Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Day Three - Monday: Trafalga Square, National Museum, Soho, and Old Comton road

The morning repeated itself, I woke up way too early by the streaming sunlight and felt rather under slept.

The destination of the day was the National Museum. I figured I could hit two hot spots in one go since Trafalgar Square is right in front of the museum. There are also several location of interests in the area as well.

First the Trafalgar Square. It was bigger than I thought but then I think I got mixed up with the Piccadilly Circus.
The square is right in front of the National Museum.

I did not know what to expect from the place but I enjoyed what I have found. Turns out the museum is the painting museum.

I think the first painting I ran into was 'The Virgin on the Rock' by Leonardo da Vinci. My first impression of the painting was that the skins of all the people in the painting seems unusually pale. I spent quite a lot of time in the museum walking from room to room, looking at all the different paintings. The museum also had a computer room, with touch screen monitor for visitors to use to browse all the paintings in their archive. You can scroll through, read up on the info and tidbits of the paintings, and even zoom in to take a closer look :)

The souvenir shop was also quite interesting. They have necktie, mug, cup, key chain, etc. with the patterns of famous paintings. Like Monet's waterlily pond and Van Gogh's Sunflower. I would be quite tempted, had it not for the fact that I hate wearing ties. Not to mention the price.

After touring the museum, I walked out pass the National Portrait Museum and into Old Compton Street in Soho area. The area that I was told is one of the gay area in London. I even saw the actor Adrian Paul walking through Old Compton Street talking on his cellphone looking rather anxious as if he was already late for appointment.

I walked around the area, almost lost even, and ventured into the China Town area.

It was not big, just one street even, but you will know right away that it is China town :) I think it was in this area that I finally found one shop that do top-up for my particular SIM card.

After walking around so much I started to get hungry. I had my mind set on Italian food this times so I scouted the price of various Italian restaurant, in Soho area of course :P And finally found this one, as the cheapest one :P

I was tempted to order the cabonara but eventually decided on Verdi Lasagna instead which is lasagna with green color pasta. It taste quite good :dd I was not disappointed at all. The place was quite small but seems to be ran by Italians staffs.

If I remember correctly, I went to have another private moment today :P Afterward I bought my first 'Mars ice cream' :dd I Loved it. I wish they would sell it here.

Then I returned to the B&B, they were having dinner so I join in as well. Then I watch TV and chit chat with the owner. And then I went to bed.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Day Two - Sunday: Seeing London Eye, Big Ben, and the Parliament

I woke up a bit early than I want, probably due to the sunlight that streaming into my bedroom as well as the jetlag (I think).

Anyhow, once I freshen up and go down to the living room, the owner is making breakfast so I join in along with other guests :dd The breakfast consists of bacon, scramble egg and wholegrain toasts. The toasts were great, I think I will eat more bread if they sell them in Bangkok.

Then I am off, on my own for the first times, into the city. My destination of the day is located near Waterloo subway station: London Eye, Big Ben and The Parliament building.

First stop, Waterloo station, which is just one stop away from Kennington, I walked through the passover bridge and into the yard area near the London Eye.

There was a very long queue lining up to go up the Eye.

So I decided to walk around the area instead. I start by walking near the river and take a few snaps at the Dali statues.
The building nearby comprised of Dali exhibition, London Aquarium, McDonald, Namco arcade, Fright Lab (a kind of haunted house I suppose), restaurant, and cafe. After meandering around the area for quite a good while, I walked over to see Big Ben and the Parliament.

After I had enough with the walking I headed back toward the station and had my first Fish & Chips. I had to do the take out menu to take advantage of the cheaper price (with a bottle of drink no less :d). It was ok but the potatoes are rather... tasteless... which did not bode well when I finish with the fish.

Then I walk around the area and found an IMAX theater with Dark Knight decor. It was nice, I was thinking about went inside to see the interior but later forgot about it.
Then I found my way into another establishment and had myself another private time :P

Then I went back to the B&B and sleep... I still felt lightheaded and sleepy around 22:00.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Day One: Continue -: Covent Garden, Oxford Street and Regent Street

While I was on my way to the B&B, I called Grace to catch up and inadvertently made a plan to meet her in about an hour :p

Needless to say, I was running a bit late by the time I finally found the B&B. I hurriedly put away my luggage, shower, change clothes and hurried out the door. I think I arrived at the rendezvous point, near Holborn subway station, at about 11:20am London time. We met at a coffee shop called 'Eat' where I made my first purchase in London, a bottle of frizzle lemonade :d

Then they walked me around quite a bit. First to Covent Garden, then Oxford Street and Regent Street.

We also stop by Fortnam & Mason, a fancy small department store. With stunning window display and decor (At least in the candy & sweet section).

Then we also stop at a big toy department store. Grace and her hubby suggested it because of the top floor. Of which they sold merchandise from fantasy movies, like Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and Narnia.

It was a pretty long walk, and I started to get lightheaded from lack of sleep while in the plane. So around 15:00 I excused myself and go back to the B&B.

Once I got back I spend a bit of time on the B&B's computer, Mac in this case, and go take a nap so I can go out in the evening.

The night out was not quite fruitful for me... I eventually come back home around 22:00 and finally collapse on the bed. The sleep came easy due to the exhaustion and chilliness of the weather.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Day One: Bangkok -> Doha -> London

The flight went quite smoothly with little hitch. I got some sleep on the plane but surely it wasn't enough.

I use Qatar airways this time as it is the cheapest one. I am surprised that there are TV screen at the back of each seats. You can choose to watch a wide range of shows, movies, and TV shows. It was quite a nice surprise. I gets to see The Spiderwick Chronicle :P Though in the picture below I was watching Friends.

The food was also surprisingly good. It was a fish menu with carrot and string bean. The dessert was cheesecake as well :dd It was so good that I ask for another set :d.

While I was in Doha for transit, I use the bathroom there and found another surprise. They have the washing hose, just like in Thailand, but they use warm water!!. Although this made me very happy, the overall hygiene needs quite an improvement... Most of the toilets were wet on the floor. I solve the problem by went into disabilities toilet :P Apart from the bigger size it was cleaner and certainly smell better.

From Doha to London, the plane seems to be a bit smaller and certainly seems, older model than the first. The TV screen is smaller and the bathroom position seems awkward. The meal was not as good as the first one but still edible. I got to chat up a bit with the man sitting next to me who looks Caucasian/Arab mix but said he's from Kenya. There was 30 minutes delay before the plane take off... While we were on the plane no less.

Once we landed, the line at immigration was crazily long. I think I was queued up for 20 minutes. But once I was up at the counter there was no problem. The line was so long that when I arrive at the luggage claim, mine was already on the belt. I spotted it right away as it has unique pattern and colour, my mom had chose them :)

I had to ask for directions a few times before to get to the subway station. Finally, I got to the station entrance and queue up to buy oyster card. There was a man behind me in the queue whom I asked a bit about the card and subway system. I did not think he is British but he speak good English. He turned out to be the chatty type, which I did not really mind. Since he is kinda sexy, see picture below :P

I also think I saw Mary J. Blidge. Though I am not sure, I manage to secretly take a photo of her with my phone so it was not be very clear.

I had changed the train twice, as my new friend pointed out. It was more direct and possibly take less time. It still took me about one hour twenty minutes to get to the station near my B&B.

And then it took me quite a long while to find my B&B because I am not familiar with the house number system here... But with the help of several locales, I finally found it.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Prologue: The London Trip

I arrived safely in London, although the flight was rather long, the food was good.

Since I have taken quite a number of photos already and I wants to really enjoy myself here. I will spend a bit of time to do draft each day and will only publish it when I uploaded photos to accompany the post.

The weather here is quite nice , but the fierce wind made me glad that I bring the jacket.

Now I am quite lightheaded from the lack of sleep. So I will go to bed soon.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Eve of My Travel

My London trip will start tomorrow. Now the child in me said just forget the whole thing and stay home. I think the problem is that I will be on my own and not part of tour group. At this moment, I felt like my heart is in my throat.

Hopefully the nervousness will melt away once I am on the plane. I really needs to get used to this. After all I do wants to do more traveling later on.

Flying out tomorrow, the B&B will have a computer so I might do some blogging while there.

And I will try to take lots of photos.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Grave Mistake: Should Have Been More Careful

I went to see Hellboy II: The Golden Army today and I made a grave mistake. I was so hung up on which theater to watch it in that i forgot to ask whether it is dub or soundtrack. Imagine my surprise when the movie starts... It was a freakin' Dubbed!!!

Since it already paid for, the movie is about to start, I was kind froze up and do not know what else to do... Needless to say I am not happy with myself nor with what happen.

The movie was fun nonetheless. Now I am trying to seek out the English soundtrack one... Which is harder than I expected. But hopefully it will be done before my trip.

I already exchange some money, planning on taking some cards as well. I am excited, nervous and anxious. Being the type that do not particularly likes to go out, it is not that easy for me to make a trip. But I am determine and motivated.

My London trip will begin this Friday :O

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Anxious Feeling Toward the Trip

As the departure day approached, I started to feel quite anxious about the trip.

First off, the currency exchange rate make me feel infuriated. The Baht is getting weaker by days and closing in on 68 Baht per pound... Make me badly regret that I did n't exchange my money back in April when it still around 63 Baht. I blame the government on this...

I guess what I am most anxious about is the uncertainty. Since I will be travelling on my own for the first time ever. No family, no tour guide, and no definite plans. I know somebody are into that style of travelling but I think I am not one of those people :p

I Need to start packing this weekend... Hopefully that will workout Ok. Upon checking the weather forecast I think I should pack my umbrella as well...

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Musics From So You Think You Can Dance

I became a fan of the show... Something I am a bit reluctant to admit but here it is... I even download the fourth season from the net the day it release :p

Here are two of the songs that were used by the contestants. I love the song so I managed to upload it to youtube to share with other people :)

This one is No Man by Nina Storey

And Hurt So Bad by Kina

Now I am moving into final phase of the trip preparation... So to speak... Have to start packing soon and get some money exchanged and packing and note down phone numbers from my emails and... Agghh... this get my head reeling...

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Busy & Lazy

It's been a while since my last post... My reason is that I have been both busy and lazy :P

Busy: I was quite busy at work last week, so the three days weekends was a nice change of pace. I have also been preoccupied with the new DS game 'Final Fantasy Tactics Advance 2' The game play is quite addictive and I have been playing almost non-stop since the day it was released. Although I like some of the new system, I miss many of the old discarded ones. Anyway, I did not stay home all day on during the three days though. I had done a highschool reunion, a lunch date, and shopping trip, respectively each day.

And it was not all relatively relaxing as I thought... Since I was banging away on my DS, playing my way through FFTA2 game. I even slept quite late because of it too :p

I also felt like I should went and see some movie... It's been so long since I was in a cinema that I forgot what was the last movie I saw! Hellboy 2 will be in theater next week... I think I will catch it on Monday after next, just before my London trip :D.

Lazy: I was really preoccupied by that game that I have little interest in other things. Except food, regular TV shows, and comic books.

Something strange also been going on for quite a while now... I cannot open anything from blogspot host, without using proxy server. I wondered if it just some mishap with connection or the government try to blocked out some blogs... The strange thing is that I can still open blogger host, as I can make this post, so this is quite perplexing