London.. the Beginning (14 December 2007)

11:22 PM

London Heathrow Terminal 4 is quite far from Terminal 1,2 and 3. My brother is driving a hatchback, but luckily it was big enough to squeeze in two 29 inch and one 24 inch luggages... Phew... We arrived in Uxbridge after about 30 minutes of driving.

My niece waken up by our noises. This was the first time I met with her. She is so lovely!!
She was shy, but she was very cute compare to the photo I saw when she was younger. She has a very big shinning eyes with a small mouth. Her face is small and her hair was nicely cut.
We were trying to make herself comfortable with us by playing with her. But, a one-year-plus baby girl is not to be coaxed so easily by two inexperienced 'uncle' and 'aunty'.

Breakfast - Bread with Coffee.

London... here we come..
We started our journey to London central around 10am. The weather was around 6 degree Celsius. We were using Oyster Card for traveling on public transport. Oyster Card was the cheapest way to travel around London. It has a max of 7 pound per day. Once you hit the limit, you are basically travel for free.
We were taking the Metropolitan line. Our first stop was Westminster. From Uxbridge to Westminster, it costs 3.5 pound!! (From Zone 6 to Zone 1).

We came out from Westminster Underground, Big Ben and the House of Parliament (aka Palace of Westminster) are right in front of us. Big Ben is actually refer to the main bell or The Great Bell inside the clock tower. It is one of largest and oldest (and still working) four-faceed clock. The clock tower was built around 1858.
House of Parliament is situated north of the River Thames and it is the largest parliament building in the world. Nearby attractions included Whitehall (government building), Westminster Abbey and Saint Margaret's Church.
These three, House of Parliament, Westminster Abbey and Saint Margaret's Church are UNESCO World Heritage site

We walked across Westminster bridge to the other side of Thames river, where the London Eye is. The observation wheel is also known as Millennium Wheel. London Eye has been in London since last day of 1999. It is situated at the South Bank of River Thames and at the end of Jubilee Gardens. Standing at 135 metres tall, it is one of the most visited attraction. From the capsule, the whole beautiful scenery of Thames river will be in your eyes. Should try it if you have the time and money. :)
We crossed Hungerford Bridge to the other side of Thames River, and it is time for Lunch!

First encounter with English Breakfast

YES! We have English Breakfast for our lunch. It is basically bacon, scrambled eggs,
baked bean, bread, a slice of tomato and sausages. Well, ours were not a Full Breakfast as it didn't have mushroom and hash browns
Lunch was about 6 pound with coffee. Lunch in tourist spot usually more expensive.

After lunch, we headed to National Gallery and Trafalgar Square.
The paintings are dated from mid 13th century, from Early Renaissance to Post-impressionism. Although we are art-idiot, we do enjoy looking (and appreciating) the painting and were amused with the variety of paintings. Most importantly, it is FREE.

Trafalgar Square is splendid with the fountains, four huge bronze lions and most importantly Nelson's Column. Trafalgar Square is to commemorate the British naval victory over Napoleon.
It was December. There was a huge Xmas Tree (spruce) in front of National Gallery. It was a gift from Norway. That was the first of many Xmas Trees I saw in Europe.

We passed by Leicester Square. Leicester Square is a lively place with amusement park and all the cinemas around.

Heading towards London shopping areas. First stop, Picadilly Circus. It is the location for Fortnum and Mason and other shopping malls. We took photo with The Angel of Christian Charity and also known as Eros. We had a short walk inside Fortnum and Mason, but came out empty handed.

Bond Street is where most the major brand names located. Chanel, DKNY, Tiffany and Co.... It is a street for rich and filthy rich. The street was nicely decorated with lights. It is a great shopping place, if you have the money.

Well, Bond Street was to window shop. So we headed towards Oxford Street, another shopping street in the north of Bond Street. It was more affordable place for shopping.

We end our Day 1 with British Museum, one of the most comprehensive museum in the world. It has history collections from all over the world, like Ancient Egypt, Greek, Roman, Middle East,.... According to Wikipedia, it has more than 13 millions of objects on exhibit. It surely will take more than a day for a history lover to visit through. It is indeed an eye opening experience to get close with mummy, Rosetta Stone, historical artifacts from Roman, Greek, etc...
Again, it is FREE of charge.

Sunset is quite early in winter. We had to head for home around 4:15pm as it was getting dark.
Dinner will be a homely Chinese food prepared by my sister-in-law.

It was indeed a good beginning... To be continued....

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