Monday, 10 March 2008

big smoke

Was away to London for the past four days, long weekend.

Thank goodness TOH called on Thursday morning.

ennazus: Hello.
TOH: Morning, just checking that you are awake.
ennazus: *Laughing sheepishly* I was still in bed.
TOH: You must be joking.
ennazus: No. What time is it?
TOH: Twenty to Five.
ennazus: You must be joking. *Squints at big clock. Can’t see clearly what time it is without eyes* Seriously, what time is it?
TOH: Twenty to Five.
ennazus: Really?! I gotta go. Catch up later!

The taxi was coming at 5am! Dammit!

Luckily I was ready in time for the taxi but had to put on face at the ladies after going past security check.

Thank God TOH called!

It was great seeing my sister Suemae. It will almost be two years since I last saw her, come summer 2008.

Nonetheless, I got a bit of telling off snide remarks on my English and public display of affection. Oh well. . .

After breakfast, we left our luggage at Charing Cross train station (TOH’s great idea: saved us a good bit of unnecessary travelling time).

Did the tourist thing by getting some pics at Trafalgar Square before heading off to the National Gallery. Went in there, only to realise this is not really where I wanted to go. So went next door to the National Portrait Gallery.

TS was right. I loved thee National Portrait Gallery!!! Especially the contemporary range! I want to go there again and spend a long time slowly browsing each piece of art.

And when I get my DSLR (which is a digital single lens camera), I would love to go back to London and photograph each building including details that excites and fascinates me!

We had lunch at Wahaca (Covent Garden), first time, trying proper Mexican food. Was very intrigued by the wash basin and I liked the d├ęcor. Nice food too!

We visited St. Paul’s Cathedral - our first visit! Interestingly, we didn’t realised we were short of time but we still managed to see a lot except for the upper galleries and the dome. We even stayed for the Evensong and ringing of the bells to mark the beginning of East Festival.

It was indeed a good experience attending an Anglican service and sitting in the choir stalls. Only thing is that by this time most of us were really tired.

We had dinner at O’Neil’s before heading off home.

We spent the most of next day at the British Museum. I’m proud to say that we’ve managed to see all the exhibits that were opened. Sadly, we didn’t managed to get tickets to the highly acclaimed The First Emperor: China’s Terracotta Army exhibition. @_@

Oh well...

We met up with TOH’s friend Robyn for a nice Chinese dinner near Chinatown and shopping/browsing/sightseeing around Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square.

Saturday it was shopping at Portobello Market. Was a bit disappointed with the weather and we didn’t anticipate the crowd there. O-M-G!

Would like to go there again, this time with a more prepared mind. Yes, shopping is very psychological! I would also like to see Portobello Market during the week and weekends.

We had lunch at Gourmet Burger Kitchen on Portobello Road. The food was good but it wasn’t really worth the wait. Could have gone to another GBK outlet. Next time we know.

Then it was more shopping in town.

Before the trip, I knew that there was engineering works on a stretch of the tube line. So there was much planning and deliberation on it.

However, I later found out for that weekend only, if we have a valid travel card we can take the Heathrow Express from Paddington to Heathrow!

Only, we jumped on the Heathrow Connect. So it wasn’t really a big deal.

London was good.

It was nice to see my cousin and her family.

It was great to spend time with Suemae and TOH.

Too bad it was short.

But long enough to burn a hole in my pocket.

I dare not think how big the hole is...

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