Part Two: Day tripping London
As we had meticulously pre-arranged with my friend Andy, we met at Costa cafe shop just outside Terminal 4 in London when I first landed off my plane from Abu dhabi. I threw myself at him with a big bear hug greeting, and then we were off on our way to explore. Although my friend was from Manchester he had never been to London before, so in my option that crazy situation had to be rectified! And it was the start of my UK adventure! Let the games begin!
We jammed a lot into our day, as we had planned to do. Well we planned not to plan, but just to walk and enjoy and I think we did a fab job at it. Our first stop was to drop our bags off, Andy had booked us into the Hilton near Hyde Park. Sounds fancy but it was a relatively low key hotel, glamorous lobby, but saggy bed which has killed my back after after my first night sleep. I am writing this at 3.47am, jet lagged and feeling possessed to get some words out and begin to share my adventures with you!
I managed well for the majority of the morning, considering I had just come off 2 flights close to a total of 22 hours of flying from the other side of the world. By the afternoon I was struggling and slightly delirious and giddy. Giddy as I sang along with the street buskers, high on the energy of London, sleep deprived but happy to be alive!
We walked and walked and walked, and that to me is the best part of travelling. And I hardly looked at my phone, apart from taking a few photos, I very much enjoyed less screen time. Apart from writing, this doesn’t count. It’s now nearly 4am. I am hoping it will tire me out somewhat and I can then go back for a few more hours cat napping and rise like a normal person.
So where did we walk you ask? I thought you were wondering that! Where didn’t we walk it felt like! London is a huge place and every time I come here, I am pleased to say I see another aspect to the city, making me fall even more in love with this vibrant, fun, bustling and very proud British city. We started out in Hyde Park, one of my absolute favourite places. When I used to live here years ago I used to go jogging every morning, like the awesome skinny fit person I used to be! (Damn it I should have brought my runners on this trip!)
With much glee we came across the sandy section where you may be lucky to see some horses. And we were!!!! There were about 12 of them training, and canting (is that the word horse people?) trotting (maybe better), weaving and following and being extremely well behaved, while they were being yelled instructions to, by a loud obnoxious sounding poncey man, shouting ‘get in line, give it some bloody space, turn about, straighten up’. It was mesmerising and awesome and incredible and thrilling and I stood there enchanted. I love horses, although I am very intimidated by their strength and size and over all power. Respect. I just wanted to touch them as they glided by so close to the fence. What was even more mesmerising were a bunch of EXTREMELY well groomed London business men, complete with umbrellas and ties and dark suits, watching on. (I kind of wanted to touch them too!) I was particularly fascinated by them, but felt extremely daggy in my bright travelling fleece and backpack. I felt like running off to groom up, throw on a frock and some pantyhose and heels. then I may have looked more respectable. Still they were good to drool at, both the horses and the men!
We then walked around the lake and admired the ducks and white swans and gardens and squirrels. Recharged by greenery we then made our way to Harrods for a meander and visual extravaganza. Fancy pants galore, you can buy anything you want at a top price from this most impressive and very expensive department store. We then walked up and around and found where I used to live on Egerton Gardens in Chelsea. I was once a nanny for a super dooper rich family right there in Chelsea, the family was so rich it was ridiculously amazing. Anyhow, the house still stood in all its opulence and grandeur, reminding me of days from the past.
We carried on, walking around the high streets of the rich and famous, no doubt, as it is one of the most expensive areas in the world. Mansions were being sold at around 2 to 5 million POUNDS! Fancy pants! We found our way back to a subway after lots of walking and pointing and oohing and ahhing, and decided to go to Covent Garden. Here we walked around market stalls and street performers and made our way to Trafalgar square. Always beautiful with its massive proud black lion statues, water fountains and wide piazza open views. It was bustling, but not irritating. It felt alive, people were on holidays, even though the sky was typically overcast and there was a chill in the air, we were having a blast!
After a quick refreshment stop of mandarin sorbet and a pot of tea, very english of me I know darling, we trudged on and stumbled around Buckingham palace, the court houses, and Big Ben and all those beautiful cathedrals. I am always impressed by the old architecture, I continued to look around and be enthralled by the intricate designs and oldness of it all. Australia is so young in comparison, we have nothing of the grandeur. It really is so good to travel!
We saw the London eye moving ever so slowly, and walked along the fast moving brown water canal. I was exhausted at this point, and I think my body clock was on about bedtime, somewhere. I knew all the walking would be good for me and the fresh air, so I carried on, enjoying every minute visually. We eventually made our way back to our hotel around 7 after exploring the shops in our local area. There was some talk of dinner plans and I thought, I will just have a little lie down and close my eyes for a little rest and then we can go out for dinner. At 9pm I wake to Andy turning off the lights, I bluster awake ‘I made it’, I can go to sleep now its 9pm! He laughed at me correcting me, ‘you have already been sleeping you crazy woman’ well I am sure he was thinking that last part… I had already been sleeping for 2 hours and had missed any notion of dinner. Skipping dinner for the both of us wasn’t such a big deal, although disappointing to miss out on my planned bangers and mash English pub grub night. We had a buffet breakfast (all included) to look forward to in the morning, fill our bellies, ready to power through another day of site seeing.
Okay it’s 420am now, back to bed!
Stay tuned for more stories about London in my next post… once I find internet…
Oh la di da,
Sooo jet lagged.
Andy is snoring,
Jet Lag is boring
I wish I could rest my tired mind.
The end. Lol.