In January, my mum came from Bulgaria to visit England for the first time. I knew she would be very excited about this new experience, so I wanted everything to be perfect. We were about to spend a few days in Sheffield so I was rather relaxed about our time here. London, however, was a completely different case. We were about to spend 12 hours in the capital city and I wanted us to make the most of it.
Both my mum and I were very enthusiastic about our trip so we started planning it months earlier. We arranged a strict order in which we were to visit the most famous landmarks in London and how much time we could spend on each of them. In the end, for even less time than we expected, we managed to visit all but one of the planned locations. And we did it with our backpacks on during the whole time and with only £2 spent on public transport for both of us together.
In order not to make the readers bored with a very long post, the London adventure will be divided into three blog posts - ‘The first few landmarks’ (which you are reading now), ‘Madame Tussauds’ and ‘Everything left’ (which you can expect soon). But first, let me tell you what the moral of this story is: never take up on such a masochistic style of tourism. Ever! At least leave your luggage to be stored at the station and maybe catch a bus to the furthest locations.
We arrived in London at about 10am and, after we decided we could not depend on the luggage storage at Victoria Coach Station, as it closes earlier than we expected to be back, we started our London adventure immediately. On foot.
The first place we visited was one of my mother’s dream destinations: a cake shop called PEGGY PORSHEN cakes. It was more of a tourist attraction than we expected as there were people standing in a queue, waiting for a table, while others were there to take a few photos or perhaps their new Facebook profile picture. We went in to buy two cupcakes as they looked extraordinarily tasty and because we also wanted to take a photo or two, such as this one, which looks close enough to the original:
The next destination was the Westminster Cathedral. For a person who sees it for the first time especially, it does look quite impressive because of the architecture style. What was rather disappointing, however, was that there were so few people in the cathedral. Although, it was about 11 o’clock on a Saturday morning. It seemed like the meaning of this place today is more that of a landmark than of a temple of religion.
Only about 10 minutes away was the next place we visited - Buckingham Palace. It is a very popular destination and there were hundreds of people by the gates, taking photos and filming the guards as they were marching.
We really hoped that some member of the Royal Family would show up on one of the windows and wave at the crowd, but, of course, no such thing happened. In the end, we had to be satisfied only with a selfie in front of the gates:
We continued through Green Park - really ‘green’, especially for January - and we stopped by Wellington Arch on our way to Hard Rock Café. Probably as many other tourists, if I go to a city where one could find Hard Rock Café, I try to visit it and buy a t-shirt. Two years ago, when I visited Budapest and bought my first t-shirt from there, I set the goal to visit every city with a Hard Rock Café location and make a collection of t-shirts from all these places. Pretty pathetic for someone, who has visited only two of all locations, to be talking so high and mighty. But everybody starts from somewhere, no?
The next part of our adventure was the visit to the museum, Madame Tussauds. This, however, is what I will be writing about in my next post. You have now followed the first four hours of the ‘London in a Day’ Adventure. There is still twice as much to go through.