Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Day 2: London to Wiltshire

13 Sept 2016 - Tuesday
Early this morning, we leave London early at 7.30am to begin our UK sightseeing, both my friend and I did not sleep at all, but we're so fresh and eager to head to Stonehenge!

I knew many people were disappointed seeing Stonehenge, but for me, I like a certain degree of historical things, so I naturally was excited for it!

Admission ticket to Stonehenge must be bought in advance, it was £15.50 per person..

From our place in Elephant & Castle, we took the Bakerloo tube to Waterloo Station (I also have a thing for railway stations!), from there we bought a return ticket to Salisbury, which costs a whopping £42 each the nearest railway station to Stonehenge.. While waiting for the train, we had breakfast at Pret A Manger, an organic sandwich shop..

Waterloo Railway Station

I immediately fell in love with it.. Everything was so tasty and cheap.. I bought some to take on board the 1.5 hours train journey southwest of London.. In UK, you can eat and drink in the train, there's also food cart that the crew will go around selling food and drinks on board..

For something as organic as this, all this cost about £7, which is cheap!

Before boarding the Southwest Train bound for Salisbury

All aboard!

I can assure you there are no zombies in the train..

1.5 hours journey and what you do?
That's right, take selfies!!!

Upon reaching Salisbury, I wanted to take the local bus to Stonehenge, however, I discovered that I did not know where the bus stops are actually, so we ended up walking around Salisbury town, but not without taking in the beautiful small town sights and sounds and all, before decided we should just pay for the super-expensive-not-worth-it-"official" bus at £15 per person! Tell me how is it worth the ride again, when a similar local bus for the locals costs just £5!

Very peaceful here.. loved the super clear river!!

Salisbury town

Waiting for the bus at the bus stop

Wefie again before boarding the "official" tour bus..

We arrived Stonehenge right on time of the ticket admission time slot - 11am.. So after collected the ticket, we took the Stonehenge bus for a 5 minutes ride to the stones itself.. 

Some things behind the Stonehenge visitor centre

A UNESCO World Heritage site

It was marvellous..

It was wonderful..

I feel so humbled by the stones.. Totally loved the weather too.. until it rained when we decided to leave..

As close as you can get to the stones, probably 20m away or so

Earlier on, we were right there on the top right corner of this pic where a bunch of PRC has just arrived,
the closest point to the stones

This was how I took most of my pictures hahaha!

She's enjoying her lunch while I'm enjoying my brunch..
The wind was super strong out here as the rain was coming in..

Back into Salisbury, we had lunch at a fish and chips restaurant.. the haddock we have was really delicious, it costs £8 for fish and chips and a drink, quite reasonably cheap.. 

After lunch, we continued to wander around town, going to the local market.. and I bought a super fresh peach for 30p and eat it right on the spot.. the fruits here were so cheap! 

Such as 2 boxes of strawberries for just £1.50! I swear, you cannot get any fruits cheaper than this!

So we spent a good time at the market buying fruits and tasting them as we go along..

My 30p peach, as huge as a large apple

And around 4pm, we decided to head back to London.. The sun was shining so bright and we ended up at Westminster for me to take in the iconic London landmarks: Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament & Big Ben, London Eye before ending our London walkabout in Tower Bridge where we took a bus back home..

Overlooking London Eye

Big Ben & Elizabeth Tower
 The sun was so bright, that I would return two days later to get a better shot..

London Eye

Houses of Parliament, Big Ben the clock and Elizabeth Tower

Selfie outside Westminster station

Big Ben, taken from the park beside it

I'm trying to make a call here! 

The side of Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey 

The backside of Westminster Abbey

Houses of Parliament - side view

Big Ben

Going down Westminster Station... see the guy beside me looking at what I was doing

Polished telephone booth

The naval ship on Thames River

Tower of London

Tower Bridge

The sunset against the CBD

Walking down Tower Bridge

My most prized photo has to be this.. as iconic as London is, the Tower Bridge, or famously known as "London Bridge"..

I love this shot a lot.. 

Next day, my outing to Thorpe Park, a themepark half an hour west of London near Staines - and how I injured my shoulder on one of the rides..

Monday, 26 September 2016

Day 1: Kuala Lumpur to London

12 Sep 2016 - Monday
The day I have been waiting for.. My another solo megatrip, and this time I am going to London, United Kingdom for my holiday..

Breakfast at Flight Club, opposite Plaza Premium Lounge, cos the lounge was overwhelmed

My flight MH4 was supposed to take off at 9.50am.. I woke up at 6am to catch the 7am KLIA Express train, and was already at the airport at 7.30am.. We were all checked in and boarded the plane on time.. However, 20 minutes later, we were still at the gate, and looked like it will not depart anytime soon - then the captain announced that everyone must deplane because they discovered 2 of the tyres were found to be not fit for flight and had to be changed..

Boarding pass all ready

Aircraft is being readied to depart..

My friend who joined me for the flight to London

Malaysia Airlines MH4 bound for London Heathrow.. Upper deck

Nicely tucked into my seat on the upper deck, before we are asked to deplane,
loved the extra storage area where one can put bag and stuffs in it

New scheduled departure was 3 hours later..

So back we went to the gate and waited for further updates, which was 3 hours later when they gave the green light to reboard..

 The tyres can be changed in 45 minutes, however, what took them so long was that the first 2 jacks they used malfunctioned and unable to jack up the plane.. so they had to wait for a 3rd jack to be brought from the maintenance hangar across the airport..

The good thing was, nobody was complaining because it's a blessing they realised it before the plane took off, otherwise, God knows what could have happened upon landing.. 

So we finally departed KL on our 14-hour flight to London Heathrow.. I noticed the flight path was a lot more south flying over Iran and Turkey before continuing on over Italy into Europe.. By the time we landed in Heathrow, it was well past 7.20pm local time, given the 7 hours time difference, that's 2.20am KL time.. 

The queue for the immigration started at the gate, and snaked all the way down the arrival hall and into the customs.. In front of us was probably a South African plane just arrived ahead and the queue was made up of their people.. It was 2 hours later when the UK Border Control Agency realised we were a bunch of Malaysians (and not China) and they opened up the Fastrack lanes for Malaysian passport holders.. 

Brunch became lunch - grilled chicken

Midflight snack (I mean the snack is in the box)

Lunch became late lunch - fish pasta

River Thames, not too clear a shot as it was 7pm as we descend into Heathrow

Finally landed at 7.20pm, against the final ray of sun set

10 minutes later - we were finally at the gate, from here it is 4 hours later before I can rest my head on the bed..

My bed for 5 nights with Chris. It was really cosy but my jetlag didn't wear off for 2 days straight

I just loved English buildings with all the bricks and stones.. 

The next morning, I went to Stonehenge, still fresh without any sleep..
to be continued...

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