MY TRIP TO EUROPE Part 1 LONDON

Hi there ! I’m baaaaack ! !  * waves *

Back from Europe !  Honestly, I don’t know how to start this. It’s so overwhelming. I guess the only way is to  do this chronologically, right from day one.  Don’t be surprised though if  I jump from one topic to another. (  Meh. I’m like that, so what’s new, hahaha ! )

First off, the trip felt so fast   and really , really tiring. Everything was so regimented, and scheduled to the last minute.  The tour director was our Nazi timer, and he was very strict.

6:00 AM ——- Wake – up call

6:30        ——– Luggage out  and Breakfast

7:15        ——– Departure

Yeah, something like that.  We were advised to bring an alarm clock, which we did, and Mom set it at 5: 30 AM everyday.  The countries we went to were  England, France, Italy, Holland, Spain, Monaco, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland…… The Vatican is another country, right ? but I’m not counting that.  It’s the smallest country in the world, by the way.

So, June 17 , we left  San Francisco Airport  for London’s Heathrow Airport on British Airways.

I forgot to take a pic of our dinner on the plane, which was rice curry with some chicken ,  some sort of veggie salad,  5 pcs. of grapes. And here’s breakfast….

This was actually a small box. The red thing was a small box of raisins, and that round thing was mint candy.

.Compared to the meals I had on Philippine Airlines, these ones on British Airways were pitiful.  And about British Airways….. I don’t mind the tight space, but the service was atrocious. One of the stewardessese who looked like the drag queen Ru Paul was rude. When we were asked by this woman what kind of juice we wanted, my cousin asked what kind of juice she had…. and the woman answered, ” if  I had to list the kind of juices I have here, I’d be standing here the whole day. ” That small cart she was pushing only had 2 or 3 kinds of juices, so what the f*ck was she talking about …. bloody rude.  Mom will report her to BA soon.

Anyways, here we are at Heathrow, looking like refugees after a tortous 11 hour- flight.  We were met by a Cosmos Travel driver and driven to our hotel, the Hyde Park Hotel. It was rather disorienting to be seated on the left side of the driver.

Our hotel is right across from Hyde Park  and Kensington Gradens, and just  a  2 minute walk to Notting Hill and Portebello Market Sts.

.Above are the beautiful buildings beside the hotel . Note the Smart car parked on the street. This is the car driven all over Europe.  It is small and practical, and its length is the same as a motorcycle’s, which is the favorite mode of transportaation in Europe, aside from bicycles.

I did say before I wanted to eat authentic fish and chips and kidney pudding, didn’t I ? Well my first dinner in London were fish and chips (which was yummy) and kidney pudding , but I didn’t like  kidney pudding.  Fish and chips cost about 5,95 Brit pounds, while pudding was 6,95. I thought it was expensive but soon found out it was rather cheap compared to the cost of food in other countries of Europe.

 

.June 20 was our second day in London. Our breakfast was free at the hotel. If it wasn’t free, we’d be paying 15 pounds each, ha ha ha.  ( Exchange rate is 1 Btitish pound= $ 1.60 )

Bacon, beans, hashed potato, sausage, omelette, sunny side up,  and see that black round thing ? That’s blood sausage.  I thought I would like it, too, as a Philippine -American who eats blood soup , but I didn’t like the taste of this sausage  much… too much oregano in it, too mask the bloody taste, I ‘m sure.   I had seconds after this…. ham, fruits, croissants, 2 cups of cappuchino, another sausage, and mushrooms.  After a hearty breakfast, we purchased a an all-day transportation ticket for 7 pounds each,  a hop on, hop off kind of thing, and armed with a map and a full stomach, we headed out to see London.

 

I think that’s the Queen’s residence. Buckingham Palace.   We were lucky we were there when the Queen’s guards came marchimg in.  We wanted to see the changing of the guards but  it was too early. They do it at noon, I think.

I also said I’d go to King’s Cross Station to see  Harry Potter’s Platform 9 3/4, didn’t I ? I wouldn’t miss that for the world ! !

.I felt so geeky posing  at the imaginary platform ( yep, it’s between Platforms 9 and 10.)

I know. I couldn’t help it. I just had to pose.  What used to be  such a common scene in London, the ubiquitous red phonebooths, are now an endangered species . Everyone has a cellphone now.

I’m not sure about this but that’s the old King ‘s Cross Station.  Maybe that’s the one they used for Harry Potter scenes, because the new one has very modern interiors.

 I took this pic while riding a red double decker bus.  Take note of the street lanes. I wonder why they aren’t straight.  Also, European pedestrians don’t follow street rules.  They cross streets even on red. I gasped so many times  seeing pedestrians almost getting getting hit by vehicles, It was crazy.  At first, we’d wait for red to turn green before we crossed streets,  but then, we;d see people crossing anyway, so, what the heck, when in Rome, do as the Romans do.  Just  run for your life !

Do you see the flags in the pic?  The Olympics is going to be held in London on July 24 th, I think.  They’re sprucing up the place in preparation for this event.

This awesome building is by King Cross Station. It does look like the facade of the pic that I thought was the old King Cross, but I’m not sure now. It looks like a church, doesn’t it?

.That’s No. 10 Downing Street., the official residence and office of the Prime Minister.  I couldn’t get a better pic of the place because there were a handful of protesters in front.  No. 10 is the most famous address in the world. It should have been 1600 Pennsylavania Ave., that’s the address of The White House, but I don;t think many  Americans even  know of this address. O.Oa

.A ceremonial guard at No. 10. Oooops, I don’t know the lady in the pic. She’s some random Korean tourist, he he. I can distinguish a Korean from a Japanese even without listening to the language spoken. The Koreans have replaced the Japanese as No, 1 tourists in the world. They are all over the place.  It’s amazing to hear a cacophony of different languages  at these tourist spots.  Our tour group though are English-speaking…. Australians, Americans, Canadians, and a couple from new Zealand.  Believe it or not, after weeks of being with them, I almost acquired a slight Aussie accent. Even my friend, Thalin, an Australian who became close to me during the tour, noticed it. He he he  Oh, I winked at the guy  on the horse when I took his pic, and Mr. Gorgeous winked back, Wooohoo !

The Westminster Palace is the seat of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.  Nearby is the famous River Thames, and is also just walking distance from Buckingham Palace.

That’s the famous Big Ben.

.We took this station to get back to our hotel.

That’s the River Thames. That huge ferris wheel is supposed to give a panoramic view of  the Westminster area. In my opinion, though, it’s kind of an oddball  and sticks out like a sore thumb among amazing hundreds of year olds buildings in that area.

Well, this is all for now. I have  hundreds more of  London, but I don’t think I can post them all here.   I’ll save some for Part 2. I love London, guys .

I hope you don’t get bored. I take lousy pics. Well, Mom took the pics where I’m in them, he he he and she’s worse.

Good day !

.

117 responses to this post.

  1. i like the photo of “notting hill hair and beauty, reminds of the movie of course notting hill, hahaha. i watched it many times in big screen & also a lot of times din in vcd and dvd. haha. one of my favorites.

    Reply

  2. Awww. I wanna go to these places too! 🙂

    Reply

    • Oh, my, start saving up ! ! Europe is sooooooooooooooo expensive. Oh, my gosh. I’m not exagerrating ! ! !

      Reply

      • Haha! Can’t even afford to go to other places here in the Philippines right now. Lol! Maybe after 10 agonizing work years! Haha.

        Reply

        • Appletizer, you would have spent something like Php 450 for fish and chips. ( $ 10) We thought that was expensive, but found out it was the cheapest yet. A Whopper burger at Burger King in Switzerland was 12.50 Euro ( w/ fries and small cup of soda) ($ 16.50) or in Philippines currency, 720 pesos. In the Philippines, one good sized BBQ chicken, limitless rice and some veggies at Mang Inasal “s Chicken was only Php 100. ( $2.50 ) when we were there 2 years ago.

          Reply

          • Oh yeah, and you can have unlimited rice at Mang I. Lol. That’s really toooo much. I have to be filthy rich in the Philippines so I can afford that. Haha.

            Reply

  3. Awww you are so adorable. Looks like you had a great time.

    How many parts are you going to have? This was just one city!!!

    Reply

    • Ha ha ha ! I don’t know, Moose. I hope I can make this educational, too. With lots of personal commentaries.

      Awwww, I’m adorable ! * happy dance*

      Reply

  4. Hi Ren! It’s good your back. Kumusta ang trip? Hehe…I bet you had a blast. Anyway, I’d be waiting for more pictures. Been dreaming to visit Europe too. So if I’ll start saving now, I might reach that continent when I’m already a grandma. Happy weekend! 🙂

    Reply

  5. I like the architecture of the buildings! It really is disorienting sitting on the left side of the car. When I was in SG, I would always stay on the right side waiting for a colleague of mine to open the door for me. And he was always like, you want to drive the car or you want me to carry you to your seat? Haha…And I would always tell him that here in the Phils is left hand drive that’s why I am always disoriented. 😉

    Reply

    • I know right ? When the driver picked us up at the airport, I went straight to the right side of the car , ready to open the door in front…. well, that was the driver’s side. He he he

      Reply

  6. Posted by REBECCA DAWN on July 14, 2012 at 1:52 am

    welcome back! wow oh my god those pictures looked so awesome! I got a little queasy looking at the peas with the fish and chips. and i love peas! the blood sausage no way! i wouldnt eat it, maybe if i had lots of ketchup or i blindfold myself and plug my nose lol.
    driving would scare me to death! on the wrong side!
    Did you go on the ferris wheel? That would freak me out! holy cow! too high! ha ha ha

    Reply

    • I ate the whole lot, Rebecca… every little bit of peas, the plate was clean ! ! ha ha ha

      I tried eating at least half of the blood sausage, but couldn’t…. it had an unpleasant taste ( coming from a person who eats blood soup called dinuguan )

      No, I didn’t go on ferris wheel…… it was already late, and we still had to go somewhere, to Portebello Market near the hotel for some souvenor shopping. the shops close early so we had to hurry back.

      Reply

      • Posted by REBECCA DAWN on July 14, 2012 at 6:36 pm

        at least you tried to eat the sausage ha ha ha…i wouldnt be able to do that..and i like to try new things 🙂

        Reply

        • They eat blood stuff in Europe… in Spain , that’s very popular, called morcilla or something….. the Philippines which also has Spanish heritage, has that too, but worse,,,, blood is in liquid form, ahahahah, but I love it, Rebecca ! Eaten with rice ! !

          Reply

          • Posted by REBECCA DAWN on July 14, 2012 at 9:37 pm

            ooh on rice. hmm i eat my rice, fried or with milk and sugar. im wierd. i love sticky rice, or basmati. yum yum!

            Reply

            • Rice with milk and sugar is yummy ! ! I remember when I was sick, Mom gave me rice ( cooked with lots of water, like porridge ) with milk and sugar. Rice cake is milk and sugar too, you know… and then we bake it….

            • Posted by REBECCA DAWN on July 15, 2012 at 3:00 am

              really, i didnt know that…that sounds good!
              if the rice is not fried that is how i like my rice, with sugar and milk. my mom used to put cinnamon in it when I was a toddler until I started to hate cinnamon when i was 8. I cant stand cinnamon. Only in apple pie of course. and cinnamon toast 🙂
              but rice cake..hmm…its like with coconut milk? I think my friends (they were from the Philippines) put coconut milk in their cake. 🙂

            • Fried rice with cinnamon? ~.~ I have a recipe…. Roast chicken with cinnamon… not bad. lol Not kidding. It’s called Hawaiian Roast Chicken.

              yep, we use coconut milk… milk if we’re out of coco milk.

  7. Welcome back! Glad you enjoyed your trip. 🙂 Your photos are lovely by the way. It made me reminisce about my own trip to London a while back. Such a beautiful city. I look forward to seeing the rest of your photos and comments about your trip!

    Reply

    • Simpleek, I have a lot to say . I hope I don’t offend readers from these countries I had visited, though, ha ha ha !

      Oh, wait, we should compare notes !

      Reply

      • Haha! I know. This is why I love traveling. Not only do you come back with great photos, but you also have great stories to tell your friends and family!

        Reply

        • So did you try blood sausage? He he he

          Reply

          • I actually have not. I was curious about it though. I had fish and chips, and one of their pastry pies but the name escapes me now. My mom wasn’t a huge fan of English food. She finds a lot of what they eat plain bland. I suppose I agree with her, but the Brits do make some decent fish and chips…if you find the right place to eat them. 😉

            Reply

            • I had mine at a place called Weatherspoon or spool? … not sure, and for lunch , just sandwiches from Mark and Spencer, and ate them somewhere, at a place called Trafalgar Square. We were in London for only 2 days, sadly, not enough to form an opinion. We had English scones though. They were good.

  8. Can’t wait to read more of it!!

    Seems like you had so much fun!

    Reply

    • I did, PB ! I hope you guys won’t get bored…… I’ll try to write commentaries, and I hope some people will not get offended…. ~.~ You see, some people are not nice… maybe it’s just a different culture, so I’ll try to be as objective as possible. * sweat *

      Reply

  9. Looks fantastic! I’ve been to other parts of Europe, but never England.

    Reply

  10. Great photos, kiddo! Loved your photo on Platform 9 3/4.

    Hmm, any thoughts on the crooked street lanes?

    Maybe I should go there too. I mean, I won’t have to adjust much of my street pedestrian behavior. I can randomly cross, bob, dodge and weave through traffic.

    🙂

    Reply

    • Re crooked lines…. I have no idea. I wonder what they were thinking when they did that. lol

      Filipinos are experts on dodging and weaving thru traffic. Italy comes second. Then france.

      Reply

      • My theory is that the crooked lines appear straight when you speed up. My mind’s kinda crooked right now. 😛

        Reply

        • LOL Do you see how narrow the road is? and that’s a main road, It can barely fit 2 cars at a time. Check out the pic, and the 2 vehicles running side by side. They are a mere few inches apart. o.o

          Reply

  11. nakakainggit! >.< basta ang pasalubong ko, nasan na? 😀

    Reply

  12. Posted by Josephine on July 15, 2012 at 9:02 am

    I wish I could visit London someday too! 🙂

    Reply

  13. Posted by semicrazed on July 15, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    Great for you that you got to visit London 🙂 it’s such a beautiful city. i’ve been there myself 2 times already and I’m planning my third trip right now!

    xoxo

    Reply

    • It’s a beautiful, with great architecture. They’re preserving the old buildings, and Prince Charles has recommended that designs of ” new ” buildings should complement the old….. nothing ultra modern will be allowed to be built.

      Wow ! 3rd trip ! My family ‘s again thinking of going to England, but tour now will include wales, ireland, and.Scotland… Just 4 countries of united kingdom… hope it will be a lot cheaper.

      Reply

  14. “I hope you don’t get bored. I take lousy pics. Well, Mom took the pics where I’m in them, he he he and she’s worse.” – some kind of a lousy excuse, whehehe. ^^
    welcome back, renx! 😉

    Reply

  15. aaaah you were in Europe ? hope u had a lot of fun !! an aaaw you were very close to me but you missed one country, and that was mine >__< anyway, london looks great, i hope to go there soon as well !

    Reply

    • I missed a lot of countries ! ! I wonder where you are….. ??

      Reply

      • heheh .. I am from Austria, it’s the neighbouring country of germany xP

        Reply

        • Oh, sweet !!! Our original tour included Austria and Greece, but it was longer and I couoldn’t be absent from work for more than 30 days….. My dad did go there a long time ago and he said it was a beautiful place . When I think of Austria, I think of Sound of Music, he he he.

          Reply

  16. Posted by Rob. on July 19, 2012 at 6:19 pm

    Hey Ren, seems like you had a wonderful trip. You look great in the pictures!
    Seems like you got a good taste of London, but you’ll get a better idea of what Britain is when you visit all the other major cities, they’re all pretty different to London. And yes, we cross roads wherever we please. Don’t they call it jaywalking over there?

    Reply

    • It was a wonderful trip, Rob, and very, very, educational.

      I know each place is different. My aunt says the l
      Lake District is so pretty.

      Hahaha ! yeah, we call it jaywalking. And cops are very strict here in the US. Park anywhere and you’ll have your car towed away.

      Reply

  17. Envy…. London is one of my ‘dream to lived there’ places.

    Reply

  18. Posted by toemailer on July 21, 2012 at 4:17 am

    We would love to post the Buckingham Palace picture at toemail if you do not mind? http://toemail.wordpress.com

    Reply

  19. Everything looks amazing! I would love to go there one day. I am going to Costa Rica in a few months, but on the cheap. Staying in the jungle literally.

    I have heard Europe was expensive. I need to save my pennies if I ever want to go!

    Reply

    • Oh, but that would be more exciting.

      B-but, where will you stay/sleep?

      Europe is expensive ! Cash, lots of it, ATM, and credit cards ( several kinds) … be ready to spend that much…. and I’m not talking about shopping… just food. Look for convenience stores to buy food. Cheaper.

      Reply

  20. Nice to see you back. I hope you had a great time there. At least these pictures are showing that. 🙂 Thanks a lot fr sharing your trip with us. Great post.

    Reply

  21. Wow sis! ang ganda… I so love the platform 9 3/4 HP mode!!! 🙂

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  22. glad to see these pictures, it seems you really had a great time…
    like your pic on platform 9 3/4 :))

    Reply

  23. Very good photos of your trip to Europe. Thank you for sharing your trip. Thank you also for taking the time out to visit my blog. Hope you come again.

    BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!

    Reply

  24. Posted by toemailer on July 26, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    We found some toes and your pictures are great! 🙂 It’s posted now. Thanks so much, we really appreciate it!

    Reply

  25. seeing this post made me more hungry at this time of the night (at work). i just hope that one day too we can also experience this like you did… and hopefully that stewardess was kicked out of her job. 😀

    Reply

    • Well, my mother did report her. I don’t know if she would be kicked out, but I guess it’s enough our complaint has been put on her record, ha !

      Save up some more! You’re dream will come true. It really is worth it, Cheesecake ! Almost at touching distance from the statue of Venus de Milo, David, and the painting of Mona Lisa made me misty eyed.

      Reply

  26. I love the photography! The ‘blood sausage’ doesn’t look so delicious though 🙂

    Reply

  27. I’m just now catching up. I’ve wanted to read this since it came out three weeks ago, and now I have three to read.

    Having been to London, I too have encountered blood sausage. However, until three or four minutes ago, I’d been unaware that blood soup was a delicacy in the Philippines

    Reply

    • Smaktakula, it’s not even a delicacy, it’s a common, regular everyday food.
      Believe it or not, it’s delicious ! I have to admit it’s an acquired taste. ~_~ What makes it different from the blood sausage ( aside from it being a soup ) , we add vinegar to k\”kill” the bloody taste. And we saute it with onions, and garlic, and of course, with lots of pork ( cubed ) . And lots of jalapeno !

      Reply

  28. Posted by Jerome C. Balinton on February 12, 2013 at 4:10 am

    Hi there!

    It seems you got here interesting tour and stories! Will definitely read all your posts — tour by tour no matter how lengthy they are. 🙂 I also love to experience a European tour, someday. 🙂

    Cheers!

    Jerome

    Reply

  29. You are right! Some of those BA Stewardesses are bloody rude. That’s why we fly with Emirates for the past ten years. So far, touch wood, no hazzle.

    Reply

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