London – April 2014

How do you describe London?

.: noise, cosmopolitan, crowded, underground, cold rainy, world leaders, rusting, historic, overpriced, grim,  tourists, extravagance :. the list can go on and on…

In London we spent 4-night 5-day trip to close our four-UK capital tour.

The following pictures summarize (should I you summarise to follow British English? 🙂 ) all those days in London except our stadium tour to Stamford Bridge and a day trip to Oxford, Stonehenge and Windsor.

A hackney or hackney carriage (also called a cab, black cab, hack or London taxi) seen past Natural History Museum, London
A hackney or hackney carriage (also called a cab, black cab, hack or London taxi) seen past Natural History Museum, London

 

Once we reached London Paddington station we headed to Wisma Siswa Merdeka on 44 Dartmouth Road, Willesden. This is basically an Indonesian Embassy-owned student-managed housing. The two-storey building has four rooms to book with homy feeling, simple breakfast, microwave and kitchen to use and very affordable rate (to say very cheap: 17.5 pounds per person per night).  The closest station is Willesden Green (600m).

London is huge; and even though we have 3 days effective on hand we haven’t covered all must-see places. That said, we managed to visit:

  • Greenwich, Royal Observatory Greenwich
  • The Tower of London
  • London Eye
  • River Thames Cruise
  • Green Park and Buckingham Palace
  • Science Museum, Imperial College of London (unfortunately it was a very long queue in Natural History Museum that we aborted the plan)
  • Harrods, Karak and Chapati
  • Piccadilly Circus
  • Trafalgar Square
  • The Elizabeth Tower and surroundings
  • Oxford Street, and Leicester Square shopping area and their surroundings

Enjoy the pictures!

A student-managed Indonesian residence-hotel - Wisma Merdeka - in Willesden, London
A student-managed Indonesian student housing – Wisma Siswa Merdeka – in Willesden, London
Homy breakfast at Wisma Merdeka, Willesden, our base during a 5-day stay in London
Homy breakfast at Wisma Merdeka, Willesden, our base during a 5-day stay in London
Dartmouth Road,  Willesden Green,  London NW2 4EX where Wisma Merdeka is located at
Dartmouth Road,
Willesden Green,
London NW2 4EX where Wisma Merdeka is located at
Willesden Green tube station, the nearest station to Wisma Siswa Merdeka
Willesden Green tube station, the nearest station to Wisma Siswa Merdeka
At Greenwich, meridian line 0deg 0'0"
At Greenwich, meridian line 0deg 0’0″
Royal Observatory Greenwich
Royal Observatory Greenwich
Meridan Line, that divides western and eastern hemisphere
Meridan Line, that divides western and eastern hemisphere
Peek-a-boo at Greenwich Park
Peek-a-boo at Greenwich Park
Kids enjoy  the vast green space at Greenwich Park
Kids enjoy the vast green space at Greenwich Park
Walking down the steps from Royal Observatory Greenwich
Walking down the steps from Royal Observatory Greenwich
Greenwich Market
Greenwich Market
Cutty Sark, a British clipper ship
Cutty Sark, a British clipper ship
Canary Wharf, a major business district/financial center
Canary Wharf, a major business district/financial center
Kids prepared coins for fish and chips at The Tower of London
Kids prepared coins for fish and chips at The Tower of London
Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge
Tower of London
Tower of London
Tower of London
Tower of London
Piccadilly Circus
Piccadilly Circus
Piccadilly Circus
Piccadilly Circus
Shopping at Cath Kidston, Piccadilly
Shopping at Cath Kidston, Piccadilly
Burberry at its birthplace. Well not really in London but it was in Hampshire.
Burberry at its birthplace. Well not really in London but it was in Hampshire.
Natural History Museum
Natural History Museum
Science Museum
Science Museum
Science Museum
Science Museum
You can do it, Faiq! See you next 3-4 years later? Inshaa Allah
You can do it, Faiq! See you next 3-4 years later? Inshaa Allah
Imperial College London
Imperial College London
Royal Albert Hall
Royal Albert Hall
Qatar-owned Harrods
Qatar-owned Harrods
Karak forever!
Karak forever!

LONDON14April14- (55)

Street vendor
Street vendor
Downing Street, that houses the official residence and office of the prime minister
Downing Street, that houses the official residence and office of the prime minister
Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square
Trafalgar Square
At Nelson's Column, a monument in Trafalgar Square in central London built to commemorate Admiral Horatio Nelson, who died at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805
At Nelson’s Column, a monument in Trafalgar Square in central London built to commemorate Admiral Horatio Nelson, who died at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805
Buckingham Palace
Buckingham Palace
Green Park
Green Park
Green Park
Green Park
Cavendish Square Gardens,  off Oxford Street
Cavendish Square Gardens, off Oxford Street
London Eye
London Eye
London Eye capsule
London Eye capsule
Jubilee Gardens from London Eye
Jubilee Gardens from London Eye
London Charing Cross Station and Golden Jubilee Bridges
London Charing Cross Station and Golden Jubilee Bridges
River Thames
River Thames
Inside London Eye capsule
Inside London Eye capsule
The Elizabeth Tower and nearby connected government buildings
The Elizabeth Tower and nearby connected government buildings
Jubilee Gardens
Jubilee Gardens
London Waterloo station
London Waterloo station
River Thames cruise
River Thames cruise
a closer look to The Elizabeth Tower (Big Ben)
a closer look to The Elizabeth Tower (Big Ben)
London bus lined up London Bridge
London bus lined up London Bridge
Millennium Bridge and St. Paul's Cathedral as a background
Millennium Bridge and St. Paul’s Cathedral as a background
City Hall
City Hall
HMS Belfast and the Shard
HMS Belfast and the Shard
a closer look to the Shard
a closer look to the Shard
approaching Tower Bridge
approaching Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge
Tower Bridge
Tower of London
Tower of London
Underneath London Bridge
Underneath London Bridge
A must background picture while in London
A must background picture while in London
Palace of Westminster
Palace of Westminster
Tube to tube travel is a must London experience
Tube to tube travel is a must London experience

 

Advertisements

Cardiff – April 2014

 

Wales Millennium Centre - Cardiff Bay. Inscription on the centre exterior are: In these stones horizons sing, and "Creu Gwir Fel Gwydr o Ffwrnais Awens" which translate as Creating truth like glass from the furnace of inspiration
Wales Millennium Centre – Cardiff Bay. Inscription on the centre exterior are: In these stones horizons sing, and “Creu Gwir Fel Gwydr o Ffwrnais Awens” which translate as Creating truth like glass from the furnace of inspiration

Cardiff (Welsh: Caerdydd) is the capital and largest city in Wales. Don’t know yet? How about Gareth Bale or Ryan Giggs?

We arrived at Cardiff Central station after 3hr35m first class train trip from Manchester Piccadilly. We exited the station, walked 2min and here we were at Sleeperz, a budget hotel with awesome location.

We then had a quick check-in, settled, and hit the road. Early morning tomorrow we  have to depart for London. We walked up West Gate street leading to Cardiff Castle, passing by Millennium Stadium. Rather than headed to the castle, we walked around the castle, by traversing Bute Park.

The side walking path of Bute Park leads us to Cardiff Crown Court, Alexandra Gardens and Cardiff University.

We then returned to our hotel after making a good shopping walk in Queen Street & The Hayes area.

Just before sunset, we took a taxi to Cardiff Bay and enjoyed the scenery there prior to making a trip back to central Cardiff for our dinner on Caroline Street which lined with many halal restaurant (about 4% of Cardiff’s population is Muslim).

Cardiff, a land we never imagined to step on,  gave us a short enjoyable visit. Had a long reputation as an industrial city, Cardiff has been gaining popularity as a tourist hot spot. With its concentrated tourist area, easy access, and affordable, no wonder that Cardiff is flourishing in tourism. The only thing that made us puzzled is how they live with that consonant-laden words: gwydr, fyddwch, unrhyw?

 

First class train of First Great Western
First class train of First Great Western

 

SAMSUNG CSC
Cardiff Central Station
West Gate St, leading to Cardiff Castle passing Millennium Stadium
West Gate St, leading to Cardiff Castle passing Millennium Stadium
Millennium Stadium, the home of the Wales national rugby union team
Millennium Stadium, the home of the Wales national rugby union team
Westgate St
Westgate St
Cardiff Castle
Cardiff Castle
Ice cream treat at Bute Park
Ice cream treat at Bute Park
Wefie at Bute Park. Cardiff Castle on the background
Wefie at Bute Park. Cardiff Castle on the background
Bute Park, Cardiff Castle
Bute Park, Cardiff Castle
Cardiff Castle, side view
Cardiff Castle, side view
Cardiff Crown Court
Cardiff Crown Court
Near Cardiff Crown Court
Near Cardiff Crown Court
Cardiff Crown Court
Cardiff Crown Court
Alexandra Gardens, opposite Cardiff University
Alexandra Gardens, opposite Cardiff University
Alexandra Gardens
Alexandra Gardens
Alexandra Gardens
Alexandra Gardens
Cardiff University
Cardiff University
National Museum Cardiff
National Museum Cardiff
Qatar-inspired Tulip :)
Qatar-inspired Tulip 🙂
City Hall Lawn
City Hall Lawn
Park Pl street
Park Pl street leading to Queen Street shopping area
Queen Street shopping area
Queen Street shopping area
Queen Street
Queen Street
This halal noodle restaurant is a treat
This halal noodle restaurant is a treat
Queen Street
Queen Street
Cardiff Castle from Queen Street
Cardiff Castle from Queen Street
St John street
St John street
St Johns Church
St Johns Church
The Hayes
The Hayes
The Hayes
The Hayes
The Hayes, Cardiff (near Duke of Wellington)
The Hayes, Cardiff (near Duke of Wellington)
Cardiff Library and John Lewis
Cardiff Library and John Lewis
Wales Millennium Centre - Cardiff Bay. Inscription on the centre exterior are: In these stones horizons sing, and "Creu Gwir Fel Gwydr o Ffwrnais Awens" which translate as Creating truth like glass from the furnace of inspiration
Wales Millennium Centre – Cardiff Bay. Inscription on the centre exterior are: In these stones horizons sing, and “Creu Gwir Fel Gwydr o Ffwrnais Awens” which translate as Creating truth like glass from the furnace of inspiration
Pierhead Building
Pierhead Building
Wales Millennium Centre - Cardiff Bay for theatres, galleries, restaurants, bars, shops, free family fun and behind the scenes tours
Wales Millennium Centre – Cardiff Bay for theatres, galleries, restaurants, bars, shops, free family fun and behind the scenes tours
Roald Dahl Plass - Cardiff Bay
Roald Dahl Plass – Cardiff Bay
People Like Us sculpture at Cardiff Bay
People Like Us sculpture at Cardiff Bay
Techniquest (Science Center) at Cardiff Bay
Techniquest (Science Center) at Cardiff Bay

 

Cardiff Bay
Cardiff Bay
Pierhead Building - Cardiff Bay
Pierhead Building – Cardiff Bay
Cardiff Bay
Cardiff Bay
Cardiff Bay
Cardiff Bay
St Mary Street Cardiff
St Mary Street Cardiff
Fathan at Pierhead Clock
Fathan at Pierhead Clock
Pierhead Clock at St Marry Street
Pierhead Clock at St Marry Street
One of the halal eateries on Caroline Street
One of the halal eateries on Caroline Street
Walking down Caroline St (The Hayes area off St Mary Street, opposite Philharmonic Hall) where many halal outlets are available
Walking down Caroline St (The Hayes area off St Mary Street, opposite Philharmonic Hall) where many halal outlets are available
One of the most consonant-based languages  I've ever seen. 7 consonants in one word?
One of the most consonant-based languages I’ve ever seen. 7 consonants in one word?
Cardiff Central Station
Cardiff Central Station

 

Liverpool & Manchester – April 2014

Late post from our trip to UK in April 2014. Whoao that’s almost one year ago!

We landed at Liverpool’s John Lennon International Airport , from Belfast, leaving behind the birthplace of Titanic to the city that never enjoyed the sight of the Titanic steaming up the Mersey although it was designed here.

One prominent landmark at John Lennon International Airport is “Yellow Submarine” inspired by a song written by the Beatles in 1966. Remember the song?

We actually just transited in Liverpool before continuing to Manchester and staying there for two days. Liverpool had our 6-hour visit this time though (I’ve been here in 2012 for the first time).

So here how it were. Took a taxi to Lime Street Station, dropped our luggage to Left Luggage, took another taxi to Liverpool FC’s Anfield Stadium, then headed to The Wheel of Liverpool at Albert Dock. We spent a good time in Albert Dock including its Liverpool Museum before returning to Lime Street Station through Liverpool One with a stop at Cavern Quarter for the Beatles. We had our lunch at one of the halal restaurants close to the station before embarking a 50-min trip to Manchester.

Manchester

It’s the same Manchester as one I visited in 2012: multicultural, creative hive, football prowess, music history (Oasis, anyone?)

Manchester Piccadilly station welcomed us that evening with its comforting cold weather. Walking about 400m from the station we arrived at SACO Apartment, centrally located in the heart of Manchester, few minutes walk  from Piccadilly Garden and Central Manchester.

During this 2-night stay in Manchester we covered: Market Street (shopping area), Manchester Cathedral, National Football Museum, Hard Rock Cafe (a must!), Manchester United’s Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium (tour), and Museum of Science and Industry (should I say a must again?)

Check our pictures from these two cities.

Yellow Submarine at John Lennon International Airport
Yellow Submarine at John Lennon International Airport
Liverpool's Lime Street Station
Liverpool’s Lime Street Station
Liverpool FC's Anfield Stadium
Liverpool FC’s Anfield Stadium
Liverpool FC's Anfield Stadium
Liverpool FC’s Anfield Stadium
Albert Dock
Albert Dock
The Wheel of Liverpool
The Wheel of Liverpool
The Wheel of Liverpool
The Wheel of Liverpool
Liverpool from The Wheel of Liverpool
Liverpool from The Wheel of Liverpool
Echo Arena Liverpool
Echo Arena Liverpool
Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral from The Wheel of Liverpool
Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral from The Wheel of Liverpool
Albert Dock from The Wheel of Liverpool
Albert Dock from The Wheel of Liverpool
Liverpool
Liverpool
Albert Dock
Albert Dock
Museum of Liverpool
Museum of Liverpool
Inside Museum of Liverpool
Inside Museum of Liverpool
Museum of Liverpool
Museum of Liverpool
Who is he?
Who is he?
Shopping anyone? At Liverpool ONE
Shopping anyone? At Liverpool ONE
St John's Garden and St George Hall
St John’s Garden and St George Hall
North Western Hall next to Lime Street Station
North Western Hall next to Lime Street Station
SACO Apartment Manchester
SACO Apartment Manchester
Tram ply Manchester
Tram ply Manchester
Piccadilly Garden
Piccadilly Garden – Manchester
Hard Rock Cafe Manchester at the Printworks
Hard Rock Cafe Manchester at the Printworks
National Football Museum - Manchester
National Football Museum – Manchester
National Football Museum - Manchester
National Football Museum – Manchester
National Football Museum - Manchester
National Football Museum – Manchester
View towards Manchester Cathedral
View towards Manchester Cathedral
Street performer at Market Street
Street performer at Market Street
Next stop: Old Trafford
Next stop: Old Trafford
MU's Old Trafford Stadium
MU’s Old Trafford Stadium
A Chelsea fan, Fathan blocked 'Chelsea' for MU defeated Chelsea poster
A Chelsea fan, Fathan blocked ‘Chelsea’ for MU defeated Chelsea poster
Sir Matt Busby Way - Old Trafford
Sir Matt Busby Way – Old Trafford
Old Trafford Stadium from distance
Old Trafford Stadium from distance
Deansgate-Castlefield on the way to Museum of Science and Industry
Deansgate-Castlefield on the way to Museum of Science and Industry
Fathan at Museum of Science and Industry
Fathan at Museum of Science and Industry
Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester
Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester
At Museum of Science and Industry
At Museum of Science and Industry
One of the first computers at MOSI
One of the first computers at MOSI
Loco at MOSI
Loco at MOSI
Manchester City's Etihad Stadium
Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium
Etihad Stadium
Etihad Stadium
ManCity Museum
ManCity Museum
Etihad Stadium - Board Room Seats
Etihad Stadium – Board Room Seats
Aguerooooo....At 93:20 minute Aguero scored a winning goal that made ManCity won the premier league ever since 44 years
Aguerooooo….At 93:20 minute Aguero scored a winning goal that made ManCity won the premier league ever since 44 years
ManCity Dressing Room
ManCity Dressing Room
ManCity Press Room
ManCity Press Room
Etihad Stadium
Etihad Stadium
Etihad Stadium seats
Etihad Stadium seats
Panoramic view of the Etihad stadium
Panoramic view of the Etihad stadium
City Store
City Store
Manchester Piccadilly Station
Manchester Piccadilly Station
Manchester Piccadilly Station - ready to go to Cardiff
Manchester Piccadilly Station – ready to go to Cardiff
Bye Manchester...
Bye Manchester…