[ High above London being tourists in the London Eye – very cool experience indeed ]
Putting in to words the last 4 days would be almost impossible but luckily I don’t believe in that word so I’m going to give it my best shot. London, London, London… you saucy minx. You have been everything we hoped for and so much more and to be honest with you I think it will still feel very surreal long after we’ve left – the fact we were actually in London never quite sunk in, which I believe my be the running theme here on our big ole’ adventure. To be honest, flying in to the city was not as we expected – although that could be due to us being on our 24th hour of straight travel – .. For some reason I expected a huge, vast city .. but it just didn’t feel that way. It wasn’t until we had adventured deep in to the city the next day, deliberately getting lost that we realised why … it is so old that the buildings aren’t huge new high rises, they’re much smaller, much more beautiful buildings that hold secrets and stories untold. So there we were, 2 excited tourists from Australia with no maps, no idea of where anything was, and no worries or cares in the world – so what did we do? We got lost. We wandered. We fell in love with old ally ways and little coffee shops and muttered over and over and over to ourselves “I can’t believe we’re in London”. There was not a minute that went by that we didn’t marvel in excitement and appreciation just what we were doing or seeing or hearing. We had been so worried leading up to the trip that we were going to be here during the olympics but in fact it made our time that much more fun and incredible as the city was alive & buzzing with fans and athletes alike. So here is our little snapshot of the last 3 days – we had thought it best, instead of sharing blow by blows of when we ate, shat and slept, we’d share instead, just exactly what we fit in to 3 days – which we were quite proud of – the highlights of London, what we learnt, and some memorable quotes ….
London through the eyes of Anna & Morgan
So what did we get up to?……how to do London in 3 days
- London Bridge
- Parliament House
- Westminster Abbey
- London Eye
- London Dungeon
- Oxford Street Shopping
- Piccadilly Circus
- Trafalgar Square
- Leicester Square
- London Tower Bridge
- Buckingham Palace – & watched changing of the guard
- West End – live show of the Lion King
- Night out in Soho – Oxford Street
- Double Decker Red bus tour – this was fantastic .. we sat on the bus for about 2 hours and explored the whole of London with English Commentary with the sun shining on our faces. We didn’t get off at all of the places, just sat and listened and learned, and got to see most of London’s ‘iconic’s in 1 day… It took us to the following sites: Victoria Street, Wellington Museum, Hyde Park, Speaker’s corner, Madame Tussauds, Regent’s Park, Oxford Street, Regent Street, Piccadilly Circus, Leicester Square, The National Gallery, Nelson’s Column, Trafalgar Square, Horse Guards Parade, Downing Street, Big Ben & Parliament, the London Eye, London Aquarium, Fleet Street, St Paul’s Cathedral, Monument, London Bridge, London Dungeon, HMS Belfast, Tower Bridge, Tower of London, Shakespeares Globe, Westminster Pier, Lambeth Palace & Buckingham Palace.
- Turning around a corner in London after walking in no particular direction for an hour and all of a sudden having Big Ben & Parliament house right in front of us. It was one of those surreal, ‘are we really here, is this really in front of us’ moments that I’ll cherish forever.
- Getting a personal and private tour from a lovely senior priest of the Church of England at West Minster Abbey. He had approached Morgs & I to ask where we were from & had we ever been before and then proceeded to take us around to his own spots to explain incredible stories (he had attended the royal wedding of Prince William recently).
- Just being at Westminster Abbey – there are no words. None. It was the most spine tingling, incredible, jaw dropping experience that Morgs & I have both said was one of our favourite things about London. We had never imagined it to feel like it did to be inside those walls. Although I surmised it as being in one giant tomb (there are over 3,000 people buried there), putting our hands on rock, stone and graves that were thousands and thousands of years old is something you simply can’t put in to words. Westminster Abbey is our MUST thing to do if you ever get to London.
- Watching changing of the guards at Parliament – it just felt really cool to be there and see something that is still so traditional and is taken so seriously.
- Mastering the tube lines – we had it down pat the first night we arrived.
- Just walking aimlessly getting lost in old streets and discovering parts of London we never would have found otherwise.
What we have learnt so far
- To not blame each other … for anything. We’ve avoided every fight so far by doing this. One of us forgot a key, a card, an address? Well we’re both to blame as either one of us could have remembered it. It really works. We are laughing things off and claiming things as simple as returning to the apartment as adventures.
- Do as the Asians do … if we see Asians standing taking photos, they have generally found an amazing shot & so naturally, you should copy.
- BUY AN OYSTER CARD … as soon as you land in London (you can buy them at airports). They will get you transport fares at 50% cheaper than if you buy tickets as you go. Write it down…remember it people. Oyster Cards.
- That Londoners utilise everything they’ve got – and we could learn to do the same. If they’re on a train, they’ll nap, if there is grass, they’ll sit on it, if there’s sun, they’re out in it, if there’s a pub, they’re in it. We loved their way of thinking.
- That Morgs & I are actually sticklers for rules when we’re not in our own country. Non rule breakers, law abiding citizens are our new middle names (the same can’t be said in Australia however).
- To not be an asshole tourist. Nobody likes asshole tourists. I.e. if you’re at Buckingham palace and the crowd is 5 deep don’t stand on the gate blocking everyone’s view – we’re looking at you undisclosed asshole tourist lady who did exactly this)
- That when you travel on an escalator stand on the right if you’re wanting to stand still to leave the left side for crazy people who need to run up the escalator. Got that Perth ??
- That no amount of hoping you won’t put on weight that first week of travel will never come true. Weight gain on holiday, is sadly inevitable.
- Buy fast track tickets for tourist places (if you’re coming in peak times). It’s worth it, trust us, it’s worth it. We have been here during the peak Olympic times, and not lined up once, for every single tourist place visited, all for only about 5 – 10 pounds extra.
- BUY YOUR TICKETS ONLINE – I yelled that at you. Because it’s important. We were working out what we’d roughly want to do the next day, then find it on Google and buy the tickets online which was getting us 10-15% off the price just for booking online.
- When you’re travelling with a bf/gf/wife/partner/whatever .. stay calm and be patient. Even when you’re tired and grumpy and get frustrated easily. You can tackle any problem – like what tube line to take when you’re drunk at midnight & 40 minutes from home if you just stay calm and patient and work it out together.
- That almost everywhere in London has wifi – so use that as often and much as you can, it will save you tonnes on your phone bills (local sim card or global roaming). We had bought sim cards, and didn’t end up using them once as we were able to connect to wifi almost every single place we went.
- Download Viber to travel with. Free app that let’s you send text messages and place calls using data – so essentially it’s free!
- Download the ‘London tube deluxe’ app – that bad boy had every tube line at the touch of our finger tips and had us tube pro’s in less than 24 hours.
Memorable quotes to date in London … seriously muttered from Morgs’ & I’s mouths
- “Do you think Westminster Abbey has wifi” – said by both Morgs & I on separate occasions .. the answer is no, it does not.
- Anna: “Why do you think there are so many people making out everywhere, are they tourists you rekon?” Morgan: “No it’s got to be the French, that country is close by right?”
- “Morgan put your man bag away” – Anna ..
- Morgan wearing his West Coast guernsey on the way to watch the Derby at 7am in the morning..”I reckon people will probably think I’m an Olympian from some unknown Eagles country” … mmmm
And lastly, in true “we love free wifi everywhere we go style”
- “I can’t believeeeee they don’t have free wifi at Buckingham Palace, so shit” – Anna