so we rode again until we found another parking with space at somewhere between Dover and Strattford Street if I'm not mistaken. Almost hit a car too because we were rushing! =S But we reached before 30 minutes. Phew~!
Then we decided to walk to Piccadilly Circus station. We stopped by for lunch at one Japanese Restaurant. They weren't that good though. When we reached Piccadilly Circus, it was not in the plan at all that we might bumped into Ripley's Believe It or Not! I didn't know it was here but since we were already here, and Ripley's Believe It or Not is in the itinerary, might as well just go in.. So we explored through Ripley's and by the time we got out, it was already dark.
Entrance to Ripley's Believe it or Not!
That's our first day in London. Another adventure awaits tomorrow.
Today we woke up late again, but I make sure we step out just in time for the Sandeman's Free Tour. When we arrived at Hyde Park Corner, the tour hasn't started. Thank God! They were still waiting for people. After about 15 minutes, the start the tour. Our tour guide was Sonya. She was really cool and funny! We didn't walk around the whole London. Mostly just within the Westminster City, but it was really fun! I think it's the best Free Tour I have ever been to!
Waiting for the tour to start
At Green Park on the way to Buckingham Palace. In memory of the countries that helped Britain during World War II.
The famous British guards!
Another picture with the guards!
The women of World War II
After lunch, we made our way back to the Westminster Abbey. Took more photos of the gorgeous building, another with St. Stephen's Tower (a.k.a Big Ben Tower) and along Westminster bridge with The London Eye at the background. By that that it was almost 5 PM, so we decided to make our way to Tower Hill station since the Grim Reaper tour will start at 6PM.
Spot the Jalur Gemilang! at Parliament Square
Apple-plum in London!
The London Eye
History of London around the Sun Dial
The TOWER BRIDGE.
Please don't mistake them as the London bridge.
St. Catherine's Dock
London's Alleyway. Where Jack the Ripper used to commit his crimes. Erk. =S
Cool street name...
We're going to Madame Tussaud's wax museum today!
Once we were ready and out, we stopped by Tesco beside Elephant and Castle underground station and bought breakfast. Then we took the underground to Baker Street Station.
Anyway, before heading to Madame Tussaud's after breakfast, we passed by Sherlock Holmes Museum and decided to stop and check the place out. It was really cool! I think we paid £6 each for the tickets.
In front of Sherlock Holmes Museum
Inside the Museum
Sherlock Holmes Statue outside the Baker Street Underground Station
Celebrities section. Me hugging Zac Efron! =P
With the Royal Family
The Superheroes section. HELP!
Arsenal Emirates Stadium
It's really funny where the stadium is located. It's like in a housing area. I mean, can you imagine your house just the opposite of a football stadium?! People who have houses there must feel really lucky! Or lousy, seeing the place will be jammed pack and noisy during football season.
After taking pictures and enjoying the view of the stadium, we went back to Piccadilly Circus station to buy some souvenirs. After shopping, we walked along Reagent Street to find the Malaysia Flag! Didn't do any shopping along Reagent Street though, because all the shops are closed. :'(
Jalur Gemilang at Reagent Street!
Today's our last day in London! How time flies by!
We woke up early today, checked out, kept our bags in the store room, and made our way to the Natural History Museum.
In front of the Natural History Museum
We arrived at the Museum around noon. The entrance fee is FREE by the way! Most museums in London are free!
We spent about 3-4 hours there. We didn't get to explore the whole Museum though and we didn't check out the temporary exhibition about "animals: inside out" which costs £9. Bro had a great time! Because most of the things in there are geological stuffs. He said if there was something like this while he was studying, it would've made geology course much more interesting!
Bro examining the rock
I thought this part of the museum was really cool! We get to go through the Earth's core!
Me amazed at the stones!
Bro wanted to check out Chelsea Stadium. So we went to check that out.
Then, I wanted to spend more time at the Tower Bridge, since the day that we went there we were following the tour, and I felt like the pictures weren't enough. So we took the underground towards Tower Bridge. Spent some time taking picture and enjoying the view of the river.
On Tower Bridge
Me and bro with Tower Hill Prison at the background
Got down at London Bridge underground station just to take picture with the sign. =P
So after taking some pictures at Platform 9¾, we made our way to Euston Station because our train takes off from Euston to Picadilly, Manchester. Eustion Station is right next to King's Cross. We arrived early, because we thought that searching for Platform 9¾ would take some time.
We spent about 1 hour at Euston, before boarding our train to Manchester at 10 PM.
Euston Train Station
That's our days spent in London. We hope to be able to visit London again. Maybe during Saddam's graduation. InsyaAllah. ;)
Goodbye London, till we meet again! Last stop, MANCHESTER!!!