Saturday, 25 July 2015

London 4-Day Itinerary: Day One

Read Day 1 here - British Museum and River Thames
Read Day 2 here - Buckingham Palace and Tower Bridge
Read Day 3 here - Warner Brothers Studio Tour
Read Day 4 here - King's Cross and Harrod's

Berlin --> London

Departing from our hotel in Berlin at 7am, the metro with all the transfers took 1 hour 20 minutes to reach Schönfeld Airport. We reached the airport 1.5 hours ahead of our flight time and barely made it to the gate!

The security checking process was confusing and frustrating. People who had flights coming up were told to cut queue by airport staff so the line barely moved. As well, there were a lot more people in the queue than the security process could handle. After making it past security we ran down a flight of stairs, down a long hallway and up some more stairs before we reached the immigration booth. We had to queue some more to have our passports checked and only sat for a few minutes at the gate before we walked out to the plane.

We flew with Ryan Air from Berlin to London and expected some delays. Fortunately, the flight left close to on time at around 10:15am and landed at 10:45am London time (11:45am Berlin time.) A bottle of water cost EUR 3 on the flight.

We arrived at Stansted Airport and bought a National Express bus ticket to London Liverpool Street (GBP 10 per person.) The bus was scheduled at 11:45am and we reached our destination at 1pm. At Liverpool Station we were able to easily purchase Oyster cards for a GBP 5 deposit (refundable.)

British Museum
From Holborn underground station, it was a short walk to the British Museum. Admission was free so it was very crowded with many student and tourist groups. There were fascinating exhibitions though and was worth the visit.

Inside the British Museum
After the museum we walked to Covent Garden, Seven Dials. The name was derived from the seven streets that converged to a centre piece like a dial. The atmosphere was great with the narrow streets, red brick buildings and plenty of cafes, restaurants and shops.

Covent Garden, Seven Dials
From Seven Dials it was another short walk to London Chinatown. It was a small Chinatown that was pretty clean and lined with restaurants. Across from Chinatown was the Soho area filled with bars and pubs. Many Londoners stood outdoors enjoying their drinks after work.

Piccadilly Circus was an area with many old buildings that had huge TV screens plastered on them. It looked like London's version of Times Square with the abundance of advertisements for products, shows and musicals.

On the walk to River Thames
Leaving that area, we walked towards River Thames and came across the Horse Guards Parade area. Past that, we could see the London Eye from across the river. Walking to the side of the river where the London Eye stood, we could see the Parliament and Big Ben in its entirety.

London Eye
Parliament and Big Ben
Read Day 1 here - British Museum and River Thames
Read Day 2 here - Buckingham Palace and Tower Bridge
Read Day 3 here - Warner Brothers Studio Tour
Read Day 4 here - King's Cross and Harrod's
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