27/3 London (City Tour)

Reported by: Eugene Quek, Lucas Lim and Oscar Lam
London has always been known as one of the world’s greatest cities and they did not just get that reputation easily being the capital of England. They have toiled through centuries to establish themselves as the world’s financial, fashion and education capital. Being such a famous city with so many cultural aspects revolved around London, we were all only too eager to start the city tour on Sunday, 27/3/11.

Of course, many of the sights in London are already familiar with you guys. The London cab and the double decker bus which everyone wax lyrical about, it’s not hard to see why London is so exciting but yet foreign at the same time. We started the morning bright and early with our coach waiting for us at our accommodation in London, Travelodge. You can’t tell how glad we were not having to take the London tube early in the morning and rushing with the working crowd! We were joined by our friendly guide, Sean for the morning where he took us around London.

Our first stop included a panoramic view of London’s most famous icon, the tower bridge together with a funky looking designed building which I’m not really sure what it’s called. Most people call the tower bridge, “London Bridge,” and so did I. It was only in London did I realise it’s actually called the tower bridge! London’s architecture is very unique and displays two very distinct styles. They have the colonial architecture where buildings remained largely unchanged from the past, or buildings which are so futuristic which contrasts the city really beautifully. It is the kind of confidence that the city displays that makes it so alive and fascinating. I mean, put a 19th century building next to a skyscraper, anybody would have immediately termed it as an architecture failure of the century but no, London did it most beautifully and breathtakingly.
Our next stop was the St. Paul’s cathedral which stands beautifully in the warm London sunlight. There she is, displaying immaculate style and beauty from centuries ago. The architecture totally bowled us over and the history behind it could probably fill 5000 pages. But lucky for us, we were there to take pictures and pictures only. We explored around the cathedral before heading on to Buckingham Palace- Home of the Queen.

Yes, we were hoping we could get a glimpse of royalty or perhaps, the reflection of the huge diamond that Kate Middleton wears but the Gods decided that the royals had something more important to do. Nevertheless, we caught the changing of guards outside the palace.
After touring the city for half a day, our stomachs were growling from hunger. Yes, it was cold and we burnt our breakfast rather quickly while touring round the city. We settled for a meal at subway for a whooping 6 pounds which we can’t get over with because 6 pounds could get us a foot-long sandwich back here in Singapore when we’ve only ordered a 6 inch sandwich.
We toured the attractions around the tower bridge which included the royal jewels which probably cost what we can’t earn in our lifetime and learned about the interesting history of the tower bridge which didn’t really get into us because we were all too interested with exploring the grounds. For a city like London, paranormal activity is not surprising but it’s definitely not in our wildest dreams that we would be witness to paranormal activity in London in broad daylight. Lucas caught a few photos of ‘ghosts’ in London and they can be seen here but we’ve only managed to find one for you all to appreciate.

We then took the London underground to Holborn after our tour at the tower bridge. Being the shopaholics who missed out on bargain deals at Primark, Oxford Street the day before, a group of 6-8 year ones and twos including me went back to Oxford Street via the London underground and it was a shopaholic’s fantasy come true at Primark! The prices of the goods there were of outstanding value with really fashionable designs. For the most of us, we spent a huge sum of money; say 30-50 pounds in Primark with varying number of products bought ranging from cardigans to belts to T-shirts to jeans and we were all satisfied with our shopping trip.

The lot of us then hurried back to Holborn where we had our sumptuous pizza dinner! It was a satisfying meal and all of us were exhausted by the end of the night and we had to brave the cold and exhaustion at night to take the London underground back to our hotel where we rested for the second night, absolutely satisfied with the rich cultural experience we all had and of course, the shopping galore that we had in the afternoon.

Reported by: Eugene Quek, Lucas Lim and Oscar Lam