London Travel Diaries: Week 8

I was feeling quite chuffed at this point, convinced that if I had made it this far without getting sick then I wasn’t going to. What a silly thing to believe right? I got proper sick this week with the worse cold I have ever had. Note I didn’t say flu. I absolutely hate it when people say they have the flu when it’s just a cold. London germs are on another level plus the meds just don’t seem to work that well. I could never understand the big deal about sinus problems until now. My nose felt like it was going to explode from the pain especially when I was outside in the cold. My recovery took the entire week because I didn’t rest. At the end of it all there was one conclusion to be made, I would take South African germs over British germs any day!

Slightly drugged on cold medicine I made my way to Royal Albert Hall to watch Madame Butterfly. The design of the hall is strikingly majestic basking in golden light outside and nothing short of grandeur inside. Upon reaching my seat I was informed I could be upgraded to a much better seat close to the stage. I couldn’t believe my luck. The stage was stunning and the opera performance breathtaking. It was my first opera and I realized after awhile it is okay to not be able to understand every single word.

The lunch time walk involved buying more meds and visiting the street food market near the office. My dinner plans were meeting a few people at a vegetarian Indian restaurant. As an Indian, the food served at Indian restaurants is never good enough especially if its vegetarian. I also learnt the hard way about group bills. Londoners seem to prefer split bills (laziness?), which might be fine if you are earning pounds. But when you are earning rands and paying pounds, 10 pounds extra is a lot to pay for someone else’s food. It is also generally the person who orders the most – think 2 starters, 2 mains and dessert who wants a split bill. My word of advice is to keep up with everyone else otherwise you will be out of pocket. This is only really a problem with big groups and with people you aren’t that close with. I didn’t have a problem when it was with my close friends because I knew they aren’t the type to screw you over.

I probably should have stayed at home on Friday night but I can never say no to hanging out with Michelle. We made a quick drinks stop at a farewell before our original plans got side tracked and we ended up at Krua for dinner. This was the most expensive meal I ate in London but also the most delicious. The restaurant was eager for us to get going, they grabbed our napkins and even started sweeping! We got the hint but 11pm seemed to be an early time to go home so naturally we stopped for bubbles.

The intention was to go home at midnight. But somehow between Baveshan wanting McDonalds, me going on the same train home and his friend wanting to go Heaven we ended up at Heaven. This also was the first time I took the night bus home by myself.

One thing you have to know about me is that I am unable to get ready in a hurry. So when Michelle phoned me while I was stil lazing around in pjs to join Baveshan and her for lunch I got there once they were done. If you are a fan of truffle chips you have to pay The Laughing Gravy in Southwark a visit. So very delicious! We wandered around Greenwich, Cutty Sark and the market for a bit before finding a place to smoke shisha. Another first for me!

Everyone (mainly Baveshan who was just so hungry this weekend) was hungry at this point so we walked along the pier to the Trafalgar Tavern pub. Boy was it a windy and cold walk! I also caught a glimpse of the ugly O2 arena. We walked passed the Old Royal Naval College which is hauntingly beautiful at night.

I started feeling the effects of no rest on Saturday and Sunday so I didn’t manage to do much. I decided to not venture far from the apartment and visited the Saatchi Gallery. The works on display change and it I thoroughly enjoyed the visit. This should be a definite addition on your list of things to do in London. I couldn’t resist visiting the Michael Kors store near the gallery but did resist the temptation of buying a handbag. I spent a very short time at the Victoria and Albert museum, barely scratching the surface of the amount of works to be seen. The parks and museums in London are so very special and not something you could ever tire of. I am not sure how I managed but I had quite a busy week even though I was rather sick!

Sights seen: Royal Albert Hall, Heaven, Southwark, Cutty Sark, Greenwich Market, O2 Arena, Old Royal Naval College, Saatchi Gallery & Victoria & Albert Museum.

1- 9. Madame Butterfly at Royal Albert Hall / 10. Love the lunch carrier bags / 11. Street food market / 12. Paneer curry at Sagar / 13-17. Dinner at Krua / 18. Bubbles / 19. Southwark tube stop / 20-22. The Laughing Gravy / 23. Bicycles outside Canary Wharf / 24. Cutty Sark / 25 & 26. Greenwich market / 27. The Thames / 28. O2 arena / 29 – 32. Trafalgar Tavern / 33 & 34. Old Royal Naval College / 35 – 53. In and around the Saatchi Gallery / 54 – 64. Victoria and Albert museum

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Sights Seen: 9
Photos taken: 560
Pounds spent: 217

Love & Travel,
CG

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