We took a train from Paris over to London so we had to alight at Gurd de Nord. Before we run for the train, we had a little bit of time to play the piano placed at the train station! What’s the chances of playing piano publicly in Europe?!
The train to London was a 2 hour ride. We managed to get the tickets at 40% discount from a local agent(http://www.raileurope.com.sg). I’ve used this website for 2 of my trips and they are very generous with discount and giving promotions! You have to subscribe to them in order to know when is the discount. The train was very comfortable but I still preferred Italia Rail over Eurostar at all times.
Reached the London King Cross station and we were quite upset that we can’t find 9 3/4 to Harry Potter’s land. We gotten the Oyster card because there’s a lot of traveling to do and transport in London can be very expensive at 2.20pound even for a stop. With Oyster card, the maximum they will deduct from your card will be 6.40pound no matter how many trips you made.
The hotel that we were supposed to stay in actually gave us a “surprise”! It was stated to be 5 minutes away from Oval station but it ended up being a more than 30 minutes walk away. Ended up we had to take a cab! The room that we booked were without a toilet, imagine how horror this can be. Ended up I topped up GBP95 for 3 nights to be upgraded to a room with toilet. Like how pathetic can things get! Please be prepared this could happen if you want to stay in CHURCH STREET HOTEL!!!
It was about 4pm when everything was settled at the hotel. We had KFC which is located beside our hotel. Their KFC tasted so much better than the one we had in Singapore. My guess is that they used real potatoes instead of preserved ones. Really worth a try if you are coming London! We headed over to Marble Arch for shopping and the shops were closing for the day because shops are mainly closed at 5-6pm on Sunday. Really glad that I managed to grab a shawl at GBP4.00 at Primark minutes before it closed. Really can’t wait to be back tomorrow for more shopping along Marble Arch.
It was still early and we were quite full from our late lunch at KFC so we hopped onto a train to London Bridge. Tower bridge was quite a distance away from London bridge but it still looks so pretty at night.
Second day was a hectic day with many places to go but still we had some fun in the hotel before rushing out. We went to Leicester Square in search of cheap musical tickets. If you want a good seat with reasonable price, try getting tickets on Monday morning 10am when they just opened all the ticketing offices. And before settling for any, go around asking for prices because different box-office uses different agents which will give different prices. We managed to get Dress circle seat for Charlie & The Chocolate Factory at 32pound each and Grand Circle seat for Lion King at 45pound each. If you are not confident or won’t be in London on Monday morning, you can try website like http://timeout.entstix.com for cheaper alternative.
Next stop was the long awaited The British Museum! At the age of 11, I went with school for my first museum trip and it was a mummy exhibition! That trip opened my eyes to the world, made me fall in love with museum and I told myself that I must work hard when I grow up to visit & see the world! 17 years later, I’m so glad that I can have the chance to see 8 real mummies here, it’s like a dream came true! British museum is located at Holborn station, it’s a 6 minutes walk and there’s clear direction along the way to lead you to the place so you don’t need to worry about getting lost.
The whole museum is free except for special exhibition like Mummy! If you are a student, please remember to present your student card because you are entitled to 2pound discount on the usual price ticket of 10pound. Just a word of caution, please eat till your tummy burst before stepping in because the place is so big and you have to walk non-stop and it’ll make you hungry at a rapid speed. And the food here is ultra expensive, the pasta and drink that I had cost me 6pound.
We went to visit some free gallery and there’s a few rooms on mummy exhibition that’s free as well. Totally mummified!
And how can we miss “Dum Dum” in the “Night at the Museum”!
After being mummified, we went to Marble Arch to continue our shopping. So in love with Primark where everything is cheap & affordable. There’s this departmental shopping mall along Bond Street, Selfridge, that is very alike to Lafettya in Paris but I felt that the service is so much better and there isn’t much people which makes the shopping experience so much better. The tax rebate was done very quickly too, there was 21 people in front of me but I managed to get it done within 25 minutes. The best part was that they offered you free drinks and entertainment while waiting. I might forsake Paris from now onwards for Selfridge in London.
We rushed off for our musical. In London, the city of musical, each musical has their own theatre to themselves to ensure that they provide the best stage setting and whatever that it needs to make the musical world-class standard. Unlike Singapore where we only have a few venues to provide for the musical play. The musical for tonight was Charlie & the Chocolate factory chosen by me. I’ve always loved the book and the movie and definitely make it a must to watch the musical when I’m in London. The musical was splendid with some magical element, as thou watching a magic show as the people vanish and reappear on stage within seconds.
We had to rush back as the musical ends at 10.30pm and the bad location of the hotel requires a longggg traveling time, le sigh.
It was another early morning as we headed over to Natural History Museum. This museum is located at South Kensington station. It’s a bus ride of 1 hour from our hotel and we took it as a chance to sightsee!
Having learnt our lesson about food at British museum, we decided to have a brunch nearby. We spotted a Japanese restaurant that is quite full house so we decided to give it a try. I need to satisfy my craving for some Japanese food too! I had 4 sushi, 1 origano, 1 miso soup with a bubble tea, all for 10pound. A little expensive but I feel it’s totally worth the price!
And yes finally to the Natural History Museum to see the real dinosaur fossil. Apart from the fossils, we saw many fossilized items such as million years old tree bark and many other stuff! All the exhibition in this museum is entirely free so you can visit the whole place without spending a penny!
We continued our shopping at Leicester Square and Covent Garden. We only had 2 hours before we have to rush off for musical. Really enjoyed roaming around the street doing nothing or fooling around!
We happened to walk into Jubilee market and Covent Square market. Jubilee market doesn’t really have much stuff except for those flea stalls that sell items that are marked up at a scary price! But Covent Square market is totally different. We discovered Shake Shack burger there and it really deserve the fame. The mushroom burger gave me a big surprise with cheese oozing out with every bite & the fries tasted very yummy too. I’m praying that somebody please bring it over. There’s many other shops around that’s very cute and selling unique stuff, I’m quite glad I didn’t spend much to get anything. The things there are all out to get your money!
We walked over for our second musical, The Lion King. The first movie that Momma brought me to was Lion King, when I’m 6 years old. It’s really an experience to watch this musical.
We are leaving London tomorrow morning and I really can’t bear to part with this place. There’s still London bridge, Big Ben & all that I want to revisit again. And shopping, nothing much is done here yet. And to be honest, I feel sad leaving here more than I do for Paris. Perhaps the museum & musical did some poison to me and London has replaced Rome to be my most favorite place on earth!