At long last, London

Trip Start May 05, 2012
Trip End Mar 01, 2013

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Flag of United Kingdom  , England,
Wednesday, December 5, 2012

We arrived into London and managed to find our way into Wimbledon and Josh's apartment with not much trouble at all. Josh is my step-brother [Evan writing today] and he lives with his girlfriend Clare. They have a nice little one bedroom apartment in Wimbledon and they had an air bed all set up in the lounge for us. It had been a very long time, 4 or 5 years, since I had seen Josh last and this was the first time either of us had meet each other's girlfriends. We got in and settled and had a good catch up over a good old cup of tea - very English indeed. That afternoon Josh took us to a local Wimbledon pub to try some of the trademark English Ales. The beers were very nice and after more catching up at the pub we headed home via a supermarket picking up a very nice bottle of NZ wine we found for about 5 pounds. That evening we ordered Chinese takeaway - the culinary rules were well out the window by now!

The next day we arranged to meet Josh and Claire at Big Ben and they would show us some of the touristy things in the afternoon. We headed off into London by ourselves in the morning after stopping at a cafe for a breakfast of Eggs Benedict - oh how we miss a proper breakfast!
When we got into the city we had a look around at the Christmas market along the bank of the Thames and had a look at going up the Eye. Deciding against it because we didn't have enough time we made our way across the river and arrived at Westminster and Big Ben just long enough to take some snaps before Josh and Clare arrived. We joined up with them and had a quick look at the Abby then headed down to Trafalgar Square and found a nice pub to escape the cold from and get some lunch.

After a rather long lunch Josh took us to the "Australia and New Zealand (and Canada) Shop". We were very excited to find Jaffas, Tim Tams and K-Bars; all of which we stocked up on to take back to China.

Josh and Clare had to go home to study in the afternoon so we set off on our own again and explored the banks of the Thames a bit more. We had been keeping an eye out all day for the Battle of Britain Monument which Steph's Grandfather had come across for the opening a few yeras ago. We eventually managed to find it - after walking past it on the wrong side of the road twice.

Before heading home for the evening we decided that we wanted to see Tower Bridge. I had a map that made it look like it wasn't too far away so we decided to walk to it from Westminster instead of take the tube. We ended up walking for about an hour along the Thames in the cold and by the time we got to the bridge we were both too tired to enjoy it. Further, we were both getting hungry (a fatal combination) and were just a little bit lost as to how to get home. We luckily managed to find the closest tube station and from there navigated our way back to Wimbledon where Josh cooked us Bangers and Mash. We were so exhausted that night.

The next day was our last full day in Europe so we wanted to do a bit of shopping and stock up on some supplies that you can't find in China. But we were in London so before we got to that we set off to see old Queenie at Buckingham Palace. When we arrived we were a bit confused as to why there were such big crowds. They looked like they were waiting for something to happen in the palace but we couldn't see anything happening that looked interesting and so moved on rather quickly. It was nice to see the palace but, compared to some of the other castles we have seen, it was nothing special.

Following this we jumped on the tube to Oxford Street for a spot of lunch and shopping.
The shopping on Oxford St was OK but, being the run up to Christmas, the crowds were rather off putting. It’s funny, being in China we deal with large crowds all the time, but somehow being in a crowd where you can understand everyone was much more daunting.
We rounded out the day by seeing a movie (Seven Psychopaths - it was such a disappointment) and had Pizza delivered by Josh's "other dad", Poppa John.

We took a cab to Heathrow the next morning and were both rather sad to be leaving London and the English speaking world behind. Our trip to the continent had been such a great time and we had enjoyed it all so much. Going back to China was not going to be easy!
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Gramz on

Thank you Evan & Steph for the great armchair journey. Loved it all xoxo

mikeandlou on

Great group shots, thanks ! xx

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