Right.. I’ve only got a total of 4 weekend days off for me to discover as much of England as I can. With this in mind, there’s very very little time to waste, and a lot of planning to do. For anyone that’s traveled with me before, you know how much I can pack into one day. And that’s exactly what I’ve done.
This is a summary of what I got up to on the first day..
My plan for today (27th Oct) is to simply walk around metro London. I arrived at Heathrow airport at about 8am on Saturday. Coming straight out of the airport, the first thing I have to encounter and experience is London’s public transport!
At first, it’s the taxis. Don’t you just love London’s taxis?
It has to be ‘old fashioned’, and cute. Just don’t ride in one. My short 15 minutes ride to my hotel was a shocking 40 quid! (~ AUD$100).
Then, there’s the "Tube", or London’s Subway. This has got to be the most common mode of transportation for metro Londoners..
Crowded? That’s an understatement. Catching the Tube during peak hour is an experience not to be missed. On one ride, I was literally pressed against the door. What’s worst, it starts to get really hot, and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Air pollution here is the worst that I have experienced so far in my travel history. How do I know? Well, after a day of walking around London, try blowing your nose at the end of the day. I can tell you, what comes out of your nose is NOT yellow! That’s how I know!!
No trip to London is complete, if you didn’t go on the "London Eye", a massive observation wheel. To me, it actually looked smaller than I imagined in my mind. Anyway, the queue was too long (about 40 minutes wait). I paid an extra 10 pounds to skip the line..
From the top of London Eye, I could see world famous Big Ben and the over-decorated parliament house. I walked over there to the front gate later, only to find a whole bunch of protesters in front. They protest about a range of issues, including war in Iraq, bombing of Afghanistan, torturing by the Chinese. Hmm.. those guys even camp here!!!
By the afternoon, I’ve made it to the Buckingham Palace, which I didn’t think it was anything special. People would actually wait around to see the changing of the guards. I couldn’t be bothered..
After a bit more walking around, my sore feet made it to the super high-end shopping complex, Harrods. In Australia, you get manikins in the display windows of Myer & David Jones. For Harrods? You get a couple Lamborghinis & Ferraris…
Needless to say, I can’t afford to buy anything in here..
By the evening, I made it to Picadilly Circus, where the centre was dominated by these huge neon signs of TDK & Sanyo. It feels like Kings Cross (In Sydney), except a lot grander, and a lot more people. I am beginning to understand why they say Londoners love shopping. I see people out there shopping, dining, going to theatres.. and you know what rocks about London? Shops don’t close ’till at least 8pm everyday!
By the end of the day, I would have loved to keep walking, but my feet is pretty much dead. I’ve got a tour booked tomorrow to see the England surrounds. Should be pretty interesting.. and hopefully not so harsh on my feet.