Monday, 20 January 2014

London At A Glance: Day 1

Day 1: London

Finally I've got the kick to write. We reached Heathrow airport on the 9th September 2013 about 6am in London to find that our baggage was delayed. Did a report with the airlines and we were assured that our baggage will be delivered to our hotel on the same day. So, off we go to the metro.

You first have to purchase the Oyster Card for £5 (non-refundable), with the minimum reload value of £15 for the London Metro. The rates varies if you travel within Zone 1, or Zone 2, etc and also if you travel in the peak hours or the off peak hours. Here's the link to the detailed table of the pricing:

It was only when we wanted to purchase the Oyster Card, did we realize that the pounds note that we had with us were mostly the old pound notes that we exchanged while in Penang. Please be extra careful when you exchange your notes and make sure that you get the right notes to prevent any inconveniences! 

The kind metro staff told us that we could change it in any banks in London. However, we later found out from one of the banks in London that tourists only can change the old pound in the Bank of England and not at any local banks.We've also provided the directions to the Bank of England below for easy reference!

For a clearer picture, the old pound at the bottom and the new pound at the top of the picture.

The old 20 pound note (bottom) vs. the new 20 pound note (top).

Directions to Bank of England:
Take the metro Central Line to Bank station.
Walk around 5 minutes to Bank of England, which is located at Bartholomew Lane. 
The opening times are from Monday to Friday 10am-5pm.

After sorting out our cash issue, we went back to check in to our hotel, easyHotel. Our room was really small and I would not personally  recommend it. There is barely enough space for you to walk and to place your baggage! However, the plus point of easyHotel is that, it only cost us £127 for 3 nights. This is probably the most economical hotel with a private bathroom which would be a steal for those who are on a tight budget. You can make your bookings at their website:

Directions to Easy Hotel:
Take metro Central Line to Paddington station.
The easyHotel is a few minutes walk from Paddington station.

After a quick clean up, we went to Westminster station where the London Eye, Clock Tower - Big Ben and the Westminster Abbey - Cathedral was located. Although it was a rainy day in London, we are still very happy to see the Big Ben. It was really beautifully crafted and a top tourist attraction in London. What makes it unique is not the clock-tower but the Great Bell inside the tower that has struck every hour since 1859.

It was a nice touristy place with some small souvenirs stalls. Just be careful of the on-road gambling. It might look attractive, but once you are in, you will be trapped!

Westminster Abbey in London, where the wedding of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine Middleton took place on 29 April 2011.

Directions to Westminster Abbey:
Take the metro Circle Line or District Line to Westminster station.
Walk for about 3 minutes to exit 4 and you will see the clock tower on your right.

Later in the evening, hubby decided to go to his favorite football club's stadium, Arsenal. Why is he an Arsenal fan? To him, the Gunners may not always be on the top but they never failed to give their best when they are on the field as one. Currently to the hubby's delight, they are on top of the BPL chart! ;) Hard work does pay off after all!

 Arsenal jersey which cost £73 
- Jersey itself £50, Name £8, Number £8, BPL Logo £3.50 each

Directions to Arsenal Stadium:
Take metro Piccadilly Line to Arsenal station.
Walk around three minutes from the ground to reach the Emirates Stadium.

That sums up Day 1, and there are 20 more days to go :) Will blog again real soon, see you!