Getting into the London mood, and out of jetlag!

London Travel Blog

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YHA Earl's Court, my home away from home

It seems that I just finished hitting "Publish Entry" on my last London travelogue...and here we are again! A new year, a new season and ANOTHER trip to London! This one as all know was a sudden one, thank God for AA's lovely deal of 400$ and the fact that I had a few days of approved vacation as well.

Anyways, onto the real deal. My departure from Dallas the previous evening was a breeze. I simply cannot say enough nice things about the new Terminal D at the DFW Airport. Really big, spacious and security check gets done in minutes. The plane however was small and crowded. I couldn't even fit my duffelbag in the overhead and had to check it in last minute. They've changed the special meals option at AA to including all the options in one itself, which means that whilst I asked for a vegetarian meal, I ended up getting a lactose free dairy free vegan meal.

Neal's Yard, Covent Garden
Meh! The flight was turbulent and despite having an empty seat next to mine, I still caught no sleep.

The flight landed at Gatwick at 10am GMT, and boy! was it lovely to see the place. I love the airport, for some reason! Best part was, you'd think a London airport is always buzzing with people and flights, but LGW was empty at 10am when we landed. Immigration check got done in a jiffy and I was on Gatwick Express within minutes. Unlike my previous visit, I didn't feel very hungry and didn't bother with either breakfast or coffee. Reached Victoria, bought my new Oyster card (way way better than that stupid paper card) and headed to Earl's Court.

Walking up the tube onto Earl's Court was an experience by itself.

Neal's Yard, Covent Garden
I've always maintained that the YHA hostel is nothing great, but the area is lovely. It's so lively, got lovely old fashioned buildings and stores, cafes, you name it. Checkin was a breeze and I was given a room on the 2nd floor. This room also had the same wet towel smell that all rooms in this hostel have, LOL! It appears that irrespective of tide or time, the smell REMAINS! Anyway unpacked, went for a quick shower (lovely, the shower's still leaking!) and was out of the hostel by 2pm or so. I didn't sleep too well on the flight so caught a 30 min catnap in between.

It was a bit sunny albeit breezy. Nice weather but you definitely needed a fleece. There's a nice coffee shop that's opened up at the corner of the road predictably titled 'Cafe Du Coin'. Lunch was a nice "Bombay Spice" roll with a spicy potato-onion filling, and a cappa.

Thortons' at the Covent Garden Piazza
With repast done, headed to Covent Garden...but of course!

Like Earl's Court, heading down Covent Garden was an UTTER joy, as ever. My path seemed predictable as well, first FCUK followed by Neal's Yard followed by the Piazza. Loved the feeling. Went to stores, went window shopping but covered more stores than my visit last time, probably cos I found nothing good to buy! Neal's Yard was as colourful as ever, and the Piazza was the Piazza. I bought my usual Thorntons and stayed around the area looking at the usual artists that perform on street corners there. Either it's jetlag or I'm economising more than I  think, but I couldn't believe my visit to Covent Garden was so short and I was walking back with 2 free hands! Went to the nearby HMV that was buzzing with the Brit Award winners (more James Blunt, poor Brits!) and walked back to the station to catch a train to Oxford Street.

Piazza, Covent Garden

Arriving on OXFORD STREET, like the Covent and Earl's Court experience was like meeting an old friend. Spent a few minutes at Topman, onto H&M, FCUK and UCB before heading down to River Island and ... Thorntons! Walked around the street for a while before heading back to the hostel.

I stopped by M&S, picked up lovely mango yoghurt, mousakka and a salad and headed back and breakfast for the next set of days (bread, blueberry preserve, cereal and milk). Had dinner and tried sleeping by 10pm. Woke up by 1am and couldn't sleep till 6am...oops! First time in a long time I seem to be getting affected by jetlag THIS MUCH!

 

Eric says:
Hey Vikram, I have a 12 hour layover in London tomorrow so I'm going to definitely go check out Convent Garden. Will let you know how I like it :)
Posted on: Jul 02, 2006
DogFancyTraveler says:
London- one of my all time favorite cities!
Posted on: May 18, 2006
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YHA Earls Court, my home away fro…
YHA Earl's Court, my home away fr…
Neals Yard, Covent Garden
Neal's Yard, Covent Garden
Neals Yard, Covent Garden
Neal's Yard, Covent Garden
Thortons at the Covent Garden Pia…
Thortons' at the Covent Garden Pi…
Piazza, Covent Garden
Piazza, Covent Garden
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photo by: ulysses