With the exchange rate raping the Rand, this was by far our most expensive visit to the UK. Not because we are extravagant shoppers, or eat out at lavish restaurants, no. Simply the transport and living costs were what cost us the most. But it’s London. Therefore you pay the 3 pounds for coffee but the view and vibe they throw in for free.
London itself (Westminster & London City) still has this…magic, to me. Every visit to the city the magic grows stronger.
A few days after my brothers nuptials we all (Mum, brother, Oscar and brothers best friends from SA) set off for a day of experiencing the city. We didn’t have a set itinerary or any plans. Just got on the train at Gravesend and took the High Speed to St Pancras.
We met up with my brothers friends in Covent Garden. Admittedly it’s a spot of London I have never been to. SO MANY CUTE LITTLE STORES. By far the most memorable was the Moomin Store. An entire store packed to the rafters with Moomin goodies.
Be sure to Instagram whomever the live music is the day you visit. It seems to be the thing to do.
Its London, so we walked to Trafalgar Square where we took ALL THE PHOTOS and Oscar made me kiss a blue cock. Trafalgar has been used in countless movie scenes and memorable series finales. Even when you have been there several times before you always seem to find something new to look at. Its a melting pot of cultures and a constant buzz of snapping cameras, posing couples taking selfies, School groups in hi-vis jackets and international tour groups. Its hard not to reach for the camera while standing by the fountain. But next time you visit. Leave your phone in your pocket that 5 minutes longer and take it the moment. (Also, the statue at the center of the square is the exact middle of London. When a Sat-Nav guides you to London, that’s the mark it uses #Funfact)
At the top of the square lies the National Portrait Gallery. Entry is free and I fully suggest a visit. Its easy to loose time in the halls of the gallery. You can’t stop staring at all the magnificent art works. This happens once you stop point at portraits that resemble Game of Thrones characters. Some of the work in there date back to the early 1500’s. That is older than South Africa. Many art students spend hours there sketching the statues. I WILL go back with enough time to join them next time. Just sit there with your headphones on happily drawing away. Bliss.
After catching a few buses across town, we made our way to the Museum Of Natural History. Again, entrance is free and it quite possibly one of London’s most interesting buildings. We (and everyone else) couldn’t stop taking photos of the architecture. Instagram it when you’re there.
Inside is a treasure trove of interesting things. From giant Red Wood tree stumps 5 meters in diameter to a vault containing stones and minerals from Mars and the biggest emerald in the world. Bright red rubies and stunning blue natural sapphires. It was fascinating.
My advice on London with a shoe string budget (or a crappy exchange rate) is simple.
Simply choose a starting point, grab a map (Google maps works fine too) and just set off. You might get caught in the rain a few times, but its all part of the English charm. So wear comfortable shoes and don’t underestimate free entry.
Day Travel Card. Handy little bugger
Hiding from torrential downpour.
I thought the floor of the Natural History Museum was particularly pretty.
Oscar looking all handsome.
Blue Cock Kissing – Its a thing.
Red Wood tree stump. It’s HUGE.
Look at that building. Just look at it. ~ Museum of Natural History. London