How to turn a London foggy delay into an amazing layover.
After 4 hours of delay at Cairo Airport due to bad weather conditions in London, I was more than certain that I would end up missing my flight to LA and most probably spend the night in London. I mean it was December, 30th & the airline would pay everything for me even my dinner so why argue while I can enjoy the London Christmas vibe which I missed since I used to live there years ago. We finally touched down around 6 p.m GMT.
Time wasn’t helping I wondered once I saw the lines waiting for re-bookings & vouchers. That became certain once I saw the border lines as well. I was seriously doubting I will make it out before 10 pm. Which would definitely mean I would enjoy my London night in a boring hotel doing nothing but eating, munching & randomly binge watching TV.
Surprisingly, I made it out through all of this and finally got out around 7:45 p.m. Luckily, the hotel the airline booked for me was minutes away. I hopped on a shuttle and headed to the hotel and got in my room by 8:10 pm. I then ran down to catch dinner and get ready to find my way to Oxford Street. The hotel front desk agent thought I was nuts when I asked him if I should head to Oxford he said “like now? what are you going to do everything closes by 10 pm and traffic takes half an hour or something”. I wasn’t so convinced and still did it because I did my research during dinner and knew that Oxford street should be alive till around 12 am by this time of the year. Anyways, no time to waste instead money to waste since Uber would be the fastest & convenient way to get to Oxford I had to break my budget and go with it instead of risking the wait for Heathrow Express which would end me at Paddington. It wasn’t that much of a wallet burn the ride was about 30 pounds. The driver was super nice and we had our talks about Soccer or football let’s be respectful we are in the country who came up with it lol. Moving on to American politics to how much he would like to visit LA to finally dropping me off, wishing me a good night around & giving me the most valuable suggestion of the night “bruv, you should head to winter wonderland” he gave me an idea about what to expect and how to head to it from Oxford.
I finally arrived at Oxford around 9:00 p.m it was still full of life and I enjoyed wandering around the different shops till I decided to follow the driver’s advice and head to Winter Wonderland.
I arrived at Winter Wonderland after a short walk from Oxford to Hyde Park. It’s an amazing cozy fun fair with tons of things to do I would definitely go there again if I get a chance. Luckily, it wasn’t only games that I enjoyed alongside was music as well at the Bavarian Village which is part of Winter Wonderland as well. A band called B4 were performing different covers for various artists. I was lucky to see them perform “Somebody Like You” by Adele.
There were also a lot of food, accessories & gift stands. My night got better when I was able to get a free bowl of chips from one of the stands. The guy was very kind and told me “it’s the last order and I just closed the cash box it’s for free merry Christmas!” I couldn’t be more grateful to bump into such nice people I thanked him and enjoyed my free chips.
Unfortunately, Winter Wonderland closes around 10 p.m I wish I could stay more , but what can I argue I already enjoyed free music & chips lol. I decided to take my walk back to Oxford. Luck strikes once again as the only way to exit Winter Wonderland was from a different path that ends at the Marble Arch.
If you are familiar with London you definitely heard about Edgware Road which is packed with middles eastern cafe’s & restaurants that open till late night. It’s minutes away from Marble Arch. I decided to head there where I enjoyed a Lebanese Shawarma sandwich, wandered around a bit and found a wifi spot to order my Uber back to the hotel. I arrived back at my room around 11:30 pm. Which is more than amazing considering all of what I was able to do in such a short layover.
After turning such a tedious delay into a great layover night I definitely suggest you always look at the bright side of your delay. At the end of the day you will be stuck wherever you are until your next flight so, better enjoy every moment of it and tend to turn it into a joyful memory.