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.

07 December, 2012

London Solo Trip #9 Too Late!

While planning the itinerary for my final day in London, I had to make sure all my destinations were near and do not consume too much time because my bus was departing Victoria station at 12pm. I chose to visit tourist sights at the South Kensington area since it was the nearest to the Malaysian Hall and I could walk pass Kensington Garden again to take more photos of stuff I missed the day before. I also had to wake up before 8am so that I could make sure everything was packed properly before I leave the hall.

So far I didn't mention about the constant pain I had at the soles of both feet whenever I put pressure on them. I knew I did too much walking but since it was the last day, I grit my teeth to walk to South Kensington, taking short breaks whenever there was a burning sensation around my feet. I started my day at 8.15am and walked to Albert Memorial area. Just around the time I was taking pictures of the memorial and Royal Albert Hall, a swarm of tourists from Pakistan arrived in a tour coach and they were all crowding at the memorial. I took the opportunity to get help from them to take pictures of me.
I went on to Prince Consort Road to get a better view of the hall as well as Royal College of Music (below)
While planning my itinerary the night before, I made a point to familiarise myself with South Kensington roads  so that I could plan the shortest route to my destinations without straining my feet. Exhibition Road and Queen's Gate are two of the main roads which lead to the 3 museums of South Kensington. These museums all open at 10am and I was obviously too early. I walked along Queen's Gate and to my surprise, I found the Baden Powell House at the junction of Cromwell Road. As a former cub scout and later a scout, I am familiar with Lord Baden Powell and seeing a whole place paying tribute to him is quite amazing. Directly opposite the Baden Powell House was the Natural History Museum.
Statue of Lord Baden Powell at the entrance.
I didn't expect a 200m long queue outside the museum.
The Natural History Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum are probably the grandest museums I have seen since Kelvingrove Art Gallery back in Glasgow. One thing I noticed about these museums in London is that they all have long queues at the main entrances. It was almost 10am and I was very discouraged to enter since I would probably spend more time queuing than actually exploring the museum. While walking to the Science Museum along Exhibition Road, I found another entrance to the Natural History Museum without a queue, so I went in. What a strange situation when everyone waited in line at the main entrance while the side entrance was wide open without anyone except the usher. I took lots of photos in the museum and somehow found my way exiting at the main entrance, walking pass the long line of tourists and school children. That was a prime example of "crowd attracts crowd".
The iconic Globe escalator in the museum.
It was almost 10.30am and I traveled back to the Malaysian Hall via Circle line from South Kensington tube station. Then I got all my luggage, checked out from Malaysian Hall and got back to Bayswater tube station to take the same Circle line train to Victoria station. At that time I thought to myself "it was just a few minutes to 11am, I have an hour to get to Victoria station, nothing will go wrong...". Guess what? Suddenly there was an announcement at the tube station saying that there was an emergency maintenance/repair thingy along the Circle line and all trains were delayed for a while. My heart started racing with fear that I may miss my bus back to Glasgow. True enough, Murphy's law struck at the worst time... I arrived at Victoria tube station at 12pm, ran like a crazy person while enduring the piercing pain from my feet, then I saw my bus leaving the station right in front of me and I was helpless.
Harrods had a crowd admiring tiaras displayed to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
I was very depressed. I sat in the bus station for almost 30 minutes staring at the floor, angry at myself for not foreseeing this. Soon after I decided to buy another ticket for the 5pm bus which was estimated to arrive in Glasgow after 3am. My initial hopes to keep a £150 budget was shattered since the last minute ticket costs £21 in addition to my wasted £5 ticket. While eating lunch at Subway, I realised that I had 5 hours to kill and decided to visit those thing I didn't get to visit earlier, namely Harrods. I made it a point to return to the bus station more than 2 hours before the bus leaves, better paranoid than late again.

The last part will be about my bus back to Glasgow and believe me, even that was eventful.


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