A Travellerspoint blog

First day in London

sunny

Monday 27th may 2013

So got onto the flight from Bangkok to London fine, was getting pretty tired at this time as it would have been about 3 am cairns time and was hoping to sleep this whole flight and try get onto London time and beat the jet lag.  Had a window seat which I was stocked about, seat 45D at the back of the plane. I was flying British airways this leg and to be quite honest was really dissapointed. Nothing like flying Qantas, the air hostess were not very welcoming and it was a fight to just get them to bring water. Food was terrible. Had pene pasta, cheesecake, water, tea and this gross potato salad, no beer, was too hard to get it. So after being fed settled in for the flight. Thanking my lucky stars that dragging my stupid pillow around this whole time and getting weird looks was totally worth it as there was no hope in hell I would have slept as much i did without it.Managed about 6 hours which was great. Woke up and they fed us a hot breakfast which was disgusting, a omelet I couldn't even manage to finish and then we were flying over London. It was a crystal clear day and we had to circle the city a few times before landing and oh my gosh it was amazing. You got to see everything, I had the most stupid massive grin from ear to ear the whole time getting goosebumps and realizing I was here, I was actually here, completely surreal and the best feeling ever. 

Got off the plane quickly and headed for immigration got through that fairly quickly, nothing like Australia and they asked you loads of questions which through me off a bit. After getting totally confused by the baggage notice board went straight to carousel 7. Stood there waiting, watching everyone walk away, still no bag, started to stress panicking about whether I was indeed suppose to pick it up in Bangkok. Finally the second last bag comes through and it was mine, thank god!!! Did a little prayer and headed for the information desk to wait for my ride. I had booked the heathrow shuttle service for 25 pounds to pick me up and drop me off at my hotel. Thought it was a great idea but after booking realized the service actually got bad reviews, was hoping today was my lucky day, unfortunately not. Waited 15min, no sign of him so called the free number, girl on the line informed me that he was picking up another couple from a different terminal and he would be a few minutes late. More like half an hour and when he finally showed up he didn't even help me with my bag, not impressed! Got in the van and drove to the hotel which took about 45 min. This part was actually really awesome getting to drive through all the suburbs and looking at all the houses, loved it and was really a great way to introduce the awesome city!. Although they are crazy drivers and don't wear seat belts, this Italian guy was driving so fast in these tiny streets I actually hit my head on the glass a few times lol. 

Got to the hotel in one piece and went in. The foyer looks nice, very old school European style. Couldn't see jenni so went straight to reception. They said our room wasn't ready yet which I figured as it was only 9am in the morning. Told me I could leave our bags so settled on the couch to wait for jenni and what do you know she came through 5min later. Was so excited to see her, big hugs later we left our bags with the some what rude front office staff and headed to the tube station to get to kings cross station to buy our seven day railway travel cards to qualify for all the 241 offers for all the tourist sites. Walked to Russell square station where the guy at the counter told us Kings cross station was actually just down the road and it was easier to walk. Tourist rookie mistake number one, everything looks way farther on the map lol. Followed the signs and made it there no probs and got our tickets with no incident. 

First thing on the list for the day was Westminster abbey so caught the tube straight there, after one slight hiccup, rookie tourist mistake number two, don't rush onto the tube even if it's about to leave without actually seeing where its going lol. All good and we got back on track no worries. Walking out of this tube was nothing short of spectacular, u cant even really describe it. You are literally smacked in the face with London bridge, big ben, the river themes and Westminster abbey, truly amazing. With all the red double decker buses, Black taxis and red phone booths, I was truly in london and this was freaking awesome!!! Had a stroll along the bridge envisioning myself on "28 days latter" (zombie movie) when he is walking across the bridge and it was completely  deserted, this time however it was busy as hell and the streets were cut off as there was some kind of marathon happening and apparently it was a bank holiday and the sun was out and the  whole of London was as well. Amazing!!! Still quite cold but with a light jacket, pants and a scarf I was all good :) walked around, found the abby, took lots of photos and decided to find somwhere to eat lunch before heading in. This seemed more difficult then first thought but eventually found this cute little sandwich  bar and had our first experience of nice welcoming service, the owner was lovely. Ordered a roast beef and horse radish salad sandwich and water which cost 5 ponds, cheap and yum!

After lunch went to the abbey. The line was long but was in the sun and it moved really quickly so actually only lined up for about 15min. Cost was 18 ponds, did a quick bag search and we were in. Wow this place was unreal, more than I expected, the statues, the tombs, the monuments were just incredible, a little freaky being surrounded by so many dead queens and kings and amazing important people, this place was oozing history and we were all over it. Free audio guides were great and it only felt a little cramped in some of the small areas. Explored the whole place which took about an hour and a half.

Decided to head to Hyde park, caught the tube to green park and walked from there. This place was crawling with people and it was so nice to rest our feet on the grass in the sun watching the street performers and watching London go bye, bliss. Tried to rent a bike but the line was either too busy or the machines didn't work, another time. Walked on through to buckingham palace, wow, you only get to see the front, gates and surrounding areas but it was gorgeous and eerie seeing the little balcony were prince William and Kate shared there kiss, very cute. Relaxed here for a bit and people watched some more. Walked through Hyde park again headed for Oxford street, a shoppers delight lol. Our legs and feet were a bit sore by now so only went into topshop and primark which was more than enough lol, got a few things and headed home with our bags. It was just before six at this point and we were thinking of dinner. Caught the tube and walked home. 

Checked into our hotel room which is a little on the small side but apparently that is the norm here. It's clean and has everything so was happy although the heating was really warm and we had to leave a window open which made it a little noisy but I didn't mind. Had a much needed shower, got dressed and found this cute little pub down the road for dinner. Had steak and ale pie with mash potatoes and veges and two pints of beer for 16 pounds, worth ever penny and enjoyed it. By now it's 10pm, traveling for two days straight was finally catching up with me and I was getting a headache and really tired so walked home. Literally changed and passed out on the bed lol, perfect first day in London :D 

Love cara xoxo 

Posted by Caralouise 00:25 Archived in United Kingdom

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