Europe Travelogue - London Day 1 and 2
Itinerary for Day 1
- Köln/Bonn to London-Stansted Airport
- Waterloo Station
Itinerary for Day 2
- Changing of Guards/Buckingham Palace/Victoria Monument
- Trafalgar Square
- Covent Garden
- Tottenham Court Road
- Leicester Square (Chinatown)
Hello everyone *twirls around* I made my foray out of Germany after being there for 4 weeks because I was getting bored lol. No la, I'm just kidding to be honest. But I was super super excited I kept telling everyone at work I was going to London lol. They kinda got sick of me repeating it heh xD I made plans to head up to London to visit dear Sloth who is there and stay at her apt there wahahaha (I brought 'payment' ok... Hanuta chocolates, Haribo Smurf gummis and Milka chocolates!) when I arrived in Germany. It was a very impromptu trip, very YOLO. I like. So I left on a Thursday evening and took Friday off from work because I wanted to maximise my time in London. Being there on an evening didn't bother me because accommodation was... free :P Took the train to Köln/Bonn Airport from Leverkusen after work (I even brought my luggage to work leh, excited much despite being mindfked by one of the directors at work lol.)
This airport is not an international airport as you can see, mainly they serve domestic and budget airlines so the place was pretty small BUT free wifi and that, deserves thumbs up from me :D
Airline of the evening: Germanwings
I had originally wanted to take Ryanair because it was tons cheaper but after reading so many horrifying reviews online and the fact that the airport terminal was damn far for me (Düsseldorf Weeze is about 30 mins away from Düsseldorf Flughafen) I decided to just pay more for Germanwings (departing from Köln/Bonn) and easyjet (My returning flight, arriving at Düsseldorf Flughafen) just to have a peace of mind. You'd be surprised by the reviews I've read about Ryanair and I asked my colleagues who told me not to take it as well lol. Trust the Germans on this I say.
Reached the airport with plenty of time to spare because I was kiasu (literally means 'scared to lose') and luckily I did because I had to queue up for awhile to deposit my baggage.
The budget airlines in Europe operate differently from those in Asia (at least from my experience).
We had to check-in online on our own, print out our own boarding passes (yes, A4 sized ones) then head to the counter to deposit the bags if you paid for any baggage.
I opted for the Smart fare option because it came with extra legroom, hand luggage, 23kg checked-in luggage along with a snack and drink. For 20 euros extra.
This notion was probably influenced by my stupid bf lol but I didn't want to get stuck in between 2 big sized angmohs and suffer throughout the flight.
Our airplane for the evening
Budget no? LOL You get what you pay for man.
Flight was reasonably peaceful. Seats were alright perhaps because I was so small-sized anyway LOL and aircraft was clean.
The staff were very nice as well so hurrah on that! (I keep imagining them to be uberly rude like how I read about the Ryanair staff) and in about 45 mins, we landed at London-Stansted Airport.
I had a horrible experience at the immigration there.
Was uberly happy that the non-EU queue was wayyyy shorter than the EU ones.
Wah piang eh, the staff there were just hell bent on being assholes and plain rude to be honest.
Ruined my day or whatever I felt for this trip there and then.
Thanks again, I hope you improve on your service towards tourists. We are after all boosting your economy no? Pfffft.
Just remember if you are entering the UK - always fill in your address correctly down to the postal code and what not and remember to print a copy of your return ticket.
I got f-ed up by the officer because I didn't put in the full address of Sloth's house and she was harping on if I got bounced back by German authorities on my return flight no one was gonna pay for my air ticket back to Singapore simply because I didn't have a visa to prove I was staying in Germany long term.
Bitch pls, I honestly wanted to show her the finger. Did you have to so snarky about everything? WTF.
This poor American guy in front of me got held up for 30 minutes because he didn't have his return ticket printed out.
So yeah, that sums up my horrid experience at UK immigration - welcome to UK I would say -.-"
By then it was very late already so I hurried to change some SGD to pounds at the money changer and hopped onto the Stansted Express to Liverpool Street.
Super dulan then so didn't take any pictures but the train was very new and clean + it had free wifi! :D
And tickets weren't cheap (£23.40 wtf) because I wasn't travelling in a group and wasn't planning to return via the same airport (sobs!). Go see the train fares then you'll understand what I mean.
Train journey took me 45 mins to reach Liverpool Street Station where I changed to the Tube and reached Waterloo Station to meet Sloth! :D :D :D :D :D
Sooooooo happy to see her despite meeting her back in May/June in Singapore.
Maybe I am really deprived of friends here in Europe, it just made me alot more happier to be around a familiar face.
Day 2 (Friday) saw me waking up really stoned because Sloth and I talked so much throughout the night (girls! HAHAHAHA.) but she had to head to school to do some work and before that we had breakfast at McDonald's at Waterloo Station.
Random idea of ours lol cos the plan was for her to just go to school and I will leave the house at a later timing with her friend.
This was damn good! The wraps in Europe from McDonald's are all pretty awesome lol! I wish Asian ones had them too :(
Sloth went off to school while I went back to shower (erh yes, I went out in my PJs) and meet Suet, Sloth's housemate's friend/uni friend who was staying at the apt as well in the other room with Sloth's housemate hahaha long relationship line.
But it was good to have someone with me, despite me just meeting her the night before lol.
Waterloo is very accessible to all the areas in Zone 1 so we decided to walk to Buckingham Palace because I wanted to see the Changing of Guards Ceremony there.
Westminister Bridge with Big Ben behind
London Eye. See what I mean when I say Waterloo is damn accessible?! I was quite skeptical when Sloth told me that but now I know lol. Always listen to the people living there wahahaha!
Telephone booths which smells of pee inside. Don't venture in please hahaha!
Very nice foliage up to the road to Buckingham Palace
Having Suet with me was good because she helped me to take pictures lol!
Sorry, damn tourist but if she wasn't there I'd have to resort to selcas like I normally do in Germany D:
At Wellington Barracks where the band and new Guards were
Police to divert traffic. We kept laughing at how you have to be a rider in order to become a policeman in UK.
Look at the hordes of tourists waiting D:
Victoria Monument in front of Buckingham Palace. Yup, packed to the brim with tourists lol!
Couldn't really see much because I was vertically inclined but as you can see, many tourists! Beware of pickpockets and what not ok.
We left after awhile once we were sure everything had ended and walked towards Covent Garden direction because there was where Suet said we could do shopping hehehe xD
But we passed by this place in the direction of Trafalgar Square then I said I wanted to take a picture with a Guard up close.
Good thing I did because we managed to see an inspection after that lol so front row seats literally!
Did you know that the higher the hat of the guard, the higher the rank he is? Just FYI haha!
So we really walked alot and I liked it despite me hating to walk in Singapore because of the weather but the weather in London was warm and cool plus all the architecture and foliage was soooooooo beautiful!
I honestly have no idea where we passed by but we finally reached Trafalgar Square - famous for the Christmas celebrations and Nelson's Column statue.
Blue cock lol. I told Suet I had to take a pic with this this cos it was damn funny among all the statues there.
National Gallery. Free admission but I am so not an art and history person so we didn't go in lol. No time la! Maybe next time when I have more days in London.
Walked up towards Covent Garden. I went to shop at H&M because all their summer items were damn cheap! All below £10. BUY!
Atas area hahah even the Starbucks and McDonald's look different.
Suet told me most tourists areas had such maps so even if I didn't have data on my phone I can still find my way around London without fear. And yeah, I did because I walked on my own from Covent Garden to Tottenham Court Road using such maps.
Mad hungry by then. My breakfast had disgested by then so I sat down and ate my half price Itsu Sloth bought for me the night before lol. YUMMMEHHHHH! :D
Covent Garden is a nice place in my opinion, I really liked it there.
Several cafes (Ladurée is here!) and Shake Shack was there too.
But, my ultimate agenda at Covent Garden was...
Chanel Heaven *_*
And I left with a Les Beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Powder in 30 because they only sold 10 and 20 in Asia. Plus the packaging of the Chanel store in Covent Garden is madddddd cute!
I have a tag that says Covent Garden on the bag - mad atas and sooooo pretty!
Yes, only I will die of happiness from buying makeup items and packaging lol.
I headed alone up North towards Tottenham Court Road past Leicester Square because I wanted to go to Primark there lol. There are 2 Primarks along that stretch - one at Oxford Circus, one at Tottenham Court Road.
Quite gung-ho in my opinion, me travelling alone lol. Europe has really taught me plenty.
Reached Tottenham Court Road and immediately saw Primark!
Primark is damn brilliant in my opinion and it was humongous! And reasonably priced la.
But of course, quality wise it's not as fantastic. You really get what you pay for.
I exhibited tons of self-control because I thought Sloth wanted to go with me the next day to shop at Primark too so I mainly bought things like PJs and underwear and a pair of shoes etc.
But we didn't go back to Primark again the next day so... technically I saved alot of money haha and went to the outlet in Essen when I came back to Germany and spent 100 euros there -.-"
I made plans with Sloth to meet up at Leicester Square a.k.a Chinatown for dinner because she knew I wanted Asian food and she wanted to bring me to have some Singapore/Malaysian cuisine because I am deprived of such food in my area in Germany. Nearest one was in Frankfurt and nope, not gonna pay 66 euros one way just to eat food which I don't even know is nice D:
So I walked back again to Leicester Square and promptly froze at the place to meet her because she was caught up in traffic for 45 mins.
FYI there is no signal in the Tube so if you wanna contact someone, you have to get up to ground level to do so.
Oh and there are tons of entrances/exits for the transportation in London so make sure to ask clearly where to meet your friends else you'd be waiting like idiots at different places lol. They don't number their exits too by the way.
I love the London buses... And I love Princess Diana! Mum's favourite too lol.
Famous restaurant selling roasted duck - Queue was damn long! Lol.
Went to a restaurant called Rasa Sayang in the heart of Chinatown.
OMG CHAR KWAY TEOW I LOVE YOU!
My char kway teow which tasted like fried hor fun.
My teh tarik and the curry chee cheong fun we shared.
Sloth's beef rendang
Food was alright, nothing beats the food back home lol.
Price-wise... standard and not as expensive as I thought it would be haha.
My stomach wasn't feeling that up to it then probably because I didn't have much to eat during the day and the weather was killing me abit lol so I didn't finish the food.
We went to walk around in the Asian marts there before walking back to Waterloo (yes, walk again!)
FYI there is bubble tea in Chinatown (ChaTime) but it was too cold that night so I said nevermind, we may have bbt another day hahahaha.
Sherlock Holmes Bar/Café
Night view of the London Eye!
And that concludes my first 2 days in London. Pretty awesome in my opinion!
Didn't spend a single cent on transport but of cos my feet hurt that night lol and I was perpetually hungry thanks to all that activity all day long.
Will post the entry of the remaining 2 days I had in London soon!
Update: Post for Day 3 & 4 is up here.