Wednesday, April 27, 2011

[L.E.P.A.K series: London] Chapter Three: Good Morning London!

We learnt our lesson well from the night before and put on extra layers the next morning. Cik Anai even went all out and wore herself two jackets, all bundled up for the cold. We headed out as early as 6.30am and took a 10 to 15 minutes walk to Waterloo Station. The entire station was relatively empty because of two main reasons. One, it's a Sunday morning, so no morning crowd. Two, it's barely 7.00am, none of the shops were even opened yet.

Outside of the station. *click*

Here's something interesting we discovered.
This is the left pillar of the entrance. See the date. 1914. Yup.

And this is the right pillar of the entrance.
Now see the date. 1918. Were the two pillars built four years apart from each other? Hmm....

We were here not to ride the train nor the tube. We were actually here to buy our 7-day travel card. And now we shall go into an infomercial break. :P

Hiyashibeeps' L.E.P.A.K Travel Tips No.4:
Everyone who's going to London will ask this same question "Oyster Card or Travel Card?" My answer: Travel Card. But make sure you buy it from a train station and not a tube station. Why? A travel card bought from the train station gives you awesome 2for1 offers to lots of tourist attractions including London Eye, Madame Tussauds, Tower of London and many more. Imagine how much savings you'll enjoy!

Oh, both individuals must hold a valid travel card to be entitled for the offer though. You can either print the vouchers from home or filled in the vouchers attached to the 2for1 booklet available in any train station. Present your voucher during ticket purchase and enjoy two tickets for the price of one. :D

Okay end of infomercial. Now where were we. Umm.. oh yes.

Buying tickets! Ini ialah posing punya gambar. Our 7-day travel card cannot be purchased from the ticket machine but from the counter.

After that, our day official starts!

Just outside the train station was a parking lot. Not for cars but for bicycles. Well-stacked, well-organised. It reminded me so much of Japan, except Londoners still kinda lose in numbers.

If you’re a traveller like me (never like to consider myself a tourist), there’s rows of bikes for rent!

We were passing by an under-the-bridge walkway when Cik Anai suddenly asked me to stop and stand by the wall. Photographers’ view on the pretties. Never quite understand them. But always know when to appreciate them.

So by the wall I stood. *click*

Rasa macam model aje. Hehe.

We passed by London Eye again and got a morning shot of it.

Night view – Check!
Morning view – Check!
Sunset view – Soon enough!

Finally we reached Westminster Bridge and
the House of Parliament greeted us once more.

Me and my friend Big Ben. :P

Inside the grounds of the House of Parliament.

Outside of the House of Parliament.
There were protestors camped outside, protesting for the troops in Iraq.

Just down the road was the majestic Westminster Abbey which was closed for renovation. Probably for the upcoming Royal wedding. Oh boy, it’s this week!

Cik Anai’s signature pose that appears in lots of the photos we took. Hahaha. We later joked that it’s because every building here is so freaking tall and grand that that’s the best pose to express it.

The advantage of starting your journey early is that there’s no crowd around. You have the entire place to yourself. We took in every bits and details of the abbey. That is until a lady on her morning run stopped right on her tracks and offered to help take a photo of us.

Our very first photo together for the trip.

We were speechless over the entire 30 seconds encounter. Running lady was helpful yet very ‘kao-kei’. Umm… cincai cincai! It’s like she stop, offer, take and go! This is in fact a cropped-and-tilted photo of the original. Yet without her, we wouldn’t have had our first photo together. So to dear running lady, Thank YOU!

Right across Westminster Abbey was Speakers’ Square.

Why Mr Mandela, fancy seeing you in London. :P

Oh, I almost forgot. Guess what we had for breakfast! Overnight chips! Hahaha. Wait wait. Let me rephrase that. “Chilled Overnight Chips!” Yes, they were the chips from the night before. The amazing thing was, they still tasted awesome. Remember I mentioned how enormous the portion was. Well, let me tell you, we didn’t even finished our leftovers for breakfast. Crazy, right?

We walked and munched our way to a bus stop to catch the famous red London Bus to Trafalgar Square, all for nothing more than the experience. A ride on a London Bus is a must after all. And if you get a Travel Card like we did, you can hop on and off the bus anytime for free!

Me on the bus.

Turns out the interior of the bus is pretty much the same as every other bus. *disappointed* The grand scam of modernity. *sigh*

The ride was a very short one and we reached our destination within a few minutes. Hopped off the bus and Admiral Nelson greeted us.

Though we couldn’t really see him since he was standing waaay too high.
The four lion guardians on the foot of the column on the other hand were looking all fierce and mighty.

A pair of loveducks were swimming around the pond and upon close-up, we noticed there were ice on them. Makes you wonder if they actually feel cold under those beautiful feathers.

Gigantic ship in a bottle.

Right behind Trafalgar Square was the National Gallery. Too bad like everything else in London, it is opened from 10.00am and it was only about nine when we were there.

Next Stop: Camden Market at Camden Town

Till then, I’ll leave you guys with the frantic bells of St Paul’s Church.
(Note: Not to be confused with St Paul’s Cathedral)


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