TRAVEL DIARIES: LONDON DAY 2

Decision making is not one of my strong suites and to make up for this flaw, I always over plan down to the minutest detail. In the light of the disruption in the form of a flight delay, I had to regroup and plan my next day itinerary. The theme of the day became : ‘A tourism centered day’. It was time to be a tourist and I loved it. We started out at Buckingham palace where we went to watch the changing of the guard but as in usual London fashion, it began to rain. Through the crowd of people seeking shelter  and  with no umbrella in hand, we missed this event.

We made the most of it and walked confidently towards the palace. It was a storybook come to life. I filmed this magnificence regardless of the weather and decided not to miss it for anything. We took pictures there of ourselves and other tourists, our joy overlapping despite our cultural differences. We were in London.

Buckingham Palace in the rain

The rain decided that it was just joking around and truly began. We began to then seek shelter and were fortunate to discover a café called Crumpets not too far from there where we had a typical English breakfast consisting of toast, bacon, sausages, baked beans, eggs and tea of course. One order was more than enough for two, I could not imagine eating this humongous meal alone. It was delicious by the way and I definitely recommend it.

English Breakfast at Crumpets

The rain subsided and we discover a red telephone booth outside the café and we took our official tourist photos beside it. The phones apparently work, and I was surprised to discover that.

Red Telephone booth

Next on the itinerary was the famous Westminster abbey, where we took amazing pictures and witnessed a vegan protest not to far away. The london eye was not far away and we discovered a dog as large as a bear on the subway, what a sight. London is not complete without the street and subway musicians who bring life to the city. What a joy to behold, it was like I was given a theme song for every part of the adventure.

Crossing the famous Millineum bridge on the way to St Paul’s cathedral, we had some interesting encounters with funny photo bombers who were excited to be in our photos. The sight on this bridge consisted of most of the city and all I could feel was wonder. I researched and found that at the last floor of Tate modern, I could see the whole city for free. Who will turn down that opportunity? That was the last sight of the day and the theme song was shallow accompanied by a guitar. What a perfect end to my tourism filled day.

TRAVEL DIARIES: LONDON DAY 1

This was the moment I had looked forward to since the beginning of the year. I was in London!!! This didn’t seem real, but it was. I could hardly sleep the night before and left early to avoid a hassle. I arrived at O’Hare airport at 3 pm but due to maintenance delays, I took another plane at 9.30 pm because the one assigned to me was still delayed.

I arrived at Heathrow airport looking lost but excited and using my trusted friend, google maps to get to the agreed meet up point with Toto. My previously planned itinerary was thrown to the wind because the probability of a delay was not factored in, coupled with the unaccounted factor of my fatigue after an 8-hour flight.

Watching a YouTube video on how to get an oyster card helped me to familiarize myself with my surroundings. Following the instructions, I obtained the card with ease. With this card, I took the train to meet my friend at Green Park Station. Amidst the crowd at the station; I did not locate my friend and I could not call her because I had no sim yet.

With no other option, I did what they do in every book; I looked for the nearest café with free internet connection. Finally, I was able to reach her on the phone and found that she had not even left where she was. Getting comfortable at Caffe Nero, I decided to order brunch consisting of hot chocolate and a sandwich as shown below.

Brunch at Caffe Nero

My friend eventually arrived by 2 pm and we searched for a bathroom with an app called sit or squat. This app helps you locate nearby bathrooms ranging from clean to fairly clean. We found one located at a nearby hotel called the May Fair which was exquisite and as clean as they had predicted.

Afterwards, we went to get a sim from three that functioned in all European countries. It had unlimited data in the UK and 19GB in other European countries that I roamed in. I never had to worry about losing connection to the internet wherever I was located because the connection was amazing.

We had an all-white themed birthday party to prepare for later in the week and as such we searched for the perfect outfits. We did not find any outfits on this day but had fun shopping anyways. Finally retiring to our Airbnb in Canary wharf, we planned for the next day.