Windy freezing night in ol' London town, but we're back!

London Travel Blog

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Some things never change! This blog will be a special one for me as it marks a decade of my holidaying in London (every year, mostly twice a year). But unlike most trips where I've planned my itinerary to death and then some, the 'agenda' (and I say it in quotes) was very different this time. Rather than a diary full of scheduled spots and day trips prepared one month in advance, I thought I'd improvise, be more "on the go". My data points for this trip were my Facebook London buddies and the Timeout website. Yes indeed, this trip was all about events than just tourist spots. And given that I was visiting London just when the holiday season window opened up, I built up a list enough to keep me busy five minutes after I logged on to the Timeout London page! I also met the extremely warm and friendly Travbuddy Joseph!

As I mentioned - EVENTS! My trip was all about events!

  1. The Tower of London was surrounded by ceramic poppies billed the "Sea of Red and Blood" to honour the fallen WW1 heroes on the eve of its centennial.
  2. Alan Yarrow was elected the 687th Lord Mayor of London and I was looking forward to attending the parade and fireworks in his honour.
  3. The good old Route Master double decker bus: TFL (Transport For London) celebrated the beloved bus' 75th anniversary by installing "sculpture trails" of miniature buses in three parts of town to mark the occasion.

But something I'd long wanted to do, just because so many of my American or America living friends had "done" it was see the festive display windows of London's finest shops Fortnum and Mason, Harrods and Selfridges.  I'd wanted to see the Christmas lights turned on Oxford Street. I wanted to go graffiti spotting in Shoreditch.... the list goes on and on, and so even though I was going to this London town that I've been to a million times before, this trip felt new.

So back to chilly 5th November:  The TAP flight from Porto landed relatively on time. I was landing in Gatwick after four years. It looks as dull as I can remember it. And being late at night, I couldn't spot any major international carriers, probably save for Emirates. I had very smartly seen details on how to use EasyBus to get a cheap ride to London but didn't know that I had to book and print out the ticket in advance if I wanted to avail of their cheap rates. As a result, whilst most people paid 3 quid to go from Gatwick to Earl's Court (yes, that cheap!), I had to pay 10 quid. Still cheaper than the Gatwick Express! The ride took forever though. What was funny was seeing a young couple trying to bribe the driver into stopping off a few stops before Earl's Court. He put his foot down and said no.

Reached hostel around 1030p, checked in, bought groceries and went to bed. I'm in the basement room B4. The poppies are EVERYWHERE! The news, posters, everyone's lapels, etc. Even BBC was covering it nonstop, there was a petition for the Tower of London's display to be extended. It was a bit chilly but it was great being back, as always!

andawayIgo says:
Posted on: Jan 23, 2015
cimtech says:
Hey Vikram congrats on your feature ...!!
Posted on: Jan 23, 2015
rsvpme says:
Congrats on the feature........!
Posted on: Jan 23, 2015
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photo by: ulysses