Yet another tour to Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge Stadium. If not for Fathan, a die-hard Chelsea fan, I’d probably not re-visit this stadium for the second time! And particularly knowing that I’m not a Chelsea fan.
Fathan couldn’t hide his excitement; his smiling face, sparkling eyes throughout the tour was very obvious. He always wanted to be at forefront in any tour site. I couldn’t help feeling happier to see him.
Late posting from last year’s trip to Windsor, Stonehenge and Oxford. Initially we thought of arranging the tour ourselves and we have meticulously planed all details but then we changed the plan due to time constraints. We then chose Golden Tour (on Buckingham Palace Road, Victoria Station) to cover Windsor, Stonehenge and Oxford in one day.
Here what the tour covered:
It’s hard to believe that the imposing Windsor Castle is a working residence, but pay a visit to this lavish fortress and you’ll soon discover why it’s still the Queen’s favourite weekend home! Overlooking the Thames and a stone’s throw away from Windsor town, the castle has been a fixture on the landscape for almost 1000 years. During this visit you will be able to peek inside the luxurious State Apartments, where 39 monarchs have lived over the years since the castle was built. Keep your eyes open for priceless artwork on the walls by Leonardo da Vinci and Rembrandt!
You will also see the Queen Mary’s Dolls’ House, a beautiful model royal home that features electricity, running water and working lifts – every young Queen’s dream!
Spy the mysterious Stonehenge as you approach Salisbury Plain – you’ll be able to get up close to the 5,000 year old monument during this visit to the stones. Sitting strikingly on the landscape, Stonehenge’s origins have puzzled experts for hundreds of years, so make up your own mind and solve the mystery yourself!
Walking Tour of Oxford
Stroll through quaint cobbled streets and get a real feel for the historic city of Oxford during this guided walking tour. Oxford University is the oldest university in the English-speaking world, and gifted alumni include T S Eliot, Hugh Grant and Bill Clinton! You’ll see the famous 17th century Bodleian Library, a huge library packed with research and literature. Continue your history lesson with a wander through the college courtyards – these charming squares can be found dotted throughout the city!
First stop. We decided not to go inside the castle and rather took a detour to The Long Walk. Not to be missed is a guard change ceremony.
.: 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.
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
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
The Elizabeth Tower and surroundings
Oxford Street, and Leicester Square shopping area and their surroundings
Cardiff (Welsh: Caerdydd) isthe 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?
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.
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?)
From Edinburgh we flew easyjet to Belfast International Airport, an almost one-hour flying with a ticket as low as 30 GBP one-way. The airport is located about 30km northwest of Belfast from which we took a taxi to Premier Inn Belfast City Cathedral Quarter. The strategic location of the hotel means that we are basically within walking distances to many of the Belfast point of interests such as Belfast City Hall, Albert Memorial Clock, The Big Fish, Cathedral Quarter and Victoria Square Shopping Centre. Belfast City Sightseeing Bus Tour starting point is also located within 300m from the hotel.
Although we checked-in quite early (around 9am), the hotel could accommodate us hence we could start early exploring Belfast. Within minutes we’re already onboard the sightseeing bus. The first stop is Titanic Belfast located at Titanic Quarter. Home to Titanic Museum, Titanic Belfast is also sited very close to launching site of Titanic, back in 1912.
As time is limited, we did not opt to visit the museum but instead checking surroundings, and then heading to Titanic’s Dock and Pump-house, passing Samson and Goliath Cranes and Titanic Drawing Offices. A visit to bottom of Titanic’s Dock gave us dramatic impressions on sheer size of Titanic when it was built and last sat on dry ground.
Continuing on the bus tour, guided by a humorous yet knowledgeable guide, we visited or passed through many areas of Belfast, from Parliament Buildings, George Best Belfast City Airport, conflict areas (between Nationalist and Unionist), troubled past scenes, the one-and-only bullet proof CCTV, universities, touristic areas to Belfast City Hall.
After quick nap in our hotel, we continued exploring the city by walking around the hotel, starting from Cathedral Quarter, Albert Memorial Clock, to the Big Fish and finishing at Victoria Square. That afternoon/evening walk concluded our short visit to Belfast, a city we had never imagined we would step on it.
This capital city of Northern Ireland, the birthplace of Titanic, keeps the scars of Belfast’s troubled past (1969 – 1997), while starts celebrating awakening moment as an intriguing destination. The friendly people we met also adds easy justification why a visit to Belfat might be a rewarding one.
Late post from our all-four UK capitals-trip back in April 2014. First, Edinburgh and Glasgow. As usual, a crash tour was employed 🙂
We flew British Airways, promo tickets from Doha to London then Edinburgh with transit in Bahrain. It costs us (3 adults 1 children) nearly 10K QR for this leg plus London – Doha on the way back.
From Edinburgh Airport, we took Airlink bus to Waverley Station. The bus terminates at Waverley Bridge. From here, our hotel, Destiny Scotland – St. Andrews Square Apartments, is only 200m away, walking back the street and crossing Princes St. to St. Andrews Street.
Once we arrived at Waverley, the crash program started. Soon after we loaded our luggage in our room, we’re back to Waverley Station, ready to depart to Glasgow, an hour train ride.
Once in Glasgow, we managed to have a quick 3-hour walking tour around the city center before returning to Edinburgh.
The following day was Edinburgh day. Amid cold rain (down to 2 C), we visited Edinburgh Castle, Camera Obscura, Princes Garden and Princes Street, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Mosque, and The Royal Mile.
We checked out early morning to take Airlink bus to Edinburgh Airport that saw us flying to the second UK capital to visit: Belfast, Northern Ireland.
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