CLICK HERE FOR FREE BLOG LAYOUTS, LINK BUTTONS AND MORE! »

Monday, July 26, 2010

London

 So our first taste of London was during our layover to Barcelona. We took the tube into central London and got off at Leicester Square. There are a lot of restaurants, souvenir shops, stores and theaters in that area. So we got lucky because we randomly just chose that stop with no real knowledge of what was there. We were hungry so we just wandered around until we found somewhere affordable to eat. We ended up at this Chinese buffet, which we later regretted. There was no orange chicken, beef broccoli or any other ordinary foods that you would see at a Chinese restaurant in the states. So after leaving there disappointed we browsed some stores and then headed back to the airport. There was a black girl on the tube and in her British accent she asked me what type of hair was in my head. At first I didn't understand her because of her accent, but Tayla clarified for me. I answered for her, and Tayla and I found the question amusing.

I had to take a pic in the famous phone booth

yeah I was walkin around the city with my carry-ons

sleep on the tube

I guess this is like Chinatown

wandering around Leicester Square


So fast forward to after leaving Spain, we headed back to London. Since we missed our original flight, we got to London pretty late so we couldn't take the tube to our hostel. We ended up paying 60 or 80 pounds to take a taxi into town. And the taxi drivers are no joke, they like attack you once you get off the plane trying to get you to take their cab. The ride in the cab was awkward since they drive on the other side of the street, but their cabs are so cute. Well anyways, after about 45min, we reached our hostel.

We booked our hostel on hostelworld.com. We stayed at Smart Russell Square on 71 Guilford St. We stayed in a 9 bed mixed dorm. For Saturday 1 bed was 29.99 pounds. On Sunday the bed was 13.99 pounds. We had to put down a 10% deposit to reserve the beds, and also pay a 1.50 euro service charge. The front desk at the hostel was 24 hours, which was great since we got there so late. But the hostel had no elevators so we had to carry our luggage upstairs. The room had basically no space, I could barely take a decent pic since it was so small.There was 9 beds, and each bed had a curtain for privacy. There was also like 6 drawers that you could rent to store your valuables. There was also 1 sink in the room. In the morning they serve "breakfast" but it was really just cereal and toast. And the showers were like down in the basement, so it was a bit of a walk. There were people of ALL ages there, from tweens to senior citizens, it was kind of awkward LOL. Anyways in the morning we bought tickets for the Big Bus Tours at the front desk.

So the stop for the Big Bus Tours was right around the corner from the hostel, which was very convenient. The Big Bus Tour is great if you only have 1 day in London and want to see all the major tourist sites. We were able to hop on and off the bus at our leisure. And the ticket also included a river cruise which was our favorite part of the day. For more information regarding the tour visit http://www.bigbustours.com/eng/london/custompage.aspx?id=london_sightseeing_tour&gclid=
When the bus tour stopped running for the day, we went on a free walking tour which was also included with our ticket. It was a haunted tour, which started off pretty boring, but got a little better as we went on. From there we went on another search for food. We came across a Mexican restaurant and immediately got excited! I was missing Mexican food while in Europe, this was my first time seeing one. Anyways we went in and ordered a pitcher of Margarita and a sampler platter to split. The margaritas were good and the food was okay. But it wasn't really Mexican food, the menu was more similar to Chili's in the US. Also our waiter sucked but whatever. After we left there we tried to see what London's nightlife is like. We went in this bar, there was a promoter outside who tried to charge us 5 pounds to go in, we said no and he eventually let us in for free. While there we met these older Portuguese men that kept buying us drinks even when we would refuse them. They were funny, but one of them kept whispering in my ear that I was gorgeous and then he grabbed my butt, that was my signal to leave. He kept begging us to stay but we left. While walking back we saw a huge mass of black people and we got excited. So this promoter came up to us and i think we paid like 5 pounds to get in. We got inside and it was COMPLETELY empty! We were confused since there were so many black people outside. So we went back outside and all the black people were gone! Apparently there was some event that just let out which was why they were all there, but I guess they left to go party elsewhere, we were swindled! But we just took up our loss and headed to the tube to head back to our hostel. Our hostel is right around the corner from the tube so that was very convenient.

London Bridge

River cruise



margaritas!!!

lunch

Tower of Jewels


The next morning we got up and went to the Westfield Mall, which is like the biggest mall in Europe. The mall was so huge, I didn't know which way to go. But stores that carried similar items were all nearby to each other which made navigating a little better. Plus they had this touch screen directory. Well we didn't buy anything since the conversion to pound is so horrible, that nothing was worth the price. But we did stop and eat at Nando's which was sooooo good. I highly recommend that you try it if you go to London. I think we both got the 5 chicken wings with 2 sides (corn on the cob and garlic bread). Tayla got basically the same thing but with mashed potatoes instead of garlic bread. Visit their website for more info: http://www.nandos.co.uk/index.cfm

touchscreen directory in Westfield Mall

Nandos


After that we headed back to the hostel to get our luggage and then took the tube to the airport for our flight to Paris.

Tips:
  • Heathrow airport sucks!!!! Its super big and security is intense!
  • very hard to catch a theater show on a Sunday, which is why we didn't see a show :(
  • the weather is always gray and gloomy, so expect rain
  • when shopping, keep in mind the conversion to the pound and how much you are really paying
  • when going out to clubs/bars, try talking down the promoters, it will usually work
  • take the tube! its cheap, easy and convenient.
you have to pay to use the public toilets on the streets...smh

    No comments:

    Related Posts with Thumbnails