Meeting UK: The Day I Met Phantom

Days since my last post: 8 

Another UK update yay! I can foresee that these throwbacks will last till January next year, and I am absolutely not sorry for it. Why, you ask? Because this only makes the 3rd day of my trip and I was actually there for about 12 days. Yup. So really, I won't keep rambling about life and all because that should really be kept elsewhere. Let's just roll back to the better times.

COVENT GARDEN

I am officially allowing anyone who reads this to just laugh at me because when I first heard of Covent Garden, I genuinely thought it was a freaking garden. But as it turns out, garden it was not.

Covent Garden, ladies and gentlemen. 

Home to the shoot of Audrey Hepburn's 1964 classic, My Fair Lady, Covent Garden proved itself to be quite a sight and I was glad I made the trip on that mad sunny day. 

No war. Just love. 

Aside to having street performers in the vast open area, Covent Garden also felt like the nicest place ever to chill and have tea...if the exchange rate didn't kill me. Seriously though, if it weren't for the exchange rate at this point of time, I would have had so many things to experience in Covent Garden. 

With the prettiest sight ever. I heard it's even more as the sun goes down.

Rows of shops on the inside. 

I was told however that the balloon sculptures don't stay forever, and it was simply a showcase by the French artist, Charles Petillon. Titled "Heartbeat", the sculpture has supposedly been fitted with lights that pulsate as night falls, creating an interesting art piece for all to view between the 27th of August to the 27th of September. Just my luck, I suppose.

Exploring the Jubilee Market.

Flowers for a pound.

 And pocket watches for several.

On the other end of Covent Garden also stood the Jubilee Market, a flea-like marketplace that sold almost anything you could figure. From clothes to pocket watches, and flowers to old school candies, Jubilee Market was quite an interesting place to be. I even spotted a stall that made handmade kaleidoscopes and sundials, two of the most intricate items I have seen through my trip. 

Getting here: Hop onto the tube to stop at Covent Garden via the Piccadilly line, or if you'd like a more scenic trip, you can opt to stop at Leicester Square to walk over. The perks of doing that? You'll get to see the M&Ms World!


M&Ms WORLD

Yellow, because it's the colour I love best.


Spanning over 4 floors and 35,000 square feet in size, the M&Ms world that's located along Leicester Square is the world's largest candy store in the world. And I walked in there. Yes.

Aptly called M&Ms road. Do you recognize the scene though? 

On the bus to nowhere.

As you walk in, you're first hit with the waft of M&Ms and I swear to you that it smells like heaven. Well unless you hate M&Ms but really who hates this amazing chocolate candy? Really, why? The saddest part however is that everything is ridiculously overpriced and unless you grow money out of trees, it's really best to just look. Like that bottle of milkshake in my hands? £2.50 for you! 

Discovering my M&M.

It does however have its charm, with free interactive platforms that supposedly checks your mood and suggests a colour of M&M to suit how you feel for the day. Apparently I was orange, ridiculously excited and everything. Touché, M&Ms.

Getting here: Get on that tube to Leicester Square station via the Piccadilly line, give it a walk towards the Covent Garden direction and you'll spot it around. It's impossible to miss, given the smell and everything! 

THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA 

And finally for the highlight of my day? 

This happened.

For those of you who has no idea why I'm so crazy over this, I can tell you it's simply because I love watching live musicals and orchestras. The last time I watched Mamma Mia! in Malaysia, I had the happiest fit of my life and swore to myself that I would one day make it to watch The Phantom of the Opera right in London itself.

Look ma, I did it!

What a time to be alive, making my dreams come true! It was a really good deal too, because we only paid £40 for the ticket but it actually had a face value of £67.50! So what this meant was that we had saved £27.50 just by scurrying around the booths along Leicester Square that sold discounted musical tickets.

I was this close to the stage! 

The seats were fantastic, being close enough to the stage yet far enough for a good view. I did suffer a little from having a tall person in front of me but it did not dampen my spirit. There was nothing that would have dampened my spirit at that point, not even the rainy weather of London! 

To the people who had to deal with my excitement, thank you. 

I'm glad I did not attend the musical alone though, because we could all share stories and thoughts thereafter. It was fun, and we all agreed that the current Phantom needed to lose a little weight. Let's all blame Gerard Butler for creating such an impossible look for Phantom. 

I must say though, it really was a once in a lifetime experience to have watched Phantom of the Opera with my own eyes. The settings, the music, the plays, the costumes, the arrangements, the cast...everything felt so perfect at that very point. Everything. And I regret nothing...except perhaps not buying a programme home. Curse you £9!

Getting here: You could either get off the tube from the Charring Cross station via the Bakerloo line or talk a walk from Piccadilly Circus when you're on the Piccadilly line. It would probably take you a 5 to 10 minute walk, but the view of excited theatre goers will get you hyped up just enough as you arrive. 

PICCADILLY CIRCUS

Okay just a novel explanation but if you stop by Piccadilly Circus, you'll be able to visit the Statue of Eros or also known as the God of Love. 

Like Cupid, only better. 

Throngs of tourists will circle Eros, making it impossible to miss when you walk around the area. If you're lucky enough, you'll also get to spot street performers strutting their stuff just as I did! 

Why hello, my Scottish man. 

He's 100% Scottish, I asked. 

It was quite a performance, just listening to him play familiar songs like Amazing Grace and Scotland the Brave on his bagpipes. And he did quite a good job too, because I felt like I had gotten transported home to listen to my father play the CD loud and clear. Ah, music. 
Getting here: Need I truly explain the tube station for this spot? It's really called Piccadilly Circus...on the Piccadilly line. 

THE END OF DAY 3

Day in, day out, and time simply felt so quick. It was rather enjoyable to have spent the entire day out but I was just especially happy with my live musical experience. I knew for sure I wouldn't forget this day for life, but it didn't stop me from going home and replaying the music on YouTube. Come on guys, it's the Phantom of the Opera. You can't beat that. Or can you?

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