Thursday, November 09, 2017

London ’17, Day 1 – Flight and Arrival


Hi everyone!
Now that my posts about Barcelona and Paris are finished, I have another couple of posts dedicated to a city trip: London! I hope you're not bored yet, but I promise these posts will be fun! ^^ At least, I had a lot of fun myself, so hopefully you will too.
I went to London, England with my parents from Friday August 25th until Tuesday August 29th. There I attended the Tea Party Club's 10th Anniversary Event Dream Masquerade Carnival and Tea Party. It was actually my dad's idea to go to London when I mentioned the dates of the event. He thought it would be fun to have a nice weekend with my mom while I went to have Lolita adventures. Naturally I was elated!
So on Friday August 25th we took the train to the airport around 2:30 pm. We had deliberately booked an early evening flight, since there was a chance I'd have to do re-exams, so we wanted to make sure nothing would collide. Luckily I ended up not having to do any re-exams, so we had plenty of time to pack our last things and be on our way.

Flights
Ready for our flight to London!

At the airport we went to check in my suitcase (my parents only had hand luggage but I definitely needed some more space for my two Lolita outfits) and went through the security check easily. My mom got searched for the first time though, it was actually quite funny. x)
We entered the airport and since we had some time to spare, my mom and I browsed the shops a little. One store sold mainly booze and cigarets, which was quite gross since all the cigarets and cigar packages had those gross 'SMOKING KILLS' advertisements on them, but since there were so many it was like a really nasty exposition. Brrr.
Luckily, the other shops were quite nice. I love our airport! We smelled some nice perfumes and my mom bought a book: 'The Husband's Secret' by Liane Moriarty. My mom was pretty much obsessed with it during our trip, so I definitely recommend it. We also visited the toy store that has a giant Nijntje (aka Miffy) in front of it.

Miffy
I love Miffy!

We joined my dad again, who had been sitting somewhere, and went upstairs to some restaurants to get something to eat. My mom and I had frozen yoghurt, while my dad had coffee and cake.

Airport Lunch
Our delicious airport lunch!

I had been so nervous all day that I hadn't eaten a lot, so my mom and I ended up eating more food: the same cake my dad had had for my mom and a triple chocolate muffin for me, which was really good but super heavy. XD
It was time to head for our gate, number 25. It was quite far away, so we took our time. Once we got there we sat down and just looked around. However, the spot where our plane was supposed to be was... empty. Naturally the possibility that the plane had yet to come occurred to me (duh XD), but boarding time was fast approaching and the plane still wasn't here. It did show up after a while luckily.
Since we were sitting right next to the window we could observe really well how the plane was prepared for us. I was fascinated by the way the corridor was connected to the plane and how the food carts were pushed in and out. It was quite great!

Plane Preparation
Watching the plane get prepared for us was quite interesting!

However, the plane had indeed arrived late, so the boarding too was postponed a little. Suddenly, I could heard the stewardess going around giving people with suitcases labels to have them put in the luggage room of the plane instead of in the overhead compartments. I had already been through this process on our way to Barcelona and I was not up for it, even if it was not about my own suitcase. However, the lady didn't approach us and when we showed our passport to board, no one said anything about my parents' hand luggage. Yay!
Although not many people had gotten off the plane, our flight was filled to the brim. I sat next to the window with my mom next to me and my dad in the aisle seat. I was afraid we'd have to wait while since our flight had been delayed, but not long after we started moving. However, our plane had to drive all the way to the back of the airport, probably the spot we Dutch call 'the infamous Polderbaan'. It took a very long time and did nothing good for my mom's fear of take off. Finally, we made it to the strip and the plane took off. My poor mom hated it, the tension of the missing plane and the long drive had built up so much. x( I can't believe that, despite her fear of flying, she keeps doing it. I think that's really impressive! ♥

Take Off
I loved these picture I took out of the window.

The flight was less than an hour, but we still received food! As you probably know by now, I love airplane food! We received an omelette sandwich, a Punselie (which is a cookie), some water and a drink of choice. Yay!

Airplane Food
Airplane food always makes me happy~!

Soon we approached the coast of England. The weather was absolutely beautiful: a clear sky and lots of sunshine. We would be landing at London City, which is pretty much in the middle of London. I was hoping we would have a nice view over London or something, but what happened surpassed my wildest imaginations! We started to descend and soon we were quite low, just as we started to fly over the city! I could see all the famous buildings, so close I felt I could touch them! Pictures don't do it justice, this flight was just magical!

London City
This flight was just incredible!

We soon after landed and waited for everyone to get their suitcases, after which we left as well. For some reason I am literally always the last one to leave a plane! What is wrong with me? XD
We left the plane, crossed to the airport (yes, it's one of those places where you leave the plane and suddenly you're outside on some stairs, whoa) and went through customs. For some reason they made us go together through one gate 'because we are a family'. Interesting point.
My suitcase appeared on the belt just as we arrived, so we grabbed it and went on our way to the metro. My dad bought an extra Oyster card and sooner than I expected we found ourselves waiting for the metro. It arrived soon luckily. We transferred two times, after which we arrived at Pimlico station. To be honest, I'm not the biggest fan of the London Underground. Especially the older trains are just so stuffy and make me almost claustrophobic. Plus, they were really warm. Luckily, our hotel had a bus stop right in front of the entrance, so we took the bus a lot during our trip.
We walked from station Pimlico to our hotel, which was located on Belgrave Road and surrounded by other hotels. The street was quite lovely and not too traffic-y.
We entered the hotel lobby, which was nice and cool and had a big poster that displayed a cartoon-like map of London with touristic attractions. It had a Me and my Girl reference and that made my heart sing, because I’m a terrible weeb. ♥
The desk staff however, was... not very great. The guy who checked us in was like a piece of cardboard with no emotions. He told us there was a problem with our room, so for one night we had to stay in another room. If he had told us right away we'd stay in a bigger room than our intended one, it would be okay you know? But he told us in a way as if his grandma had died and also there was no form of apology. To be honest, this guy pretty much represented the entire hotel staff except for one girl, because during our stay no one was honestly pleasant to us.
We took our suitcases to room 112, which turned out to be a five person room! Honestly it was quite nice, with three single beds, a semi bed and lots of space.

Bed
Guess whose bed this is? x)

We rested for a bit and then went out for dinner. It was after eight already and we were
quite hungry.
We took the bus to Trafalgar Square. Getting there took a while, but sitting in a real London double decker bus was quite awesome!

London Bus
Taking the bus in London.

We got off and took some pictures. London is such a lively city, it's always buzzing. The temperature was also rather nice; jackets were not needed. We would return to Trafalgar Square quite a lot during our trip.

Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square by night.

However, it was getting a little late and in the back of my head I realised I probably needed some rest before the big event the next day. However, we seemed to not be able to really find a restaurant, so I started to freak out a little. Luckily, we ended up at Angus Steakhouse, a restaurant where we had eaten three years ago during our trip to London for my parents' 25 year anniversary that I loved, so I was very happy!
The restaurant was loud, but the food was amazing. ♥ I had some ribs and sweet potato fries, which were all amazing. ;___;

Cheers
Dinner on our first night.

After dinner we took the bus back, which took a while since there was a roadblock and the bus had to take a detour. That did result in us passing by the illuminated Big Ben, which was nice!
Back at our hotel we went to sleep after a long day. An exciting weekend was about to happen!

Thank you for reading! ~☆~