GLOCCOVNAA is an abbreviation for 'Great Life of Conflict, Climax or Virtually Nothing At All'. That was the long and ridiculous name I came out for my blog when I was 18 years old. Do click on the colourful icons on the right to check out different types of posts in this blog.

24 November, 2012

London Solo Trip #1 Planning

LONDON!!! Here I come!!!
Between January and May was the busiest time of my life as a student. Presentations, assignments and tests were gushing continuously at us around February and March while the final exam was in early May. While trying to work off my research project stress, I decided to plan for a trip to London almost immediately after my final exam. By April, I submitted my research project and made all my arrangements for the London trip out of the excitement the day after the submission. One of the major considerations I had was that my parents and I already had plans to visit London in July. So I should focus on visiting sights that they probably wouldn't want to visit instead of overlapping. Even then, I still decided that London was huge and I still needed at least 4 days 3 nights to barely skim through those highlights.
Even if it was overlapping, I had to take this picture of the London's trinity, the booth, the ben and the bus.
I started by booking a return bus ticket costing only £5 per journey from Megabus. I will elaborate more when I get to the part about the bus journey later on as it was an interesting experience by itself. I also heard for seniors that the Malaysian Hall at Bayswater offers discounted rates for students, and by discounted rates I mean ridiculously cheap £11 per night. There were 2 main issues about the Malaysian hall. Firstly there was a curfew at 11pm which was quite early for a hostel. Secondly, there was a 2 night maximum stay policy. It was also stated in their policy that requests for stay beyond the 2 nights will only be entertained if there were vacancies available. Personally, I did not want to take such a risk if I needed that extra night. I finally settled by booking another hostel for the first night at Piccadilly Backpackers Hostel before transferring to the Malaysian hall for the other two nights.
Words cannot describe how proud I was to see that flag.
After getting both my accomodation and bus tickets, the only thing left to do was to check out tourist sights and the mode of transportation within London. Though London is enormous, getting from landmark to landmark becomes much easier and economical with the London Underground a.k.a. the Tube. The amazing thing was that unlike cities in Italy where we had to buy either the day pass or a single journey ticket, the tube charges a certain amount for the first few journeys before hitting a limit of £7 and subsequent journeys will appear as £0 for the rest of the day. All this is accomplished by the miracle of the Oyster card, not exactly a miracle after knowing how it works actually. One thing to bear in mind is that the Oyster card charges a refundable deposit of £5, so if you are leaving London for good, remember to get your money back by returning the card to any ticket counter.
Somerset House courtyard is so elegant.
If you have read my blog enough, you should know that I am a pseudo film buff. When planning for my trip, the first things I searched the internet for were filming locations in London. Tonnes of films were filmed in London whether it was intended to be set in London or not. I mentioned setting because many locations, for example the Somerset House, was used in Goldeneye to show St Petersburg, Russia. Besides that, I was also interested in visiting two world famous football stadiums, Emirates Stadium and Stamford Bridge Stadium. There was also a suburban market at Camden Town that I saw on many Taiwanese travel shows that I really wanted to visit.
Always wanted to see a small working lock in Camden.
So weaving all these tourist sights into my itinerary was an interesting challenge by itself. I did all that the old fashion style, writing everything on paper. I made many lists, some for famous restaurants, some for ticket prices, some for main sights and all that were fed into the main itinerary that was modified probably more than 50 times even until the day before the journey.
Wrote lots of notes on used paper.
Next will be the start of my journey...


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