Thursday, January 29, 2015

Jalan-Jalan London 2014

It was Samuel Johnson who said: "When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life".

So yeah, with that in mind, our year-end 2014 holidays took us back to the familiar sights and smells of Lon-to the-Don. But before that, just wanna say that our flights to and fro on Malaysia Airlines were simply wonderful. Everything went on without a glitch, and the flights were calm and pretty quiet. Bravo Malaysia Airlines!

Of course our location of choice for accommodation was somewhere near Paddington, I.e.: The Darlington, Hyde Park. In fact, it was not more than a 7-minute walk from the Paddington Station to the hotel. The Central line station of Lancaster Gate too was not too far away, maybe add another 5mins or so. And yeah, being near Paddington meant being near to convenience stores and plenty of Halal makan places. So we were sorted on that front.

So, how different was our trip this time around? Well, we did the familiar; like spending time at Hyde Park which's always beautiful at the end of Autumn.

But we also went to Greenwich for the first time. The weather was good on that day, and so we had a relaxing time there just chilling out and enjoying the sights. Getting there too was easy via Bank on the DLR.

And yes, on the third day we were there, I took the fam out on a train to Brighton! Loved the place when I first visited it in 2012, but I was quite in two minds if going there at the beginning of winter was such a good idea.

Well, it was really chilly when we first got there, especially with the sea breeze. But the weather got better as the day went by.

From the train station, we walked down to the world-famous pebble beach, an experience the fam totally enjoyed.

Then we were over at the Brighton Pier where the views were simply breathtaking.

 Tia of course had a good time on some of the rides.

And we didn't leave without first buying some toffee apples and cotton candy!

Then we visited the Royal Pavilion building, which wifey said was simply magnificent.

But before we got back to the train station, we stopped by a cake shop, Catwalk Cakes, which served the best ever cupcakes and rainbow cake we ever tasted! Seriously dudes, menangis makan ok??

Back in London, we also did quite a number of things for the very first time. Over the past year, Tia had developed great interest in both Sherlock Holmes (through books and the Benedict Cumberbatch series) and Shakespeare. So naturally, we had to do both...

First, we visited 221B, Baker Street, The Sherlock Holmes Museum.

And it was really cool as we stepped into the actual house of the famous detective. And the souvenirs were awesome too!

On another day, we took the tube to London Bridge Station and walked all the way to Shakespeare's Globe after a short visit to Borough Market. The exhibition was really enlightening, as well as the tour which took us to the actual globe where the Bard's plays are staged.

But then Tia wasn't too happy when we told her that mama and papa had actually been to Shakespeare's house in Stratford-Upon-Avon a few years back. Next time, ok? : )

On the same day too, we made our way to Tate Modern and the Millennium Bridge.

The other "new" thing we did was the Tower Bridge; yup, the same bridge I walked across every single day when I was doing my filmmaking course back in 2012. So, I've seen it a thousand  times, but a couple of weeks before our trip, the Tower Bridge added a new feature; the glass walkway!

And it was indeed worth the walk over and the entrance fee. Not a fan of high-rise attractions, but this was not too scary lah. And the view of the Thames was, um, interesting. Also, it offered an awesome view of the rest of London as well.

Before we went back to Malaysia, we did more of the "normal" stuff like Oxford Street, Hamleys and Covent Garden.

And oh yeah, Tia also turned 10 while we were there. Another birthday in London for her! : )


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