So, I am finally taking time off to blog my long-procrastinated Europe entries! Not that the trip wasn’t worth mentioning of course, but there are just too many photos and too many days to catch up on >.< And the bad thing about overdue posts is, the memory ain’t as clear now so I can only blog whatever I can remember. I don’t even know if the photos are in sequence! Haha!
Anyhow, Europe had always been my dream country to visit and it took me 26 years before I finally have the ability to fulfill my own wish! But apart from the budget, another constraint is usually – travel partner(s). It wasn’t easy finding ‘steady‘ people to go on such a long trip with you because some will have cash flow difficulty, while some with not enough leaves and etc.
However, I was quite determined to fulfill this wish on this 26th birthday of mine. Plus I could visit Thapa, who is in UK for study and it would be killing two birds with one stone! So on one fine day when we were watching TV, I randomly asked my brother, “Wanna go Europe together?” And to my surprise, he agreed readily and excitedly. 爽快！I like! So we went ahead to make all the last-minute plannings and etc for our first-ever trip together, but the process was pretty exhausting @.@
Planning for this trip was like planning for 5 countries (London, Paris, Florence, Venice & Rome) all at the same time and there were so much research to be done! It so happened that le pig brother was super busy rushing to finish his work before we fly so I ended up having to do most of the research and plannings. I’m not the kind of person that can fly without an itinerary! Haha!
20-21 March 2015
Look who came to send us off! My cutie pie loveboy! ❤
Sat beside a man from Dubai who is a frequent flyer and he started a conversation with me, so I ended up talking about work, about society, about myself. I mean I may be sociable but I really don’t quite like talking to strangers. Yet he’s like right beside me and I didn’t know how to end a conversation (biggest weakness!!!) or throw a hostile attitude to someone you gonna face for many more hours >.<
Yea so we ended up talking for quite a long time and he taught me how to “steal” Wi-Fi from the business class. But when he learned that I am flying over partly to visit an old friend, he was very surprised that one can value friendship so much. So I explained how important friendship is to me and we ended up on a debate as to whether I will still think this way when I’m married.
Basically he is a rather conservative and traditional man, like many Middle-East people, so I am not surprised that he doesn’t agree to my action of specially flying over to visit a “guy friend“. I don’t know if I will feel the same or my future husband will feel the same as him when I get married, but all I know for now is friendship is worth those miles, period.
So because I know the culture of the Middle-East, I didn’t order the wine that I wanted
badly. I even asked him if it’s offensive if I drink in front of him and he ended up telling me about how he doesn’t get why alcohol is allowed in the society because they are like drugs and can lead to social problems like rape, fights and etc. Yep, so I dropped the idea even though he said I can still go ahead, and even though I’m not gonna rape or kill anyone in the flight >.>
I was feeling relieved when I saw the conservative man going to sleep and I thought I could finally rest after the meal. But guess what? He actually leaned on my shoulder for 3428689743568273612683270362478684628476328 times when sleeping, by accident or not, I don’t know, but I could hardly sleep in peace because I felt so unsafe!!!!!!
I tried to jerk his head off by moving around to wake him up each time but it just kept happening again and again and because we are “friend” now after such a long conversation, I didn’t dare to like be nasty to him –CRY!!!– My pig brother was pigging out in deep sleep so he couldn’t save me either 😦 Hardly slept a wink and 7+ hours passed, which means we were reaching our stopover – Dubai @.@
Thought we would have like 2 hours to slack at Dubai airport before our next flight, so we were intending to look for a place to nap. But after asking around for the local time, we realised that we didn’t have much time till our next flight!
Either our first flight got delayed a lot, or the whole time-difference thing almost screwed us up – I still haven’t figured out, but our connecting flight was on boarding status by the time we realised -_-”
Another 7+ hours long flight and I think I managed to catch some sleep this time~ Also managed to catch a movie on board; I think it was The Theory of Everything, which I missed in the cinema.
So touched that Thapa came to pick us up at the airport even though it’s so damn early and he gotta take like an hour train to reach! Gave him a big big hug upon seeing him, of course! Can’t believe it’s been more than 6 years since he left! He has grown much chubbier that I almost couldn’t recognise him, if he wasn’t the one who spotted me…hahaha!
Got the Oyster card with Thapa’s help and made our way to our hostel in Holborn via the tube. It was quite a long journey, took us around 50 minutes, but it was the cheapest way~ And upon stepping out of the station, Bro and I kinda ran back inside, because it was so damn cold out there!!!!
It was around 8°C according to Thapa and we totally didn’t expect it! The last time we checked it was still 2-digit and we definitely didn’t expect our entire trip to be this cold! We only brought like normal jackets and gloves! T.T
Shivered our way to the hostel and it didn’t help that the wind was blowing against our faces, threatening to freeze my nose! Had to cover our ears with the jacket hood but I wish I have a mask to cover my face too~ So damn coldddddddddddddddd!!! Suddenly regretted coming during this season because I am not a fan of cold countries; makes me wanna stay indoor 24/7!
Finally reached our hostel and indoor places are so much warmer than outside, thank goodness. I think I forgot to take pictures of our room but it’s nothing fancy. Just a small room with a bed, a TV, a bathroom, a dressing table and a microwave (our BFF!)~ It’s recommended by Yinning and since Bro and I are not picky about accommodations, we managed to save on this area for this trip (:
Actually there ain’t much to see in London; the main purpose was just to visit Thapa~ Plan for the day was to walk along River Thames to explore the attractions along the way, but it was so so cold outside that I didn’t feel like going anywhere anymore 😦
Photo-taking became such a chore and dilemma because my phone screen couldn’t detect my finger with the gloves on. So whenever I wanna snap a picture, I gotta sacrifice one of my hands and in the end, my right hand was so much coarser than my left! It really looked like the old woman kind of hand and it’s damn scary!!! Almost looked eczemic x.x
And another annoying thing was when Bro and I were munching on some nachos that I brought from home, we had to decide between keeping our gloves on and dirtying them, or getting our hands freeze! I chose to dirty my gloves in the end because my fingers got numb once I removed them. It’s really so COLD! (You gonna hear me whine about this all the time.)
Started on our long day after grabbing some bites from the supermarket nearby. Oh apart from going budget on accommodation, our meals were quite budget too. Because there is no coffeeshops or food court in Europe, obviously, so everything is pretty expensive~
Most of our meals came from the supermarket – microwavable kind, which is why the microwave is our BFF! Haha! You can trust my brother when it comes to saving money, he is even better than me. So poor Thapa, gotta suffer along with us xD
Thapa was supposed to be our tour guide but because he lives nearer to Liverpool and he only visits London when he visits his sister, he wasn’t quite sure with the directions either. So it was kinda like blind leading the blind, and we basically just walked around randomly like he suggested.
It’s pretty inside but I find it ridiculous that you gotta pay to go into a church. Furthermore photography was not allowed inside, so it kinda defeats our purpose of going in. Only went in to take a peek and then cam-whored outside~
Oh throughout this trip, I have seen many many many buskers and I am quite amazed by the different ways they can earn money! Apart from the usual street performance, some actually sing on the train, some sing in the middle of the road when it’s red light~ This is another common kind of street art there (:
Off to our last two destinations – London Bridge and Tower Bridge! You may imagine London Bridge to be the beautiful one since there’s even a song for it. But prior the trip, Nadine had already warned about its insignificance.
We wanted to catch the night view of it when it lights up, but it was just way too cold to even take proper pictures there because it’s right beside the river! In the end, we managed to shiver our way to the nearest cafe, which is not very near by the way, and I splurged on a cup of hot chocolate. Gosh~ Best choice ever! I felt like I was in heaven!!!
It was really so damn cold out there with the sea breeze blowing us away and the kind of shiver I had everyday is like shivering from inside kind. Like physically you can feel yourself shivering uncontrollably, and internally you can also feel all your organs shaking along as well.
I’m not kidding. There are so many times I thought I would suddenly just shiver till I collapse on the ground because I had never felt this cold before! And when Thapa told us that Paris would be much colder, I felt so dead~ It seems like we will be needing winter wear but all I brought were tees, shorts and tights! T.T
Anyhow, shivered our way back to the bridge and the temperature has dropped even more by then. The wind was even stronger now and we were shaking even more along. Managed to snap a few pictures with our shaky hands before we hurried off! Haha! Can’t believe we waited so long just for these few pictures!
I was so cold but my brother knows I like to take pictures a lot so he insisted taking one for me on the bridge! 😀 This time round I wasn’t the one being perfectionist about photos because it’s too cold for anymore takes! I was like, “Aiya, can lah can lah~” Hahaha!
Made our way back to the hostel for an early rest after grabbing some pastas from the supermarket for dinner. I KO-ed while my brother was chatting with Thapa and I didn’t even know it when he left! Hahaha! Mad mad tired @.@