UK and Europe Travelogue Part I

As I promised..
This will be part one out of three, UK + Europe Travelogue.
Baca sampai lebam okay?

All pictures are unedited. Just as it is. The one without my watermark are taken from Cat’s camera.

Actually, I don’t know where or how to start actually.. Haha.
There’re so many things to share. Alright here goes..
Some of you might already know that this trip is actually a last minute travel arrangement which is not even in my 2009 plan.
I named it “Aidil’s trip of my life”. Macam best jer kan? Hehe.
Well.. It is once in a lifetime opportunity and I don’t know when I’ll have the chance to travel to these places ever again.

The Muhibbah Travellers

The Muhibbah Travelers – ready for departure.

My Air Asia X ticket from KL to London was roughly around RM1600 return including food (twice in each flight both ways), upgraded to 20KG for luggage (return) and I also included an AirAsia Comfort Kit.
Quite a bargain right? Well, it was bought during promotion actually.
Ehem, I don’t really need the Comfort Kit actually but biasalah.. semua nak try. First-timer la katakan. Hehe.
In the Comfort Kit there’s a blanket, an eye mask and also an inflatable neck pillow. Usual stuffs.
Which, you can bring on your own if you wanna save up a bit.

Depart: LCCT, Sepang – Malaysia
Date: 17th May 2009, Sunday
Time: 5.30 PM
Flight: Airbus 340 – D7 2008
Destination: Stansted Airport, London

The flight was okay. Not so bad I would say..
I expected worst but fortunately it’s not as bad as I thought. A few bumps along the way when the plane have to go thru the air pockets.
The seat is better than the normal short distance flight.. – Phew! Thank God..
I slept most of the time throughout the flight. Luckily the seat next to mine was empty. Hehe.
We reached Stansted Airport around 12.00 midnight. 40 mins ahead of schedule.
Hm.. not bad..

Stansted Airport

London Stansted Airport

London Stansted - Cat and Me

London Stansted – Cat and Me

Stansted Airport is UK’s 3rd busiest airport after Heathrow and Gatwick.
Most of the low-cost airlines operate from here such as – Ryanair, easyJet and obviously AirAsia.
And for those who are not very familiar with London, this airport is quite far from the city.
The location is a bit outskirt. It’s approximately around 48 km from Central London.
Lebih kurang KL – LCCT la. Jauh jugak tu..

Shanky and Cat

Shanky and Cat – just happy to be able to smoke.

The immigration process was like what I’ve expected.. but slightly smoother and quite quick too.
They asked about the purpose of my visit, how long I intend to stay, where I’ll stay and yada yada yada..
After collecting our luggage, we went to look for the coach counter.
– thanks to Cat, all travel transportation needs have been arranged prior.

The coach tix that we bought online was scheduled at 3.00am or something, can’t really remember.
The fare is around RM123. Ha… Mahal kan? Hehehe.
Since we’re there early, we managed to get an earlier coach to Heathrow.
By the way, our hotel is located near Heathrow Airport. Hence, we’re heading there.
The bus services in UK is very efficient I would say. Prompt on time.
We took the 1.00am National Express coach. Thanks to the driver.
You can book the tix here at http://www.national express.com

Before that, each of us bought an Oyster Card for GBP12 (Stored value of GBP10 in it).
It’s something like our Touch n Go Card.
You can use this card for bus, rails and tube plus you can top up the value if you’re running low.
More info regarding this card, you can check it out here: www.visitlondon.com/travel/oyster/

Heathrow Airport

Heathrow Airport – early morning

The bus journey took around an hour plus to reach Heathrow Airport Bus Terminal.
It’s like this.
Stansted Airport —-> Heathrow Airport —> (Hotel)
What an effort right? That’s the cheapest way we could find though.
We took London Metrocab to our hotel. Mahal wo.. The blardy 15 minutes ride costs us GBP11.80.
Well, it’s 3.00 in the morning, and prolly it include the night extra fees as well.
Anyway, by that time all of us were already tired to do say anything anyway.
So, paid the fare.. check in the hotel.. unpacked.. took a bath.. sleep..

London Cab - view from inside

London Cab – view from inside

This is where we stayed in London for the next 5 days.
Sheraton Skyline Heathrow, London.

Sheraton Skyline Heathrow

Sheraton Skyline Heathrow – London

Thanks to Shanky for the accomodations arrangement. She got this at a very good price.
UK’s accommodations are very expensive you see.. especially if you’re staying nearer to the Central London area.
If you staying in a hostel or bed and breakfast hotel, maybe it’s a bit cheaper.
Then again, the further you are.. less expensive it’ll be.

Sheraton Skyline Heathrow - Lobby

Lobby – Sheraton Skyline Heathrow. Ehem!

Second Day
Nurul arrived from Amsterdam at around 11am.
First thing all of us did is find out the way to Central London.
There’s a free shuttle bus from the hotel to Hatton Cross tube station.
From there we took a tube to Green Park station.
The tube fare is cheaper after 9.30am. There’s something like a time zone where the fare is cheaper during non peak hours.
If I’m not mistaken I paid GBP2.20 for a single trip and it took around 45 minutes to get to Central London.

London Tube

Shanky, Nurul(can see a bit only) and me  – the very obvious tourists

We went for a brunch at this small cafe called Wrap n Roll.
– since the hotel didn’t provide any free breakfast for the guests?
It’s different from how Asia’s hotel operates where most of the time there’ll be free breakfast included.
Here in UK and also Europe, you won’t get that. Anywhere.. so, don’t bother asking.

London cafe - Wrap n Roll

It’s quite cold outside and I had my first UK’s tuna sandwich here.

The ladies went for a shopping spree.
There’s French Connection, ZARA, Topshop, Miss Selfridges.. all those famous UK brand shops lah.
We walked around Oxford Street, Bond Street and also the famous Carnaby Street.
Oddly, I didn’t see any shopping mall here in Central London. Maybe ada la somewhere around here. Hidden.
Most of them are boutiques, small shops and shop lots.
So, a lot of walking.. and walking and.. walking. Penat woo..

London - Carnaby Street

Carnaby Street, London

Carnaby Street - Mural

Wall art found at one of the building in Carnaby Street – Nice!

Nurul bought me a Liverpool Jersey.
It’s my long due birthday present. Ahahaha.. Thanks dear.
Custom made with my name printed at the back plus Stevie G’s lucky number 8. Nice!
You shouldn’t have.. but then again. Hehe. You’ve promised right? 😛
I can’t tell how happy I am. Since I don’t have the chance to go to Anfield… this might be my pengubat luka.
Chewah! Again thank you very much. It means a lot to me..

Nurul's gift - Liverpool Jersey

My favourite Liverpool’s jersey with my name and Gerrard’s number 8 – sweet!

London - boutiques

Quiksilver, Lacoste, Apple Store, Ted Baker and Fcuk.. and double decker busses.

At 7pm we went back to our hotel.
Had a buffet dinner (it cost us GBP11 each) at the hotel’s restaurant.. and it’s not that good. Or maybe I’m too tired..
Nevertheless, it’s still cheap tho considering the price before discount. Heh.
….

Third Day

In London Tube - Shanky and Cat

Shanky and Cat – happy to be in the Tube

London - Waitrose

The ladies in front of Waitrose

Metropolitan Railway Station

Metropolitan Railway Station – very ol skool

Brunch - Vegetarian Set

My brunch – vegetarian set: the mushrooms are really good

After brunch - ciggy time

After brunch – burp!

 London National History Museum

National History Museum London

We went to National History Museum..
Tak sah la kalau jalan kat London tapi tak masuk museum kan? There’re lots of them.
Some are free, some you need to fork out a few quids for the entrance fee.
This one is free – see how we managed our travel budget? Hehe.
It’s huge. No.. it’s really really really huge. The building can fit lotsa dinosaurs ma..
Hehe. I don’t think we covered the entire museum because that would take 4 hours.
So ‘lil time, so may things to do.

Me @ National History Museum London

Posing habis dah nih – Eheh..

The biggest dinosaur's fossil in the museum

Inside the museum’s main lobby – huge ass dinosaur fossil (I dunno what type is it)

Dinosaur's tail

Me~ so puny compared to the fossil

T-Rex's head

T-Rex’s head – it’s huge… “itu baru kepalanya pak” Thehehe..

T-Rex

T-Rex – it actually moves and there’s growling sound as well. Not as big as I’ve imagined tho. 😛

Aidil's = evil?

When did Cat took this picture? Aiyo.. that woman ar…

Me and Cat

Wah, gaya macam pro.. tapi gaya jer la. Hahaha. Eh? Cat smiling? Thehehe..

National History Museum - Main Hall

This is the main hall of the museum – picture taken from the staircase.

National History Museum - from 1st floor

This was taken from the opposite angle – nice staircase kan?

Went to South Kensington Street.
I dunno why we’re here.
Oh.. I guess we got lost. Ahahaha..
Had a coffee at one of the cafe while trying to figure out where to go next.
We then took a cab to High Street Kensington.
There’s a few shops there. Walked here and there a bit.

Lost

Trying to figure out the map – dah sesat tapi tak nak tanya orang. Hehe.

Took the tube to Turnham Green to meet up with Sham.
Sham is Shanky’s friend. She got married and currently working here in one of the legal firm.
I think we got lost on the way here as well. Hahaha. What la you guys..

Sham and Shanky

Sham and Shanky – chillin’ outside

Anyway, she took us to one of the bar there.
We lepak outside to smoke and chat.
It’s really really cold. Damn cold!
The temperature was 11 Celcius for God sake.
I can’t remember how many sticks of ciggy I smoked but I just can’t keep myself warm.
Sheesh! The weather is really unpredictable.

Cat and Nurul

Bestfriends – Cat and Nurul

Sham sent us back to the hotel but before that we went to Sainsbury to buy a few stuffs ~thanks Sham.
Sainsbury is one of the famous supermarket there like Tesco and Waitrose.
I can’t remember what I bought there but I think something for dinner la kot?

Fourth Day
Plan for today – go for sightseeing.
First stop – London Bridge Station.

London Bridge

Group picture at London Bridge Station – except Shanky that is

Well actually the famous bridge is the Tower Bridge. Why they called it London Bridge?
From the station after breakfast, we walked towards London Bridge Pier.
We passed by London Dungeon.
Didn’t go in coz it’s quite expensive (around 22GBP) plus I’m the only one who’s interested.
Terpaksalah tengok dari luar jer.. Huhu.

London Dungeon

The London Dungeon ~ Huhu. From across the street.

London Pier

London Bridge City Pier. PRET ~ where we had our brunch.

Cat and Nurul

Cat and Nurul after full stomach ~ so happy ar

From across the pier, we can see the London Tower.
As we walked on along the pier.. There it was – HMS Belfast. A war ship that the British used during World War II.
Still in good condition with turrets and all. It’s a museum ship now.
Kalau nak masuk boleh.. GBP11 aje.. Heh.
The location is not too far from the Tower Bridge.

HMS Belfast

HMS Belfast – the war ship

Rocket? Shuttle?

I can’t remember what’s the name of that weird-yet-beautiful building

The ladies at the pier

Nurul, Cat and Shanky – background is the Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge

Tower Bridge, London ~ notice the bridge is up and the ferry is moving across? Cool!

Next – we took the tube to Waterloo Station.
– Royal Festival Hall
– London Aquarium
– London County hall
– London Eye

I-max cinema

One of the cinema ~ even the outside look is impressive

Waterloo Station

Waterloo station

Royal Festival Hall

Royal Festival Hall

London Eye - edited

London Eye

London Eye's Gondola

London Eye – zoomed in

London Eye - Partly shot

I really like this shot – I changed the setting and edit a bit.

County Hall

County Hall  and London Aquarium.

London Eye - Side view

London Eye ~ side view

We then walked across the Westminster Bridge.
It’s a long walk… but I didn’t feel tired tho. Plus lots of people walk here.
It’s easier and more convenient because the places are located close to each other.
Maybe because the weather is not like Malaysia.. so it feels nice to walk.
Kalau kat Malaysia.. hm.. sendiri mau ingatlah. Berpeluh beb!!

Bridge shot

Nurul, Cat and Shanky ~ Westminster Bridge

At the end of the bridge – Palace of Westminster aka House of Parliament and Big Ben (The world largest four-faced chiming clock).

Big Ben

The Big Ben – Up Close and Personal

After that we went to Picaddily Circus. Jangan salah faham ye.. takde circus kat situ pun.
Hehe.. All these places reminds me of Monopoly.

UK telephone booth

Telephone booths

War monument

One of the war monument – The Battle of British

London Eye - opposite view

View from the opposite site of the river – we walked all the way from there. Phew!

Picadilly Circus – circus in Latin means circle.
Famous for it’s neon lights, shopping and entertainment.
You can see a lot of the London theaters are located here.
Hm.. let’s see.. There’s Mamma Mia!, Queen, Les Miserables and a few others.
The ticket price.. ehem.. GBP40, more or less.
I’m sure there’s a way to get a cheaper price for the show. I just don’t know how. Hehe.

London Theather - Michael Jackson

MJ is playing – Hm.. the legend

Les Miserables

Les Miserables – I wish I can watch it..

Had our dinner here. Picadilly is near to London Chinatown.
Nurul wanted Malaysian food ~ time tu plak ada one restaurant called Rasa Sayang.
Wonder where it is? Google Map this –> 5 Macclesfield Street, London, W1D 6AY

Phew! When someone haven’t got a taste of Malaysian food for quite sometime.. Hehe.
Nurul ordered a lot of food.. a lot as in A LOT for the 3 of us.
Nasib baik dia yang bayor. Hahaha. Kalau tak.. hm..aku cuci pinggan kat dapur la kot.
Well, as long as she’s happy.. let’s see what she ordered.

Food - Rasa Sayang

Food!! Thanks Nurul! Burp!

– Asam Pedas Ikan Kembong (not bad I would say).
– Karipap (weird looking – instant punya kot?)
– Roti Canai (sah2 yang ni instant – takkan ada mamak pulak kat sana kan?)
– Nasi Lemak Rendang Ayam (ni Nurul punya – dia sorang belasah)
– Sate Ayam (tak leh celen Hj Samuri punya satay)
– Teh Tarik ( Aduyai.. tak macam mamak punya lah)

Overall.. okaylah.. Can’t complaint much.
Taste – ada but not very original except for the Asam Pedas and maybe Nasi Lemak.
Price – perghhh!!!!!! Tak hengat punya mahal – seb baik bukan aku yg bayo.
Ambiance – Crowded.. all the tables was arranged very close to each other.
Kat luar still got a long line of people waiting for their turn to be seated.
Hm.. their business is good it seems.

Picadilly Circus Center

Before we head back to hotel..

Picadilly Circus - Neon Lights

The famous neon lights at Picadilly Circus ~ I bet it looks nicer if it’s dark.

Ripley's London

London – Ripley’s Believe It or Not!

London Trishaw

Beca Mat Saleh? Thehe..

End of day 4. Full stomach and tired.

Fifth Day
SHOPPING SPREE DAY!
We’re going to Bicester Village. Pronunciation is like this –> Bister.
Not that easy to go there but trust me it’s worth it.
Amazingly, this place is not included in Nurul’s Lonely Planet Guidebook. Hehe.
Not many people knows about this place especially tourists.
Sham told Shanky about it and the best way to get there.
If you want to know more about this place which consists of 100+ luxury boutique outlets, you can check it out here:
www.bicestervillage.com

 Shuttle Bus to Bicester

Shuttle bus to bicester village – someone is obviously excited. Hehe

The journey to Bicester from Marylebone Station took nearly an hour.
At the station, we took a minivan aka suttle bus to get to the village – it’s included in the train fee. Nice!
So, make sure you plan your journey well. Watch out the closing time as well.

Operating hours

The village operating hours – the pic is a bit senget

Entrance - Bicester Village

How the shops are arranged – Polo Ralph Lauren in the middle

If you’re lucky, you could get designers apparel at a very very cheap price.
Just to name a few outlets:
Calvin Klien, Clarks, DKNY, D&G, FCUK, Jimmy Choo and Ted Baker.
I bought a TED BAKER sling bag for GBP20 and also FCUK cardigans – 3 for GBP20.
Plus 2 pairs of Clark shoes for GBP34.
Quite a bargain huh? Hehehe. Yeah, I know..
If I do the conversion that time with the rate, overall it’s approx around RM370.
Nasib baik my budget for shopping is not as much like ehem, ada orang tu la. Hehehe.
The ladies (including Cat) shopped more than me which is as expected.

Nurul @ Bicester

Didn’t take much pictures here because it was raining every now and then.
Again.. the weather.. *sigh.

The country side

UK country side ~ taken from inside the train

Sixth Day
Today would be the our last day in London.
Packed all our stuffs and kept our heavy luggages in the hotel.
We planned to get it back once we returned from Paris.
We flew with BMI from Heathrow Airport to Amsterdam.
I’ll continue with Amsterdam travelogue in second part.

Damn! it’s a long one.

~ by Aidilz on August 16, 2009.

9 Responses to “UK and Europe Travelogue Part I”

  1. Nice..Finally!!

  2. since the hotel didn’t provide any free breakfast for the guests?
    It’s different from how Asia’s hotel operates where most of the time there’ll be free breakfast included.
    Here in UK and also Europe, you won’t get that

    Roydotcom:
    During my 5 weeks stay in Germany last time, my hotel 3 star ( Balladin ) and also my client’s hotel (Holiday Inn) provide free breakfast every morning including Sunday….. its depend on hotel itself actually.. and plus my hotel got mini kitchen also… boleh masak nasi goreng.. hehe

    • Really? Hm.. I guess it depends on which hotel you stays as well agaknya.
      Ko masak nasi goreng roy? Hahaha.. perencah segera? Cool!

  3. feel so nostalgic looking at the pics.
    was a trip worth taking rite? aren’t u glad u went with us.

    Nurul!! miss u so.. 😦 sighh..

    • It’s worth every single pence, every seconds, everything.. I’m glad it’s with you guys instead of anyone else.
      You guys are the best!

  4. looking at the pic.felt like what i felt when we were there.damn.miss the air.felt good being away from kl and everything in it.why can’t i b rich(er).still paying for my debts
    😦
    btw.the hotel doesnt come with breakfasts coz its already under starhot rate for employees.if pay full price they will drop in a bottle of wine too 😛

  5. its called the guirkin building. It looks like a girkin ???? noob

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