Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Day 1 - London

New Mumbai Airport
(Took a flight from Singapore to London - via Mumbai)

The infrastructure of India is improving, unfortunately, the efficiency of the airport needs to catch-up with its modern building. Inefficiency is quite a pain, and it took us sometime to get off the plane and get onto the main terminal.

Vegetarian KFC!! (Mumbai Airport)


Wiki:"London is the capital city of England and the United Kingdom.[4] It is the most populous city in the United Kingdom, with a metropolitan area of over 13 million inhabitants. Standing on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its founding by the Romans, who named itLondinium."

This was my first visit to London, and I was really excited about it. Singapore being a ex-colony of British, some things are kind of familiar - the 3-pin power socket is the same, left-hand traffic, and most importantly, everything is in English!

My first impression of London (Mayfair).

Mayfair. London

Wiki:"Mayfair is an area of central London, by the east edge of Hyde Park, in the City of Westminster. The district is now mainly commercial, with many former homes converted into offices for major corporations headquarters, embassies, and also hedge funds and real estate businesses. There remains a substantial quantity of residential property as well as some exclusive shopping and restaurants, as well as London's largest concentration of five star hotels. Rents are among the highest in London and the world."

I stayed at Millennium Hotel at Mayfair (thanks to the credit card perks!!). The room rate is really expensive (S$380/night, US$300/night) for a 4-star hotel and room is really small. Indeed, London is very expensive.

Bike Bay
(Love the idea of cycling in a city. It's green!)

Rental rates

Leisure walking is just a pleasure in London.
Arriving from the crowded Singapore, I appreciate big open space a lot more.


Wiki: "Buckingham Palace is the London residence and principal workplace of the monarchy of the United Kingdom.[3] Located in the City of Westminster, the palace is often at the centre of state occasions and royal hospitality. It has been a focus for the British people at times of national rejoicing.

Originally known as Buckingham House, the building which forms the core of today's palace was a large townhouse built for the Duke of Buckingham in 1703 on a site which had been in private ownership for at least 150 years. It was subsequently acquired by King George III in 1761[4] as a private residence for Queen Charlotte and was known as "The Queen's House". During the 19th century it was enlarged, principally by architects John Nash and Edward Blore, who formed three wings around a central courtyard. Buckingham Palace finally became the official royal palace of the British monarch on the accession of Queen Victoria in 1837."

Buckingham Palace

Went for a tour (£21/S$42/US$33) in the Buckingham Palace, it was kinda modest considering that this is the world most famous monarchy. The tour is overpriced (I felt that I was herded like a sheep), and I had not much recollection of the palace. Visiting it once is enough. =)

Guard outside Buckingham Palace

The Royal Coat of Arms

Wiki: "The Royal coat of arms is the official coat of arms of the British monarch, currently Queen Elizabeth II.[1] These arms are used by the Queen in her official capacity as monarch of the United Kingdom. Variants of the Royal Arms are used by other members of the Royal Family; and by the British government in connection with the administration and government of the country. In Scotland, the Queen has a separate version of the Royal Arms, a variant of which is used by the Scotland Office.

The shield is quartered, depicting in the first and fourth quarters the three passant guardant lions of England; in the second, the rampant lion and double tressure flory-counterflory of Scotland; and in the third, a harp for Ireland.[2] Thecrest is a statant guardant lion wearing the St Edward's Crown, himself on another representation of that crown. Thedexter supporter is a likewise crowned English lion; the sinister, a Scottish unicorn. According to legend a free unicorn was considered a very dangerous beast; therefore the heraldic unicorn is chained,[3] as were both supporting unicorns in the Royal coat of arms of Scotland. In the greenery below, a thistleTudor Rose and shamrock are present, representing Scotland, England and Ireland respectively. The coat features both the motto of English monarchsDieu et mon droit (God and my right), and the motto of the Order of the GarterHoni soit qui mal y pense (shame upon him who thinks evil of it) on a representation of the Garter behind the shield."

The garden behind the palace

Wildlife within the palace compound.

Greens behind the palace

No visit to London is complete without eating the Fish n Chips, with a beer. =)


Wiki: "Westminster Abbey, formally titled the Collegiate Church of St Peter at Westminster, is a large, mainly Gothic, church in the City of Westminster, London, located just to the west of the Palace of Westminster. It is one of the most notable religious buildings in the United Kingdom and has been the traditional place of coronation and burial site forEnglish and, later, British monarchs. The abbey is a Royal Peculiar and between 1540 and 1556 had the status of a cathedral; the building is no longer an abbey nor cathedral however, having instead the status since 1560 of a "Royal Peculiar" – a church responsible directly to the Sovereign."



Wiki: "The Palace of Westminster is the meeting place of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Commonly known as the Houses of Parliament after its tenants, the Palace lies on the Middlesex bank of the River Thames in the City of Westminster, in central London. Its name, which derives from the neighbouring Westminster Abbey, may refer to either of two structures: the Old Palace, a medieval building complex that was destroyed by fire in 1834, and its replacement New Palace that stands today. For ceremonial purposes, the palace retains its original style and status as a royal residence."

Beautiful Windows

Majestic Big Ben

Palace of Westminister

The River Thames

London Eye

War Veteran Demonstration

Random Street View (Lotsa double-decker bus)

Beautiful Buildings

London is really beautiful - Old buildings with rich history.

London Tube.

 It is actually quite decent, not as bad as what people said.
It is the most expensive metro/subway/underground train I ever taken so far. A short ride is at least £2.1/S$4.2/US$3.3!!!

Celebrated my good friend's birthday in a simple restaurant.
It is not cheap for a simple meal - £75/S$150/US$118.

Walking back to hotel in Mayfair.
I love the evening stroll in the quiet street. 
Abit cold, but very comfortable and relaxing.

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