Salut tout le monde 🙂 Since I stayed in London for this winter hols, my two friends (Azmi from UCL and my bestie who’s studying in Loughborough) and I decided to go sightseeing around London. We went to a couple tourist sights, hung out a bit, ate at a some shops and generally had a good time (+ spent a lot of money).
Lina, my bestie, arrived at St Pancras and travelled together with Azmi to South Kensington tube station on Monday where I met both of them and we went for lunch at Chopstix. After leaving the luggage behind in my room, we rushed to go to Kensington Palace ’cause we were late (the tickets said last admission was at 3:30 pm). Sadly, we didn’t made it but at least we still got a refund so that’s good enough, I guess.
That night, we went to Winter Wonderland (yayy) where we ice skated and watched the Cinderella on Ice show + eat churros while walking around. Other than the fact that I fell on my bum twice, it was quite a fun, if not slightly terrifying, activity. I don’t have any videos/ pictures of Cinderella on Ice, but Lina and I were astounded that they could even danced like that on the ice when we could barely step forward without falling over (I’m exaggerating obv, but still…). Ice skating was £15.50 for 50 minutes and the show was £19.95
BTW Azmi was the only one out of us who actually knew how to ice skate
On our second day, we visited the Sherlock Holmes Museum which is a must for Holmes fan. It was interesting to see wax figures, recreations of scenes of the 84 TV series and rooms with Victorian decoration. Adult tickets were £15 and children’s was £10. Personally, it was quite expensive and wasn’t really worth it for me (it was probably the first and last time I’m going there). After a pretty long discussion on whether we should buy some Baskin-Robbins ice-cream (we ended up not buying any), we made our way to UCL (affectionately called feet) where I unexpectedly met an old friend who turns out to be studying there as well (how the the world can be so small sometimes).
We also went to the British Library, the national library of the UK, where the Harry Potter A History of Magic exhibition was taking place. A lot of Harry Potter merchandise were on sale too at their gift shop. The library was very big and housed 150 million items. Bonus: they have awesome facilities there too.
The next day, we went to the Coca-Cola London Eye. Lina and I were excited as it was our first time on it (or on any Ferris Wheel tbh). Sadly, it was a rather cloudy and foggy day so we couldn’t see the sights quite as well as we should. Nonetheless, it was an amazing view high up in the sky; I felt as if we were seeing things through a bird’s eyes. For lunch, we ate at Rasa Sayang, a Malaysian cuisine restaurant in Chinatown. Despite almost getting lost and having to wait 10 minutes before we got a table, it was nice to taste Malaysian food again after months in London. We spent several hours there, hiding from the rain and cold wind before finally leaving to venture to Tate Britain. The art gallery displays collections of both contemporary and historic British art. We were there for about 2 hours during which time I fell asleep for awhile after admiring the art (hey, it was warm there and I was tired after all that walking). I must admit that while I like examining the usage of colour and brushstrokes in paintings (especially watercolour ones), I couldn’t really appreciate most of the art there (hmm I don’t really like portraits but I very much like van Gogh and Monet). The architecture of the building itself was very pretty though… long, winding stairs with white interior and exterior and a central dome
Thursday was girls’ day in as we were still too tired from the day before to go out and Azmi couldn’t come anyway ’cause he had assignments to hand in. Me and Lina spent our quality bestie time together gossiping and watching movies. We went out on a hunt for sushi at 5:00pm and took the tube to Hammersmith to do some grocery + window shopping. To be honest, it was (at last) a nice quiet day without Azmi and his weird jokes *shhh* Unfortunately, my shower chose this time to get clogged and to make things worse, the lady at the reception wouldn’t let us borrow the plunger (we think it was because we went there early in the morning, still in our PJs; and me putting on a lab coat over it; laughing like madmen… in our defence, we were tired after running around the hall in search of one). Worst thing was, we still couldn’t find one when we went shopping that evening.
Since my shower was still clogged on Friday, Lina and I travelled the 5 minutes needed to get to the RSM to use the public shower/ disabled toilet there (thank god for my building 😉 ) We met up with Azmi at the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square at around 11:30am (BTW there were van Gogh artwork there yayy. Oh, and I like the interior design, architecture and decoration used there. They complemented the artworks, giving a nice vibe/ mood. I know a lot of people criticised the building’s architecture, but this is just my opinion *shrugs*). After Friday prayer at a nearby mosque (which was tiny), we went to Covent Garden, had lunch at Nandos and went food + window shopping (again). The Chrismas lights that decorated the streets and lamp posts were of various colours and shapes. There were pretty stars, angels, reindeers and a big Chrismas tree. If only it’d snowed, it would have been perfect…
That was Lina’s last night in London so we decided to stay up the entire night. We sat in the Linstead common room until morning; munching on snacks, watching movies, doing Korean dance workout, singing, and playing all kinds of games that we could think of. It was a long, loud and fun night. And the good news was, when I got back into my room in the morning, it was no longer clogged so I didn’t have to haul stuff to the RSM to take a shower anymore. Lina left for Loughborough around noon and Azmi left after sending her off.
(P. S If you’re watching the video, the action start at 0.40 😉 )
So that was how my winter break went. The rest of it was spent cooped up in my room studying, sleeping and eating.