I am not usually a wanderlust because I am a worrywart. Being that my hubby is more of an anything-goes kinda guy, I feel that I have to be prepared for everything. I am the crazy one who checks on exchange rates, temperatures, security status, making sure the luggages are good to go etc... So I do take on quite a bit of stress when we travel. And that has only been... once. Our highly anticipated honeymoon in April. I have been dying to write about it, but never found the right time. But today, I'm not really writing about the honeymoon per se, but more like the country we visited itself.
Travelling to London has been on the top of my wish list since... forever. I watched BBC's special programs (about their palaces and royalty etc.) and was mesmerized by their culture, their accent and their amazing, amazing history. Oh, I am a history junkie. And a palace junkie. And a cobblestone path junkie. I am a London addict.
Travelling free and easy is super duper duper duper awesome!!!!!!!!!!!! We booked a total of 11 days 8 nights (flight time was ~17h per trip, goodness) and everyone told us to travel to Paris and that we would be bored by London if we spent so many days there (oh, the travesty!!!). THEY WERE WRONG. I trusted my gut and didn't go with any open-top sightseeing buses and no Paris. And there was hardly enough time.
And I kid you not, since I returned, my heart has literally lurched every time I see a picture of London and I want to cry. Because I miss it so much. I don't know why either -- it's quite pathetic actually -- but I feel like I should be there. :'(
Honestly, I have yet to find anyone who's interested in London so much around me. Everyone asked me if I got any luxury goods there because Longchamp and Prada was cheaper there, but no one asked me about Kensington Palace or the Windsor Castle or the Tower of London. Nada!! So I might as well share my love here (haha).
When we were there, we did try to find out more about immigration laws etc. because we truly wanted to live there someday. Dreams remain as dreams if you don't even know where to start, right? :)
Back to the honeymoon...
We stayed at Lancaster London, a great hotel right opposite Hyde Park + Kensington Gardens (awesome or awesome?) so we had a spectacular view every time we woke up and every day when we were out and about. One of my favorite places in London was Hyde Park + Kensington Gardens, and I could spend all my days away just on the grass patches in gorgeous Spring weather. *content sigh* Pardon the pictures, I was not well-adapted with my DSLR during the time, and I assure you, London in all its glory is ten thousand times more stunning than my noobish photos + the pictures were downloaded off my Facebook account (the originals are in my other PC!) so they have sacrificed the sharpness!
Our favorite (and only) mode of transport was the Underground (we didn't take the buses at all). It was so fast and so easy (Singapore - world class trains my #$%!!!) and very well laid-out. I guess the grass really is greener on the other side...
I loved that everywhere we went it was like I lived and breathed history and my eyes couldn't find time to take it all. The gorgeous stone floors, the old but well-preserved architecture... The entire landscape was breathtaking. I couldn't understand how a city could be so filled with freshness and well-brewed age. I said a thousand little grateful prayers there. Thank you, thank you, thank you Lord for letting me see this amazing city.
That was also part of the reason why my photos sucked. I just wanted to keep walking. Keep looking. I didn't want to stop for pictures! I didn't want to stop looking. I just wanted to take it all in.
Buckingham Palace is only open for visitors in summer, so we skipped that and went along to The Royal Mews and The Queen's Gallery. If you are a history + art junkie like me, you will love it! I think it's great, slower start to a vacation in London. There are different exhibitions in The Queen's Gallery from time to time, and the Royal Mews is a relatively small place where you get to see the horses, the stables (?) and the Queen's Rolls-Royce and royal carriages. Easy start with no information overload but tons of great history to explore and time to fall in love with the royal family + their history...
And how awesome is it that you can just walk from historical place to historical place? We stopped at an underground station everyday and only took the train back in the evenings. We travelled everywhere else on foot. And it wasn't hard at all, even for first-timers!
We ended the day with The Jewel Tower (no pictures for that), passing by Westminster Abbey, the Houses of Parliament and the Big Ben on the way. The Jewel Tower is really small and is just some place I wanted to go to to take a look. Less 'significant' historical stuff there but overall still an okay sight for the London addict.
This was just a small snippet of the first day of our honeymoon in London. I think my London addiction is getting a little overpowering with not enough gorgeous pictures to back up my case. So I shall leave it here... If time permits I will do another post on this. :) I hope to find fellow London addicts here!!!!