London, famous for being capital of the largest empire the world has even seen and its everlasting impulse of tourists attracting some 65 million a year. Full of business, royal and partlimentary landmarks all with their own unique architecture - there is plenty to see and do.
Although I had never actually been to London before, I'd been through its mad road system several times whilst heading down to Dover to get the ferry over to Calais, so I was no stranger to the mad phenomenon associated with London and its endless flood of traffic, crazy driving and overwhelming volume of traffic. My first footstep in London was when I got off my train at Euston and was immediately lost in the sheer size of Euston station with streams of people moving in every direction and heading at me. I headed over to the large underground tube sign and waited for Adam to emerge from the continous flow of faces.
Our first destination was Cambridge Theatre, navigating ourselves in true tourist style with a map at hand, we headed towards the theatre and still, somehow, managed to take the wrong course a few times. We got to the theatre in good time and queued for Matilda - we had pretty awesome seats:
Matilda was really good and I strongly recommend anyone to go and see it, it's a great re-inaction of the famous film with a few quirky jokes by Tim Minchin that won't go a miss. After the show, we headed to the studio where we were staying which was only a short walk, it was cosy and most importantly, warm.
We were up for an early start on Sunday to be sure we got everything done. Set off to Euston, picked up the £7 day ticket for the tube and began bouncing on and off trains hopping over zone to zone through different regions of London. Our first stop was Oxford Street, all for some breakfast. A short visit before we hopped on another tube to Westminster to come up out of the station to be asking ourselves where Big Ben was - that was until we turned around and realised it was literally five metres away. We waited by Big Ben for it to chime, photographing London Eye, Houses of Parliament and Big Ben itself. We walked over the bridge and jumped on the tube at Waterloo to Buckingham Palace (we rode down as the roads were closed - it was great!), Leicester Square, Picadilly and then Hyde Park.
Hyde Park had a massive Winter Wonderland which was crammed full of people in their bulk, all drinking mulled wine and eating roasted peanuts! It was decorated for the season with a large ice rink in the middle and various attractions throughout the stretch of the park:
We walked through before renting out the Barclays bikes and cycling all around the park (which was absolutely freezing) being sure to take out new bikes before the time limit and somehow attempt to follow the overly confusing bicycle lane system that was in place. After our cycling around the park, we headed on the tube to Picadilly and back to Leicester Square for some grub to which we came across this very odd shop:
Now that it was dark, we got back on the tube and headed to Oxford Street in hope we'd see the place illuminated with Christmas decorations. However, shamefully, there wasn't actually that many lights up.. about 10.. and the ones that were up either weren't very good or were merely sponsored advertising for some company:
Overall, it was a chaotic but fun packed venture and it's incredible the rush of the tube system to give you the freedom to move across such a wide stretch of London with ease and with fairly small wait times for each different leg of a journey.