European Winter: London Part One

Monday 4th — Wednesday 7th November, 2018.

It was one of those whim decisions to book flights to Europe for the Winter, I don’t think that Clive and myself really understood what we were doing until we were in the air, en route to Heathrow Airport. But yes, we have ditched our responsibilities for 3 months (well, still partially working) to get in our version of our OE. Arriving in London was a long awaited gift after 24+ hours in the air, we were excited to set our feet on some ground and let the good times roll.

Staying with good friends was the best idea we had as somewhere to crash. I don’t imagine many places letting you check in at 4.00am in the morning, so the ability to nap and shower before the day was a god send. We set off to Wimbledon to get ourselves connected to the world again via data (thanks Three) and catch a bite to eat. I had a cheese and onion subway, something I would never touch in NZ, but blimey — would recommend. Putting on our tourist hats we hunted down Wimbledon Tennis Club and took our chances with the Underground. Transport around London is great. Well, I only have Christchurch transport to compare it to so I mean, more than two busses is great in my books. Thanks to my darling Mother for giving us Oyster cards that still had money on them circa 2012 — I’ll take any free transport I can get.

Couldn’t afford the tour of Wimbledon, so a cup of tea it was.

Whilst walking to our next destination, I spotted Fleet Street and made a run for it to find myself a good ol’ pie. Highly disappointed, no Sweeney paraphernalia whatsoever. After a drink on the rooftop watching the city turn from day to night, Pete lead us to Laura and we were once again untied with two good friends who we have missed dearly. Clive became obsessed with going to a Wetherspoons so we went there for dinner — an experience and a half for sure. Kind of like a glorified Dennys.

I was surprised at the lack of jetlag we had experienced, until 8.00pm hit and I was sleeping in my beer! We got home and hit the hay.

Me and my friend (left) at Buckingham Palace

The next day we caught up with Pete and he gave us a tiki tour of the city. From Convent Garden to Candem Markets to Buckingham Palace to Tate Modern to Grenwich, we took no prisoners and soaked up every aspect of London.

Something that was really a big shock in London was the pure amount of plastic that is on everything. Everything is in shrink wrap, and nothing is easily able to be waste free. They do charge for bags at the checkout though, so that means they’re trying (sarcasm).

Down the Strand from the top of a double decker bus

And to finish off our two day sprint, we crossed off the hit list Hamilton the Musical, and tonight was the night! Boyd, Clive and myself took to the Victoria Palace Theatre to watch the glory of the musical. Everything from the costume, acting, King George, ensemble was spectacular, and one experience that we will forever treasure (truely, we brought a shot glass, how fitting).

Next Stop: Copenhagen.