About Me

I have done a lot of things in my life and have also worked in many different jobs to make a living and to experience life. This blog is just some of my musings, sometimes funny, sometimes inspirational, sometimes sad, sometimes angry, sometimes simple but all the time, it's just me.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

London, London Episode 1 - The Story

Well, not quite rhyming with New York, New York but London is a fascinating city nevertheless.

Saturday 4 April
Staying on Cromwell Road in Cromwell Crown Hotel in Earls Court. Not a great hotel but cheap and it will do for an expensive city. It is also close to the Piccadilly and District Line underground station of Gloucester Road.

Got up a little late but went to Piccadilly Circus area and did a little walkabout. Had a really good breakfast at Balan's - no, I did not have any idly, thosai. I had a full English breakfast. After which, I walked to the Hard Rock Cafe passing Green Park. Spend sometime to buy some t-shirts and have a drink right where Eric Clapton used to in this 1st Hard Rock Cafe.

I then went to get my tickets to the Les Miserables matinee show and went to a typical English Pub before the show for a drink and some potato chips with salt and vinegar. (Chips are fries)

Then went for the musical which was wonderful. I have always liked Victor Hugo's Les Miserables and was looking forward to this and had really great seats on the 3rd row. For plays like this, sitting in front is a privilege. It got a standing ovation. I like the storyline so I could forgive that it was a little over the top in terms of a musical. Even their speaking was singing, they did not have a dialog, they sang their dialog.

The show lasted 3 hours and finished at 5:30pm. By this time, I have had 4 beers already :P Oh well, on holidays. Surprisingly, I am enjoying drinking the Guinness draft over here - nice smooth creamy and extra cold. Nai chap Guinness Stout, Unga lakea nale da.

I then went back to the hotel to drop off all the things I had bought and then went to Hammersmith for my Jason Mraz concert in the HMV Apollo theatre. As I was early, went to another nice English pub to watch some football on the tele and yes, had another Guinness. I then bought some falafel burger at a Turkish shop and waiting in line for the concert.

There were 2 performers, a US female and a UK band that performed before Jason came on to do his gig at around 10. They were good but I cannot remember their names right now, I would have to check on the Internet. The concert ended around 11:30pm and was quite good. Not great but quite good nevertheless.

After the concert, I went back on the underground and had an early night i.e. 12:30am so that I could get up and do a London walkabout on Sunday.

Sunday 5 April
Got up early and had the lousy free breakfast in the hotel. After which, I took the train to Green Park and went to Buckingham Palace for tea with the Queen. After spending sometime in Green Park and the Palace, I walked to Westminster Cathedral and actually went for the Palm Sunday mass. Not to be mixed up with the Westminster Abbey which is a few streets away which I also walked to. I then went over to the Parliament and Big Ben. Then crossed the Thames river over the Westminster bridge and did a nice long walk down the south of Thames.

There is a lot to see, street performers etc. The weather was nice. The Shell House is located very near the London Eye - fantastic location with fantastic view (bosses - can I transfer to Shell UK - hehehehehehe).

Along the walk, I went to Salvador Dali exhibit and nearly bought a Dali painting for about 900 pounds.

After that I continued walking towards London Bridge. Guess what? Despite what we have been told since we were young, London Bridge is not falling down.

I crossed London Bridge and had a nice view and look at Tower Bridge and HMS Belfast. Tower Bridge is beautiful. I went to the London Tower where I went to a few places within the London Tower compound including Bloody Tower, Wakefield Tower and the vault where they keep the crown - obviously from jewels stolen from Africa and India.

After the London Tower, I crossed the Tower Bridge for the heck of it. And then took a taxi to Greenwich because the underground line was closed and the DLR was closed too.

Greenwich is a nice small town. After Greenwich, I headed back towards the hotel and took a quick nap to rest my legs for about 20 minutes. This was then close to 10pm.

I then decided to go to The Ministry of Sound, unfortunately, after a long trip there, the place was closed.

And after going to the underground, that was closed too. SO I had a tough time figuring out the bus service to try to get back to the hotel.

Managed by taking a bus and a taxi again and reached home close to 1am.

Monday 6 April
Got up early and had to pack most of the things and left my bag at the hotel. Then left the hotel around 9:15am to go to the worlds greatest store, Harrods.

Arrived early, so, had breakfast in another nice English restaurant across the road from Harrods. A really nice hearty breakfast too.

Then went into Harrods and was flabbergasted. This is one store, not a mall, just one store like Isetan or Parkson. The amount of things they had in it and the size of it was just amazing. I would say it was a lot better than KLCC and Pavilion put together and likely carried more things than you can imagine. The have restaurants, barber, baby sitting, pet sitting, luxury bathrooms which would put KLCC Suria's to shame,pet kingdom and even a professional pet bakery with a professional Chef.

I could have spent the whole weekend in Harrods had I gone there on Saturday. Lucky, I came on Monday when I have time limitations. I spent about 4 hours in Harrods, just looking and taking pictures which they allow.

I think if wifey or Mack or Add were to come to Harrods, I would never see them again, it would be like Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium. I don;t really enjoy spending time shopping but Harrods is amazing.

I bought a few sweaters for my dad and some interesting stuff for Al E, check out his blog.

Inside Harrods, there is a Egyptian escalators which has a Dodi and Diana memorial with their pictures and the ring that Dodi was to give Diana.

Around another corner, there is Mr Al Fayed in wax (build by the same people as Madame Tussuad's). Apparently, Mr Al Fayed does come to Harrods and does his walkabout and greets people occasionally.

Nevertheless, every staff including the security are friendly, greet you, open doors, and guide you through this wonderful maze.

After Harrods, I quickly stopped by this shop that was selling affordable colorful jeans and bought a couple for myself, I had to indulge on my birthday.

And then back to the hotel to stuff all these things into the little bag I carried. I even had to buy a small bag at Harrods that was stuffed to the max.

After that, a underground tube ride, a train ride and a bus ride to the airport which took close to 100 minutes.

Luton airport was very busy and all the EasyJet lines were so bloody crowded, so another indulgence, I went to buy Speedy Boarding so that I could check in fast and sit in front of the plane.

Arrived Schipol Amsterdam at 9:05pm but by the time I reached Rijswijk after all the train ride and waiting, it was 10:30pm.

Another wonderful long weekend has passed. This coming long Easter weekend to Vienna to visit friends.

Take care and be well.


Ser said...

Gosh if Harrods is that good, our next trip to Motherland have to extended and one week have to dedicated to shopping.....since you have the notion of not being to find me...perhaps you will in 5 days (maybe..ha ha ah hakwa kwakakakakka -just kidding).

macK said...

agree, most probably you'll never see us again in there....

Nil said...

Yah, will have to send in a search and rescue team.

L_ZEE said...

I agree, Harrods is amazing! Did you go to the food section? Its awesome :D

Ser said...

Gosh I wrote so fast and made so much of grammar mistake...

Nil said...

The food section is amazing, seriosly, I think I could spend days in Harrods. I have not seen anything like it in all the places I have shopped all over the world.

Ser said...

Harrods it is then.....make sure you have your GPS on...in case you want to look for me...I may too busy to hear my mobile...kwakakakkwaskaka

Ser said...

Wah..they have pet-sitting...Oh dear...if I go in there with a dog,most definitely the dog/puppy will be with the sitter. But you got to pick it up though...he he he

Ser said...

Why search & rescue team? Only search team will do. Not need to be rescued.