London Travel Diaries: Week 7

You are probably wondering why I am still writing about London, honestly it’s because I love reminiscing and having a virtual scrapbook of pictures and memories. Needing to buy a gift meant heading off to the dreaded Oxford Street which is always extremely busy. Shopping in London was a rather disappointing experience, I think you need to know where the outlet stores are or order online in order to get anything nice. I also finally stopped procrastinating and booked tickets for my first show in London and my very first opera ever, Madame Butterfly. 

Baveshan invited me for a drink at Harrild and Sons which turned into dinner at The Fable, because one has to eat right! Having not had lamb for two months I had a lamb burger and cowboy fries. Grocery shopping isn’t expensive in London and it can often be cheaper than in SA, it’s the going out that will kill your budget especially if there is any booze involved. Budget for £20 – £30 for a meal and drink at a non fancy place. Work was situated close to the busy Fleet Street which boasts stunning views of St Pauls. People often go out during their lunch break to buy lunch. Since coming back home I have sorely missed my lunch time walks with Baveshan. It was great to have a break outside, get a little exercise with always a new place to visit, new sight to see and new picture to take. 

I love how you can catch a train to basically anywhere in the UK, even to Edinburgh! This is really convenient if you are travelling since you don’t need to hire a car which was definitely not something I was going to do. I took the train on Friday evening from Kings Cross to visit my family who stay out of London. The ceiling here is beautifully constructed and Instagram worthy. Of course the most important part of the station is the chance to channel your Harry Potter vibes at platform 9 and 3/4. You have to pay and queue even if you don’t want a professional photo taken. Boy, was this station busy! If you are travelling from here, do factor in the extra time needed to pick up your ticket, check the train platform (often released 10min before), walk to the platform and then walk to right carriage. The train ride was 20 minutes and although its only 60km away it would take more than hour to drive it. A return ticket did not come cheap, and at 28 pounds it was almost the same price as my weekly tube pass. The train can be a little daunting at night because the stops don’t get announced and in the dark you can’t see the names outside.

Saturday was a beautiful day to drive out Cambridge. We visited the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences and walked around the town before grabbing Nando’s for lunch. Sedgwick is a good museum to visit with kids especially if they like dinosaurs, although the museum isn’t on the same scale as the ones in London. Nandos is quite popular in the UK, I don’t think the locals know it is South African though. I love the bottomless cokes but think it silly to have to pay extra for peri-peri on my chips! The Fitzwilliam museum is housed in a beautiful building that has a strikingly gorgeous entrance hall with detailed work on the ceilings. I felt like a kid that got the right toy in a lucky packet when I stumbled upon paintings by Monet.

The buildings and campuses in Cambridge are so beautiful, I wish I had the opportunity to study at a place so pretty and rich in history. If you want to visit any of the colleges the best way to do so is a walking tour. Do watch out where you are walking because there are cyclists everywhere and you will probably be in their way. University students make extra cash by punting. Punting is a not so fancy way of saying boating in a boat called a punt. If you are not scared about potentially falling into the water a trip to Cambridge should end with a ride in a punt. The weather was gloomy on Sunday so I stayed at home and bonded with the kids. Seeing family made me realize that I was homesick and I bawled my way home on the train back to the lonely city of London. I have learnt that you can be surrounded by people in an extremely busy place but yet still manage to be incredibly lonely.

Sights seen: Kings Cross, Letchworth, Stotfold, Cambridge, Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences, Fitzwilliam Museum, River Cam, Kings College

1. Harrild & Sons / 2. The Fable / 3. Dinner with B / 4. Gino D’Acampo / 5. Fleet street / 6. Department of Coffee and Social Affairs / 7. Love the buildings here / 8. Kings Cross Station / 9. Houses in Stotfold / 10&11. Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences / 12&13. Bicycles everywhere / 14-19, 22-25. Unknown campus grounds / 20. Posing by a door / 21&26. All Saints Church / 23. Cool branches / 27. Colour blocking blue door / 28. Street looks similar to Camden / 29&30. University campus / 31. Fitzwiliam museum / 32. Nandos / 33. Picture perfect street / 34-48. Fitzwilliam museum / 49 & 50. Church & graveyard / 51. Pretty buildings / 52&53, 55. Punting / 54. Students drinking on the grass / 56. Street name on a building / 57. A church on every corner / 58. More bicycles than people / 59-65. Kings College / 66. Model of the town / 67&68. Street watching / 69. Market / 70. First pretty sunset in the UK / 71. My adorable niece

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Sights seen: 8
Photos taken: 568
Pounds spent: 122

Love & Travel,
CG

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4 thoughts on “London Travel Diaries: Week 7

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