Hi, yes i'm back from London. 2 days ago that is. The last time I had been to London was when i was young, maybe 10? on a day trip with my Nana. This time I was stopping over for one night with my husband, brother in law and sisters in law who are on holiday here. Of course we did all the tourist things...
DAY 1: We arrived in London at 6:30am so before anything opened or it was a reasonable price to buy a day pass for the bus we went to Buckingham Palace (and the Queen was home!!)
from Victoria station, then st James Park, (A squirrel which took a monkey nut out of the hands of my husband)
then to Big Ben and then the London Eye. My husband and I stopped off that one whilst the others went on. Although it turned out to be a good thing as it sounds that it wasn't great.
(This is what we found whilst the others were on the Eye, a Lindt chocolate bunny with huge flowers placed everywhere. Unfortunately this one wasn't made of chocolate :/)
So hungry and no where Halal to eat we had to resort to a bag of McDonalds fries. After all this we ended up in Edgware Road (the arab street of LDN). Here we tried to find a place to stay as we left for London without a hotel as the coach ticket was booked so quickly and things are just so hectic at the moment. We finally found a decent hotel which we could get 2 rooms in, otherwise if we all shared it would mean sleeping in hijab - which is not so great when you've been wearing it all day and night travelling!
After a nap we decided to eat at a Lebanese restaurant AL AREZ which i thought was totally over the top in price, any arab will know that lamb/chicken shawarma is haram to sell at £4 each!! Then at night we walked all the way down Oxford Street and saw Trafalgar Square and London Bridge by night :)
DAY 2: With no breakfast as we slept late and missed the 'free halal brekkie' we set off for London College of Fashion which we spotted the night before to make enquires for one of my sisters in law. After the lousy information was given we were in need of the bathroom. Now just for anyone who is willing to go to London then just be prepared. We could not find a toilet anywhere! You had to buy something is you were going to use a cafe bathroom, you followed sign posts - you were sent aroound in circles, you asked the stumpy cockney man selling that days newpaper and he sent you miles. Only to find IN THE MIDDLE OF THE MAIN ROAD an underground bathroom. Under oxford street, I couldn't believe it, the best thing was that they were actually CLEAN and tidy!! Toilet hunt over, we were in need of a tuna sub, with that gone the next point on the list was HAMLEYS!!! If you don't know what that is then it's one of the best places you should take your child or any big kids!! It's a HUUGE toy shop with lots of cute things in i think it's about 4/5 floors. Also they have shows of different toys, encouraging you to buy them. I remember one magic set was £30.00!! They must be dreaming.
(No, i wasn't with her...)
After this we hoped on a bus (its a shame there's no more real london buses- the ones you jump on the back of with the ticket inspector, its all electronic oyster cards and rubbish, anyway...) up to Maddam Tussauds (the waxwork exhibition). £25 a ticket to enter it. However it is very very nice.
First is a section of all the movie stars/famous celebrities, then 'classic' movie stars, sport, music, world leaders etc. Then you go on this london dungeon trail with all these scary people running around and jumping out at you and all these horrible sounds and bangs. I held on to my hubbys arm and he thought i was scared but i just didn't want any of them to touch me (hijabi!) as they get close and up in your face etc. I had to laugh when my hub asked if we were going in the right direction when they guy is trying to be scary and freak us out hehe. After this you are sent to a room showing you who Maddam Tussuad was and how they make the actual things. I looked around whilst my hubby stayed with the bags and after i had finished I told him to go and i'll wait with them. As I was watching him this teenage boy came up the steps with his friend and started staring at me I moved my head to face him and he was shocked and surprised and started talking really quickly to his friend in German (i think - there was alot of european kids on school trips). I laughed so much and when he walked to the side of the room he kept looking back to see if i was real lololol it was very funny, he thought i was a waxwork :D Strange how he thought that when in hijab and having a palestinian scarf around my neck plus there were no others next to me hehe, i don't know! Anyway afterwards you are sent in a taxi ride through all these modles which is called the 'Pride of London' then that's it the souvenir shop and out. Next was Camden Market which i had heard loads about expecially the nice little things you can get from there, for years I heard about it but when we got there it was closed :( it was one of the reasons why i wanted to go, the only shops which were open were like gothic, nu-rave, weird tatoo and piecing places. The only thing before we went was that we went back to Buckingham Palace, I actually slept on the steps outside it whilst the others took photos (it had been a long day)
...hmmm and thats about it. Back on a National Express and home. :) More blogs and stuff coming soon........