Saturday, January 9, 2016

London: The Arrival 12-28-15

Jet lag kicked in after a long 7 hour flight from Atlanta, Georgia to Heathrow, UK. My flight was miserable especially after sharing my seat WITH someone else's extremities. They kept falling asleep, not to mention, I could hear every breath because they were snoring in my ear for 3 hours. Thankfully the plane landed and we went our separate ways.

Navigating through the airport seemed simple enough and security seemed extremely friendly. A drastic change of scenery, especially coming from America.

I found my way to the trains and bought a ticket for £6 each. Because I'm traveling with my companion, we got 2. Traveling with a partner is never cheap, but if both are semi-experienced with traveling, it's not that bad and working as a team is always a plus. In addition, we met our Russian friend! Knowing a point of contact or a local in other countries can be important for navigating and translating as well.

We arrived at Green Park, about an hour away and thus, began our quest to find the key for our temporary home, found on Airbnb (check soon for my Airbnb post!).

A 2 hour journey to find the flat, landed us right in the Centre, also known as the city. Famished and dry, there might have been a bottle of Tito Vodka involved before embarking for the famous Kebab (not the American meat on a stick version).

In order to find the kebab, we needed transportation. London offers an oyster card, which gives multiple options to pay, but purchasing a travelcard allows for traveling between the train and buses for a lower amount than paying per transport. £37 was spent on each travelcard for 7 days. Converted to USD, it's roughly $53.72. This was the best option, especially when taking the wrong routes in the unforseeable future.

All three of us squirreled around the city looking for the perfect restaurant to feast on kebab. In doing so, there were multiple historical sites to explore along the way.

The London Bridge
Tower Bridge
Starbucks - Okay, I might have purchased a hot cocoa! It was cold!

Searching the interwebs for kebab, we came across Lahore Kebab House. Of course we had to go, just because the name sounded raunchy. Our meals were decently priced, but not what was expected for the international delicacy. For three meals and a can of coca-cola it ran £9.00. We were given a pita bread smothered in meat, onions, and whatever other magical ingredients I've forgotten since then. I wasn't really a fan of the taste, so I did the next best American thing. Smothered it in ketchup.

Evening was coming early since London is placed closer to the north pole (higher in latitude and winter, brr!!). The sun sets around 430pm, giving a total amount of about 8 1/2 hours of daylight. It was time to head home for the night, but not without trying out the first of many pubs!

The Daft House. The perfect place to wrap up our arrival. I ordered myself a coke and was surprised with a lemon in it. I'll never drink coca-cola the same again! We paid our tabs and went back to the flat.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Minimalist Belongings Packed for London!

I've layed all my items out before my endeavor to London. I highly recommend doing this to make sure all items fit before making last minute hasty decisions.

Getting straight to the point.
Here's a list of all the items I'm carrying on my back.

9 shirts - 4 long sleeve flannel, 3 short sleeve, 1 dress top, 1 night shirt
3 pants - 2 jeans 1 scrub
2 bras - 1 neutral, 1 sports
9 underwear
9 pairs of socks
1 scarf
2 pair of Tights, 1 cut for upper body warmth
1 pair of boots
1 pair of flip flops
Gray travel jacket
1 winter jacket
Small backpack
Cup with oatmeal and tea
Handful of zip lock bags
Phone charger
Portable battery charger
Camera and accessories
Rite in the rain book with flash cards
Keys and wallet
Cabelas backpack
Hair clip
Hair straightener


Things I'll bring less of next time:
No camera with accessories
Download online storage to back up files in case of stolen phone
No hair straightener
No hair clip
Less clothes:
Only 3 short sleeve ( 1 night shirt), 2 flannel, 3 pants 1 scrub, 4 pairs socks, and 4 underwear
Less souvenirs - only light ones
Depending where I go, one less jacket