Meeting UK: The Day I Walked In The Rain

Days since my last post: 11

Yay, a one week improvement from my previous post gap! I'm really sorry guys but a lot has been happening around my life so having to sit down for a proper blog post is a bit of a stretch and I really don't want to give you a post that's written without heart. But I'm back for today and I'm going to talk about the day I walked tons...under the rain.


BUCKINGHAM PALACE

Hello there, Buckingham!

Day 2 was everything touristy, and it began with non other than the world famous Buckingham Palace where you get to see the Changing of the Guard on every even dated day. That means you're luckier on the 2nd, 4th, 6th and so on, so forth.

At 11 AM, you'll even catch the guards riding into the palace areas.

The best spots are actually there, but I was too late!

While it says online that the Changing of the Guard starts at 11:30 AM, it's really advisable to get there much earlier so you get a good spot to watch everything instead of struggling among a sea of tourists.

One to say I've been here and I've done this! 

What you need at this spot however is a whole lot of patience, because they do rounds and rounds of marching inside and out of the palace grounds. It could get warm on sunny days, but unfortunately I ran into rainy weather. It got terrible, because I kept trying to hide my Olympus PEN EPL-7 from the rain! The policemen outside are generally really kind and some are even funny.

So just be happy, get there by 10:30 AM on any even dated days and enjoy the FREE show that's open for all!

Getting here: Jump on the tube to the Hyde Park Corner or Victoria stations via the Piccadilly or Victoria line, give it a 10 minute walk and you're right here at the palace! It helps to ask for directions, because that's what I did and I got to the palace right at 11:30 AM for the ceremony to start!

THE BIG BEN

Hello Big Ben!

The Big Ben that goes BONG! One of the most iconic buildings of London is definitely The Big Ben, that one and only clock that everyone seems to love looking for. You can actually pay to walk into the building, but I obviously didn't. In case you didn't already realize, I've only been doing free things up to date. You can view it from four ends, one of which is facing the Westminster Abbey and the other from the iconic Westminster Bridge! 

From the other side.

It was quite an experience looking at The Big Ben up close, mostly because I've always been seeing it in pictures and postcards but here it was by my eyes! I guess when you're a first timer with these tourist spots, everything is about the memory you make. And yes, it really does go BONG when the time comes! 

Getting here: I walked here from the Buckingham Palace via St. James' Park but I believe you can stop at the Westminster station or Embankment station via the Circle or District lines! 

WESTMINSTER ABBEY

Made famous by the very recent marriage of Prince William and Duchess Kate Middleton, the Westminster Abbey naturally requires payment to enter. I obviously didn't walk in, but I guess it's worth a mention that I did something ridiculously silly while I was there. 

"Excuse me sir, do you know where I may find Westminster Abbey?" 

That's right, I asked for directions to Westminster Abbey when I was right in front of the Big Ben. As you could see, I was asking when it was clearly at my face so the policemen had quite a laugh. I'm glad I gave them minutes of entertainment I guess.

Outside Westminster Abbey.

An unknown but pretty building next to the Abbey!

I think it costs close to £20 to enter the abbey, but I simply took a walk outside and into the souvenir shop but came out empty handed anyway. I guess I'm not big on buying random things because of the ridiculous exchange rate from RM to Sterling Pounds. 

Inside St. Margaret's Church.

Where I did go however, was inside St. Margaret's Church which is located right beside the Westminster Abbey. In fact it's still in the church grounds, but of a different building. It doesn't feel the same but the warmth made me feel calm for the day. 

Getting here: Just walk across from the Big Ben! It's really that easy! 

LONDON EYE 

It just goes round and round!

It's Ferris Wheel time! A walk away from the Big Ben on the Westminster Bridge also takes you to the London Eye, an iconic tourist spot just by the South Bank of the River Thames. A ride will cost you £19.35 with a half hour rotation, which means you get to enjoy the views of London from above for about 30 minutes. 

From the Westminster Bridge. 
Ahoy fellow 9gaggers, do you remember what this bridge is famous for? 

While I really wanted to ride on a capsule, I thought it was quite pricey plus you don't get to do much but sit there and watch the views. It didn't help that it was cloudy and rainy, so I didn't see the point in paying close to £20 for the half an hour ride. 

So a selfie will do! 

What you'll see on the way when walking to the London Eye however, are various entertainment hubs like this one called Shrek's Adventure! 

Hello Puss in Boots, here's a kiss for our meet! 

And hello Donkey! 

The Puss in Boots mascot was really cheeky and super adorable, really someone who loves their job in the suit I presume! So whether it's a he or a she inside, I think they did a fantastic job! I wish I could go inside but it was quite pricey a ticket. I think it was close to £20 as well but if you're okay to afford things like these, then you should totally try it! 
Getting here: Walk over from The Big Ben! I'm telling you, everything is just around the corner when you're in this area! It's worth a visit, you should see it anyway! 
HARRODS

I'm here, I'm here! 

I was really excited to have made it to Harrods, the very original one in fact! In order to take this picture though, I really had to cross the road and stand in the middle of a both way traffic (SAFELY!) and snapped this! 

Visiting the Lady Diana, Princess of Wales, and Dodi Fayed's memorial.

Housed on the lower floors of Harrods, the Lady Diana and Dodi Fayed memorial was actually built in 1998 by Mohamed Al-Fayed, Dodi Fayed's father and an Egyptian millionaire. From here, you'll get to see the cup stained by Lady Diana's lipstick from her final dinner and what appears to be an engagement ring that Dodi Fayed had bought just the night before. 

The bling. 

It's was really well cordoned for safety and so tourists wouldn't go too close, but the zoom feature on my OLYMPUS PEN EPL-7 did quite the trick, without compromising on the picture quality huh? Not too bad, I'm glad! 

Inside the markethall.

Hello, Harrods Fromagerie! 

Food, food everywhere! 

My brother did tell me to go to the Harrods Markethall and be aware of everything awesome, and that's exactly what I did! When you walk around the markethall, you can seriously be singing the LEGO theme song, because everything is really awesome! From cheeses to meats, from pastries to sushi, it's just all around and you can't miss it! 

Hello bear bear! 

By the Harrods bus!

And hello Mr.Policebear! 

I didn't quite walk all the floors because I didn't intend to shop, but the top floor of Harrods is somewhere you can't skip because this is where you get to see all these Harrods bears! I was dying inside, and I really wanted to take one home but everything was sold in Sterling Pounds obviously and I couldn't put my hands into my wallet to get one. I now regret my choice but I guess pictures will do as memories! 

Getting here: You can hop on the London Underground to the Knightsbridge station via the Piccadilly line and walk for about 5 minutes. The building is huge, and you can't miss it! 

THE END OF DAY 2 

A bona fide guard at The Guards Museum, because I couldn't see the real ones at the Buckingham Palace.

What a day! I was dead by the time I walked around Harrods and my feet was so tired, I could have just plopped on a chair and slept off. In fact, my camera even ran out of battery and I figured to last on my phone for the remaining few hours. I did love the epic travelling I got to do all day, even with what felt like endless walking. It's actually something I recommend doing actually, because you get to see a lot more than when you go on your feet!

So yes, that's the end of my day 2 all alone and rainy. My shoes were splotchy, my socks were drenched but the entire experience was worth it. I guess I spent most on eating for the day but I doubt I hit anymore than £30 that day, excluding travels with my Oyster Card. Budget travelling indeed, no?

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