Day 3 – Making the most of the sunshine
30 March 2015
Woke up with a smile on my face. It was going to be sunny today haha #winning. We woke up early, got ready and had our free breakfast. Novotel served a pretty awesome buffet breakfast. Technically our ‘tour’ started today if we were to take up the ‘optional’ trips included in our tour package (will explain more about this later) but we did not. We decided to see more of London for ourselves.
1. Cross Abbey Road
2. See Big Ben on Westminster Abbey
3. Check out ‘London’ Bridge
4. Visit St Paul’s Cathedral
5. Ride the London Eye
We thought going to Abbey Road in the early morning was a good idea, thinking that there wouldn’t be as many tourists, when we got there, there were already a bunch of tourists trying to cross the famous pedestrian crossing against the usual morning traffic. This crossing was made famous by the Beatles as it is where they shot their album cover for their 1969 Album of the same name (well they named it after the street where the recording studio is located). The iconic stance of the four band members across the zebra crossing is what tourists try to replicate and of course we couldn’t pass the opportunity to do the same (so to other tourists that got there before us haha). Since this crossing is still operational, there weren’t any police to stop the traffic for you to take the money shot and so it all had to be done by watching the traffic going both ways and finding a gap where it was safe to take a picture. It took a few tries, first on my own and then Wifey’s turn then both of us which we got another tourist to take in return for me to take theirs. I would laugh on the side street watching other tourist try to cross the road, one of them stopping traffic just to take a picture, I’m sure locals that drive around this area are used to this.
Next stop was Big Ben. I always thought Big Ben is the name of the clock tower but it is actually the nickname of the bell within the clock. The clock tower is now known as Elizabeth Tower after Queen Elizabeth II (thanks Wikipedia! hahaha). We walked on the Westminster Bridge to get a better picture of the tower, on the other side of the bank we spotted the London Eye. As we walked further away we were met by a couple of ladies giving a single stem of carnation (flower), we avoided them completely as we were sure they were up to no good, probably would have asked money from us (no thank you!) haha. We saw them give flowers to these Chinese tourists, hopefully they weren’t scammed into giving money. We got our pics and then it was off to our next tourist attraction.
So back in the tube we go. We got off at London Bridge station, too easy. We walked to ‘London’ Bridge and we were a little puzzled. It was not what we expected, it was a plain looking bridge. We were in fact at London Bridge and that the bridge we actually wanted to see was the ‘Tower’ Bridge which you can see from a distance from London Bridge. We decided to just walk it. It was a fair walk haha but we made the most out of the view. The Tower Bridge looked magnificent, two towers on each side and the blue and white painted suspenders really stood out. We decided to cross the bridge since the nearest station was just across the river, which was also near the Tower of London where the name of the bridge came from.
Then we visited St Paul’s Cathedral where the Prince of Wales and the late Princess Diana got married.
During this time, it was just around 1:30PM and we haven’t had lunch yet and we wanted ramen, yes, ramen. This was already part of the plan as we had already googled a nice Japanese rest somewhere in Picadilly Circus and so that is where we headed next. It was such a good idea as I didn’t think we would have even gone to Picadilly Circus if not for this resto. This was the place to be in London. It was bright, lovely, full of people, full of restaurants and shops, just a great atmosphere. We walked through Chinatown and the vibe was still there. We found the restaurant called Tonkotsu Ramen Bar, a little cosy restaurant, we sat in front of the chefs cooking away in the kitchen. We ordered ramen of course which was £11. It was really good, broth was creamy, salty just the way I like it. With our belly full, we strolled the streets and brought some souvenirs. During this time we were quite tired already from the jam-packed morning but there was still the London Eye to visit.
Heading off to the station again, Wifey realised that we forgot to add in our list a visit to Harrods, the world famous department store and so we decided that we shall squeeze this place in our schedule. We weren’t planning to buy anything in there anyway (haha). So we got off at Knightsbridge station, walked out and Harrods was just in front of us. We strolled in and were greeted by signature labels. I wanted to grab Wifey’s hand and drag her out of there as soon as possible lol. The interior of the store was interesting, Egyptian themed. Not so sure if I was allowed to take pics in there and so I didn’t, or maybe I was just really tired at that point. We got out after 30 mins, a lot happy that none of our credit cards were used in that store hahaha.
As much as I was ready to go back to the hotel and rest, we pushed through to our second last destination which was the London Eye. We got there and saw the massive line of people waiting to get on it and we decided that we weren’t going to go on it. “Let’s just get a picture with it and go” I said haha.
And so with our sore feet and legs we made our way to our last destination, back to Trafalgar Square to see it dry haha. We decided that we would check out the National Gallery of London which was at Trafalgar Square. Entrance was free #score. There were a lot of people inside. The paintings were quite stunning. We saw some pieces from the artist Rembrandt, I took interest into one of his self-portraits.
It was quite a day, really happy that it didn’t rain at all. We got to see as much as we could in that short amount of time. We would definitely come back to London and maybe stay longer so we could go at a slower pace. I’m sure there are plenty more things to see. We really liked London a lot. We shall be back! 🙂