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Travelogue: Scotland and England (11-19 June 2010)

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EDINBURG
Flight: FR6635 (Ryan Air)
Check-in completed X78YNV
From Stockholm (Skavsta) (NYO) to Edinburg
Fri, 11Jun10 Flight FR6635 Arrive Edinburg at 20:25
Edinburg Airport Arriving Edinburg Airport.
http://www.edinburghairport.com/

Airlink (jouney time: 30 mins)
Goh + Pam = ₤3.50 x 2; Robin + Dominique = ₤2.00 x 2; Total = ₤9.00 http://www.edinburghairport.com/assets/Internet/Edinburgh/Edinburgh%20downloads/Static_files/EDI_local_bus_map.pdf
http://www.edinburghairport.com/assets/Internet/Edinburgh/Edinburgh%20downloads/Static_files/EDI_bus_stop_relocation_leaflet.pdf
http://www.flybybus.com/images/stories/Main_Images/AIRLINK_PDFs/Airlink_Lft_March_2010.pdf

Taxi From: Princes Street / To: Argyle Place, GBP6
Accommodation Edinburg http://www.argyle-backpackers.co.uk/
Argyle Backpackers is situated in Marchmont, university and slightly south of the city centre.
We have a room with 4 dorm beds GBP17 x 4 = GBP68

Sunday, 12 June EDINBURG
Walk from Argyle Backpacker to Edinburg Chamber Street We walked up the Mound and follow the street it leads on to (George IV Bridge) and then take the right fork. At the 'T' intersection, cross the road and take the path straight ahead (for pedestrians & cyclists only) through the Meadows.
The Meadows is a large park in Edinburgh which is lined with trees and covered in well-kept green lawn. It is split into several parts, but is chiefly divided into two halves by a road. On the upper half is an open golf course, free to anyone who happens to own their own set of clubs, and on the lower half you'll often find people kicking around a football (soccer ball), playing tennis on the outdoor tennis courts or playing croquet. There is also a playground for kids and it and a great place for walking, cycling, rollerblading and scootering as there are footpaths everywhere.

National Museum of Scotland
Chambers Street Edinburgh EH1 1JF http://www.nms.ac.uk/our_museums/national_museum/plan_your_visit/how_to_find_us.aspx
This place looked more like Science Centre in Singapore. The children liked this place very much. Everyone almost got carried away.

St Giles Cathedral
I started to buy something. The first things I bought were a few bookmarks, tea towel. The place looked ancient.

Shopping at The Royal Mile
Wow! I never knew that I can go on a frantic shopping spree at this shopping belt. Many souvenir shops here at reasonable price.

Edinburg Castle
Address: Castle Hill (take picture only) http://www.historic-scotland.gov.uk
We didn’t enter due to a tight schedule.

Waverley Train Station Collected car.
We walked from Royal Mile to Waverley Train Station to pick up our car. All done on foot. We were all good ‘walkers’ no problem. Reached train station, we could not find the car rental company. A staff at the train station directed us to Platform 4. When we reached there, we only saw 1 small booth with a man sitting in it. Oh I understand now! No matter which company, which website you have booked from, the collection place will be this little booth. Don’t rent from http://www.europcar or the international brand name. They charged very high rate and the service you get will ultimately be same as people like us. I booked mine through http://www.holidayautos.co.uk
Car Rental through website http://www.holidayauto.co.uk
EUROPCAR Rental Agreement: 127357129/
Reservation #859395398
Pick-up: EDINBURGH WAVERLEY – EDIL02
Address: UNIT 13, WAVERLEY STATION, EH1 1BB EDINBURGH
Date / Time : 12-06-2011 / 15h00
Return: LONDON KINGS CROSS
Address 136-150 PENTONVILLE ROAD KINGS CROSS N1 9JE LONDON
Date / Time : 17-06-2011 / 15h00
Opel (V GM ZA1.9D EL) Drove ??? km
GPS equipment = GBP10 per day
5 days = GBP285.76

Goh drove the car. There was no map, no street directory in the car. We received lousy service. When we realized that there was no GPS equipment reserved for us. We were stunned by the lack of initiative by the service staff who simply answered that there was no available GPS equipment at his outlet. Goh was worried how we could drive to Lake District, Derby, Cambridge, London without GPS, we had a tight schedule to complete these places within 5 days . I suggested to collect the GPS equipment at the Edinburg outlet. The guy followed my instruction. Unbelievable – such a lack of initiative and poor customer service.

I read the map, Goh drove to Argyle Backpackers where we picked up our luggage. My guys were ‘well-trained’ everyone know what they were supposed to do. Team-spirit, hooray!
Next, head to Edinburg Airport. Without map and street directory, I asked the people whenever I suspected we were heading a wrong direction. Finally, we reached Edinburg Airport and got the equipment. We spent 1 hour to reach airport instead of 30 minutes when took bus.

Glasgow George Square
A lot of time wasted in the car rental place and 1 hour wasted to collect GPS equipment from Edinburg Airport. We arrived at Glasgow late. A meaningless visit….visit Glasgow just because we have planned it. By the time we reached Glasgow, it was almost 8pm. Because it was summer, sunset was late at 10pm. No doubt the city was empty, sky was bright. We took several pictures and left Glasgow. Nothing special. Quiet road, dead town on a Saturday evening.
Because time for planning UK trip was limited and to avoid hiccup that comes along the way, we did not book accommodation when we were in Singapore. Accommodation in Dumfries, Lake District,Derby and Cambridge were done when we arrived in UK. Quite a brave act for our family of 5. Not the first time, lack of preparation, we have to bear with the inconvenience and anxiety.
Recommend: http://www.cheap-uk-hotels.co.uk/
That solves our lodging problem
Accommodation at Dumfries, Scotland Kirkconnel Hall Hotel, Lockerbie
Ecclefechan, Lockerbie, DG11 3JH
Chalet which was had a huge living room, huge kitchen, huge bathroom (with Jacuzzi), 4 bedrooms were booked for GBP90 per night including continental breakfast for all of us.
Clement, Goh, I broke a wooden bed, perhaps we were too heavy….had to sleep at another room. I dreamt of A-Pa that night, I cried in my sleep.

Sunday, 13 June
GLASGOW – Sunrise: 05:47, Sunset: 21:55
Left Kirkconnel Hall Hotel
We had very little energy after many days of travelling. Before we left, I packed clothes we wanted to wear for next day to be packed into small bags. The next accommodation should be a backpackers hostel. No Wifi at this hotel so I couldn’t do booking on the internet. I had 2 places that I included in the ‘itinerary’ as a backup. One was Lake District Backpacker Lodge, the other Ambleside Backpacker. Other forms of accommodation were expensive. We left Kirkconnel Hall Hotel at 11am, headed to Caerlaverock Castle. On the way to the the castle, I called Lake District Backpackers Lodge. The guy who answered told me 4 bedded dormitory was fully booked. I could be confirmed on a 2-bedded dormitory, and 1 bed at another room. Each bed GBP15. He gave me a PIN to access the place, he was not around. We passed by several small country roads, we saw small wild animals like deer, squirrels dashing across. It took an hour or 2 to reach the castle.

Caerlaverock Castle
Very cold day, drizzling. The castle was the nearest I could find near the hotel we stayed. It was nothing fascinating. Nevertheless, I prefer to go to a quiet place, unpopular one, then to a touristy one like Edinburg Castle. We paid a fee ( I could not remember how much), went to a side room to watch a documentary and exhibits.
Then we proceeded to the castle which was old and tattered. Beautiful surroundings. I love the peace at this castle. Caerlaverock Castle was also the last destination in Scotland we visited. Next we headed to Lake District

Carlisle City Centre
Lane Shopping Centre
Stopped at a shopping area and had KFC for lunch. This was the 2nd time we had KFC during our holiday. The first was at a shopping mall next to Edinburg Waverley Train Station. I felt a bit sick of eating fried chicken. I craved for beehoon soup, laksa…
This shopping mall was a bit lifeless. Not many people, lifestyle here looked a little laidback. I don’t like this place, a little disappointed. I thought lake district was somewhat scenic, but after hours of driving, what we saw was grassland, sheeps, no lakes. There was a community library but it was closed. It was a Sunday. Atmosphere of World Cup was apparent. Visited a sports shop, soccer balls were sold at 2 for GBP6 (wow! So cheap – but we didn’t buy). Cumbria was the first England destination we visited. Scotland didn’t seem to celebrate World Cup.

Lake District Backpacker Lodge
(Unpleasant stay) http://www.lakedistrictbackpackers.co.uk/
We finally arrived at Windermere. Following the backpackers owners instruction, we entered Room 4 which had only 2 bunk beds. Oh my god! The room was too tiny. One of us got to share room with others. I asked Robin to go to next room but he felt uncomfortable. Key was left in the room. Goh went to next room to take the blanket. We decided to pay for 3 beds but all 5 of us squeezed in one room. With our car left parking on the street, luggage left there, only brought along one small bag, we went to a supermarket nearby to buy grocery to cook dinner. Lake District was very small. The owner was very trusting, no staff manned the place. We, the customers, were requested to put money in an envelope and dropped it at the box at the common area. Internet usage was chargeable. Free usage of kitchen. It was not bad but the place a little overcrowded by its size. It was cramped. Toilets always not available. I didn’t take shower there which was indeed uncomfortable. Fortunately, I took shower at Kirkconnell and couldn’t wait to bathe at the next place we stayed.
After dinner, the guests from next door 3 New Zealanders (2 women, 1 men, middle-aged) from next door told us that all 4 beds at their room was occupied and we were not supposed to take beddings from their room. But I told them we were given a bed there, because my son felt uncomfortable, then we moved the blankets to here. There was serious miscommunication. I rang the owner, no one answered. Very uncomfortable staying at this place with no proper management. We looked high and low for blankets and pillows, there was none. In the end, 2 women shared the beddings. Until no one can confirm what happened, the owner did not return call. We still paid GBP45 for 3 beds. (Robin and Dominique shared the lower deck, Clement and I shared the upper deck, Goh slept on the floor)

Monday, 14 June LAKE DISTRICT
Check out of Lake District Backpacker Lodge Stay at Lake District Backpacker Lodge was very uncomfortable. We coldn’t wait to get out of this place. From checking in to checking out, we did not get to see the owner. But we honestly left our payment there. I do not want to tarnish Singaporean’s reputation being dishonest.
Lake District Tourist Information Centre, Windermere Lake District Backpacker Lodge was located near a tourist information centre. I took a few leaflets, maps before I left Windermere

Windermere Lake
Windermere Lake was not nice at all. Many people were trekking. Drove the car into a small road. I told Goh to leave the place, he refused but go on, until we were stucked. I was getting very unhappy. Reversed for about 50m, Goh got out of the car to take a few pictures. I was in a foul mood, wanted to leave this place.
http://www.lakedistrict.gov.uk/index/visiting/planningyourvisit/whistlestop.htm
http://www.totaltravel.co.uk/link.asp?fid=612447

Kerwick
This place was being mentioned in the travel guide. We decided to take a look. We were pleasantly surprised by the nicer environment compared to Windermere Lake. I suggested we rowed a boat for half hour (only GBP8). Goh did not like it, so I said why not we rented a motor boat (GBP27 for an hour). We made the right choice. This was fun. Goh did not expect he could drive a boat without license. This was not possible in Singapore. The place was very beautiful.

Lunch at Lake District
We had lunch at a town centre of this place. I forgot the name. We parked the car and walked to a shop to eat Fish and Chips for lunch. Quite cheap. Less than GBP4 for each person’s fish and chips. It was nice to eat something hot at a cold place.

Liverpool
Drive from Lake District to Liverpool was a bit meaningless. Goh insisted going there, against my wish. We had earlier on, agreed to go to Manchester. He said he wanted to go to both, it was unrealistic, given limited time. We stopped at Liverpool train station for 10 minutes, took pictures and left the place

Manchester
Drive from Liverpool to Manchester took an hour. Great disappointment as we wanted to see the football stadium. No study at the place so obviously we didn’t know where. Manchester United a great name, that’s why we were there.

Derby
Took almost 2 hours to reach there. Goh was here twice so he knew the place. We reached here at almost 10pm.

Accommodation at Derby
Rangemoor Park Hotel. This B and B was found in http://www.cheap-uk-hotels.co.uk Only GBP35 for a night, English breakfast included. The 2 rooms were not ensuite but we were ok to share toilet. At this place, most guests stayed at ensuite rooms which had toilet facility. Obviously, we didn’t have to share toilet, shower room with many people Toilet and shower are separate rooms, very good and convenient. We cooked soup noodle in the room. No aircon, we put food at the window ledge. Free parking at the backyard. Derby is a industrial city, most travellers stayed at this hotel were on business.
English breakfast included. The 2 rooms were not ensuite but we were ok to share toilet. At this place, most guests stayed at ensuite rooms which had toilet facility. Obviously, we didn’t have to share toilet, shower room with many people Toilet and shower are separate rooms, very good & convenient. We cooked soup noodle in the room. No aircon, we put food at the window ledge. Free parking at the backyard. Derby is a industrial city, most travellers stayed at this hotel were on business.

TUESDAY,15 June DERBY
We had delicious English breakfast. The lady who served us gave Clement a set of bacon, egg and baked beans. I told her the rooms we booked were double occupancy so only 4 people were entitled breakfast, the lady said it was ok. Very nice and good service.

Westfield Derby Shopping Centre
This place was new. During Goh’s previous business trip, the shopping centre was still under construction. Now, it was fully operational. As we had some time to spare (our appointment at Heritage Centre was at 1pm), we visited the shopping centre and also had our lunch there. I bought 2 blouses at Dorothy Perkins for GBP25, about SGD10 cheaper than in Singapore during Sale. I was happy with my purchase. It was easy to buy clothes of my size because ladies of my built was pretty common.
Lunch at the food court. I didn’t eat anything, perhaps I wasn’t hungry. The appearance of the ‘chap chai rice” made me sick. All fried stuff, vegetable overcooked. I didn’t felt like eating. A plate of Chinese “chap cai rice” cost GBP4.70

Rolls Royce Heritage Centre
A Mr Michael Curslie received us. He walked us around Rolls Royce Heritage Centre and explained every exhibits there. I knew nothing about the aircraft engines but felt honoured to have a chance here. The visit was arranged by Goh’s ex-boss Paul O’Neal.

Shopping at Rolls Royce Leisure Centre
All the money saved by cooking our own meals, stayed at backpackers lodge was finally blew at this place, Rolls Royce Leisure Centre. I didn’t calculate how much we spent but it should be around GBP180, purchase of souvenirs, shirts for ourselves and friends. I think they were well-spent. Only staff could buy things here. So the souvenirs were not the thing you could buy from other shops. Only Rolls Royce, the famous aircraft engine maker has it. Being staff, Goh had always been very proud of its parent company’s achievement in producing the engine for Airbus380, the biggest aircraft type in the world.
We waited for Goh at the football field. Quiet and cool sunny afternoon. Goh went to the office to look for his colleague and business contacts.

Westfield Derby Shopping Centre
Nothing to do. We went to Westfield again. At 5pm, Goh and the boys wanted to eat the Chinese “chap cai rice’ again. I disagreed but still went along. Fortunately, Goh found the food unfresh, seemed to be the leftover after lunch. Thought of cooking our meals again, aiyoh, don’t know what to eat and what to cook. I craved for yong tow foo, laksa again. We went to Sainsbury, bought a quart of Hagen Dazs Belgian chocolate ice-cream (so cheap GBP1.90 only).

Eagle Market
Shops were closing. We decided to come again next morning.
Our dinner was Chinese takeaway. The menu Goh took from the restaurant showed 231 types of food and dessert. Impressive! Yang Chow fried rice was yummy. Total spent, around GBP25. Ice-cream melted a little but still yummy lah! We stagged up our luggage bags and those were the ‘tables’. Very happy and contented.

Wednesday, 16June DERBY
Eagle Market
It was the market local community visited. Things there were cheap. We bought something from the “discount shops”. Robin and Dominique bought a GBP1 Father’s Day card there.

Ratcliffe-on-Soar Power Station
The 4 broilers looked threatening. Yet very grand. At first we thought it was nuclear power station. A check on the website, it was a coal power station occupies a prominent position close to junction 24 of the M1, theRiver Trent and the Midland Main Line and dominates the skyline for many miles around with its eight cooling towers and 300 m (980 ft) tall chimney. Of all pictures, the picture took here is my favourite. Off-the-beaten track. Good!

NORFOLK
Denver Windmill
Sluice Road, Denver Downham Market, Norfolk, PE38 0EG http://www.denvermill.co.uk/
Norfolk was the place with strong wind and probably that was why there will many windmills and wind turbines at this place.
I found from internet one of Norfolk windmill which was not too faraway from Cambridgeshire. Most of the windmills in Norfolk was near the coast. A little disappointment was that the windmill was under maintenance. We didn’t see it turning.
On the way from Norfolk to Cambridge, we saw a windmill in someone’s house. We stopped to have a picture taken.

There were many wind turbines at some open space. I like the idea of converting wind to energy.

CAMBRIDGE
Cambridge University
I like Cambridge. The road was not crowded. People were cycling. Beautiful architecture, punting in Cambridge…. We were denied access at the King’s College but we got to enter the one next to it. It was difficult to walk around the quiet courts of the Colleges without feeling a sense of peace. And the sense of peace that green lawns in the midst of the streets and houses giving a charmingly cool countryside effect. We saw some students punting, looked very enjoyable and relaxed.

Accommodation in Cambridge Days Inn Cambridge, A14 J28 Boxworth Cambridge CB23 4WU United Kingdom
http://www.daysinncambridge.co.uk/
We paid GBP70 for the family room. This was one of the best accommodation we had in UK. The only shortcoming was the stupid window. We were especially impressed with the big room and marvellous shower room. Very new place. The facing was a good one, not facing the highway. Days Inn Cambridge was located at Junction 28 on the A14, just 6 miles from the city of Cambridge, it is the ideal base for visitors to Newmarket, Cambridge and Duxford.

Thursday, 17June
CAMBRIDGE We checked out of Days Inn Cambridge, had MacDonald’s and KFC breakfast.

Oxford
It was a frustrating experience in Oxford. There were lots of places with restrictions. Parking was almost impossible. Many a times we were forced into a lane which was a dead end. Then Goh had to reverse the car to get out. In the end, the children and I only got out of the car to take photos and quickly got back in less than 3 minutes. I don’t like the place.

LONDON
Return car at Europcar, King’s Cross The drive to London was very long. We had to return the car at 3pm. We arrived near Heathrow Airport, had no time to visit Windsor Castle, topped up petrol before heading to the city. Earl’s Court where we booked our accommodation was fairly close to Heathrow. We reached there not too long later. After unloaded our luggage and checked in at Windsor House Hotel, we quickly got out and went to King’s Cross. Stucked in traffic congestion, we started to be panicky. I quickly called the customer hotline to inform the possibility that we could be late, for fear that we had to charge one day extra. The lady on the line told us that we were given 30 mins grace. Phew! Traffic condition from Maryleborne to King’s Cross was really very bad. 3pm was not office rush hour right? Despite the anxiety, we returned our car at 3:40pm without being penalised.
Late lunch At a Muslim restaurant. We ate fried chicken, salad, soft drinks. That was our first meal in London. Nothing remarkable, not too bad either. The food was cheaper than other places in UK.

King’s Cross Train Station We visited the train station where one of Harry Potter’s scene was taken 9 3/4 platform or something.
Public Transport Our first day in London. We had to sort out public transport system here. I did not make any study but I know Oyster Card (which worked like our Ezylink card). Bought 2 Oyster Cards for Goh + Pam with GBP3 deposit which is refundable. Top up with extra few dollars. Children does not have Oyster Card, so for Robin & Dominique, we got them One Day travel card which cost GBP2 per day. Clement travelled free.

London Underground Circle Line, From: King’s Cross / To: Tower Hill

Tower of London http://www.hrp.org.uk/TowerOfLondon/
Goh is upset by our sudden change of plan. At first we want to alight at Westminster but on second thought think why not go to Tower Bridge to have a look. Goh flares up. I didn’t care a damn because he had been grumpy since the time we were at Oxford. We have different views on the places we want to visit. This is not my first time to Tower of London. In 1996, Goh and I came here before. I don’t get to see Beefeaters at the place whom we saw standing in fromt of the gate.

Tower Bridge This is my 2nd visit to London but it is my 1st time to see Tower Bridge raise to enable ships pass. It is impressive

South Bank: many pubs on the way. Robin said there is a Harry Potter bridge, one that looks spiral.
http://www.southbanklondon.com/index.php?pid=14

London Eye
It is 5km walk from Tower Bridge to London Eye. It is Thursday. Embankment is like Boat Quay and Clark Quay.

Westminster Abbey
London Underground District Line 1, From: Westminster / To: Earl’s Court

Tired souls, legs aching. Exhausted…

Friday, 18June

LONDON

We were late for breakfast. No more hard boiled egg. W sat with the French couple and their son. The breakfast place was so cramped.

London Underground From: Earl’s Court / To: Victoria

Buckingham Palace
I don’t find this place fantastic. It was such a touristy thing to do. I don’t know whether my children like it. Probably they would replied “so so” if you asked them whether they like the Change of Guard.

Lunch at Victoria Place http://www.victoriaplaceshopping.com/
The guys go to pasta buffet. Clement is sleeping and I don’t want to eat pasta. I don’t like things that is too cheesy and carbohydrate. Buffet GBP6.95 per person. I buy grilled chicken wing from a fastfood outlet near the restaurant. Then Clement and I wait patiently for them.

Transair Pilot Shop http://www.transair.co.uk/
This place is quite difficult to find. The place changes a lot since 1996. There used to be a market at the corner of the shop. Now the street has become very quiet. Purchase: DVD: How to fly a plane GBP32, that’s all. Purpose of trip was to rekindle that memory.

Train from Victoria to Marylebone

BNP Paribas
10 Harewood Avenue At the security checkpoint, I meet Sebastien Dubuisson. It is such a surprise. Sebastien brings me to his office at 3rd Floor. After chat, he brings me to Fixed Income. The dealing room is very huge. The first person I meet is Guillaume Amblard. I walk to his room to say hello. Guillaume says he will come to Singapore in July. I am very happy to meet Nelly Robert, Anne-Marie Guerin and Narinder Kaur. It is not my first meeting with Nelly, but I never met Anne-Marie and Narinder before. Anne-Marie had been very professional in coordinating the travellers (Bertrand, Paul, Drew) when they were stranded in London. It’s such a heartwarming experience to have a holiday and meet people you have been closely working with but never met before. At the entrance, I meet Antoine Savine.

Picadilly Circus
Sky is getting dark, it is going to rain. We are at Picadilly Circus, particularly known for its video display and neon signs mounted on the corner building on the northern side. We want to go to Soho. Goh says he will bring us to Chinatown to have dinner.

Trafalgar Square
This is one of the places we have wanted to come. It’s like revisiting old friends. The place didn’t change much. But today, it’s really a bad day. Starts to rain. We take shelter at the public toilet.

Soho and Chinatown
Vibrant Soho in Central London is famous for its theatre showsbars, pubs and restaurants. We eat at a Chinese restaurant. Food is the best of the entire trip. Weather is quite cold and it is drizzling. On the way back to Picadilly Circus, we pass by a souvenir shop. Many Indians open souvenir shops.

Had Chinese dinner at Chinatown. The best meal we had this holiday.

London Underground Picadilly Line – From: Picadilly Circus / To: Earl’s Court

Saturday, 19June LONDON
Windsor House
The French couple with their son is at the Kitchen again. We smile and exchange greetings. Today, we are not at the same table. Perhaps we come earlier, we have hard-boiled egg. Breakfast is so so, toast and butter, I am used to it although I hate to eat.

Earl’s Court Station
Today, we plan to travel a little bit more. We don’t know where Paul O’Neal is going to bring us. So it is better buy One Day Travel Card 1- 6 zones (I listen to Nelly’s advice). While queueing, Goh spots a familiar face. I can recognize him as a Minister in the Singapore Parliament. I forget the name. He is with his wife and a teenaged daughter. They look ordinary, just like our family. Down-to-earth like my family, 3 of them have a haversack, the “Minister” reads the map and they try to find their way at the subway station. I ask Goh to say hello to him. Goh feels awkward about it. It’s ok. Only thick-skinned people like me does this kind of thing. If I were not at the queue, I think I will greet him. How many chance do you have a chance to stay at the same district and travel same train with a Minister? Back to Singapore, I googled to find out the name of this minister. Oh I see, he is Mr Heng Chee How, Minister of State for Prime Minister’s Office also a top official in NTUC.

London Underground Picadilly Line, From: Earl’s Court/To: Knightsbridge
Harrods
We have some time in the morning. Meeting with Paul was at 1pm. It was before 11am. We took the Picadilly Line to Knightsbridge. Harrods is a famous luxurious department store. Although I didn’t consider this place as a “Must Visit” destination, I thought it was nice to visit especially when traveling from Earl’s Court was so easy, just 2 stations away. Very lucky to be on that day, 19 June it was the first day of the sale. Some items were selling at 50% discount. I saw many Asian women, some were Thai the rest I was not sure, grabbing the Gucci bags (nice and ugly ones) as if they were free of charge. We proceeded to the Food Section where we bought chocolates for Paul and family, I bought a box of chocolate thins mint for my colleagues and bosses. Also bought Clinique product GBP38, Givenchy eau de toilette and skin lotion was sold at GBP21. I told Goh that once I bought this, I would not look at anything else in the Duty Free Shop. I know men hate to go shopping with women. But I was kind of “pick and go” type of shopper, so the boys didn’t find their mother a pain in the neck….Haha!

Hyde Park
We asked for direction and finally arrived at Hyde Park. It was not difficult to find. But from the direction of Harrods, Hyde Park was kind of hidden because there were many apartments coming up. I guess the district should be upmarket type, having luxurious Harrods at its neighbourhood. Hyde Park was big. It was a relaxing walk, we had no big plans in London, just want to spend time to do something less stressful, less costly and Hyde Park fitted our bill. I was amazed at a tree that looked ghastly. Very special I took many pictures of it. I had never seen this type of tree in my life. A check in the website, oh! It was called the upsidedown tree. Air was crisp, very fresh. Love this place. Superb!

London Underground From: Knightsbridge / To: South Kensington
National History Museum
Cromwell Rd London, United Kingdom SW75BD, United Kingdom http://www.nhm.ac.uk/
I had never heard about Natural History Museum until Paul suggested we met there. The Natural History Museum (South Kensington tube station) houses one of the largest collections of dinosaur skeletons and fossils in the world. Admission free so you can imagine how many people visiting the place on Sunday. Paul’s family and our family had an enjoyable time there. Highly recommendable for children

London Underground From: South Kensington / To: Earl’s Court (Picadilly Line)
Several lines are affected by closure. The entire Circle Line is closed.

Filiipino Restaurant at Earl’s Court, opposite Philippines National Bank (I couldn’t be bother to note its name)
We were still early. There was no place to go, it was about 5pm then. Need to take a bite before we head to Heathrow Airport. Found this place. We wanted to be adventurous and tried Filipino food. Wa! We didn’t regret….because it was a memorable lesson. I had never tasted anything worse than this. The cabbage tasted so sour. Fried rice was burnt, some food I didn’t even could tell what it was. The only edible one was probably dessert “canned fruit cocktail” but the restaurant staff didn’t top it up. All the food was so Yucky, I ate “Tou Gay” only. Before we left this place, I insisted to take a photo outside this shop. Now, whenever we came across any Yucky food, Goh and I would say “It tasted alright, better than Filipino Restaurant in London.”

Went back to Windsor House to get our luggage. I was so thick-skinned. I dug out all my coins in the bag and exchanged to notes with the hotel operator. He exchanged GBP10 worth of coins. Not too bad, it was not so heavy.

During weekend, train was more infrequent, Wait for not long. We took the Picadilly Line to go to Heathrow Airport Terminal 3. Very convenient and cheap way of traveling.

SQ321
(ref: L7AYWQ) SQ321 – Seats: 74D, 75D, 75E, 75F, 75G (Upper deck)

Sunday, 20 June
SQ321 – Arrives Singapore 17:55
I kept my promise. I didn’t enter any duty free shop in Singapore. That’s the way to save money, buy things not for the sake of buying.

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About Pamela's Online Journal

Working mother of 3 boys, loves travelling & writing.

Discussion

5 thoughts on “Travelogue: Scotland and England (11-19 June 2010)

  1. Dear Pamela, I am Heng Chee How and was in London in June with my family and we stayed near Earl’s Court, so we must have been the ones you saw. Would have been most happy to meet fellow Singaporeans anywhere in the world! Cheers!

    Btw, I am not the Health Minister. That’s Mr. Khaw Boon Wan. I work with the NTUC and also support Mr. Lim Boon Heng in the aging portfolio within the Prime Minister’s Office. 🙂

    Posted by Heng Chee How | July 25, 2010, 11:52
  2. Hi Mr Heng, I am embarassed to got your corporate title wrong. I looked through the website. You are Minister of State, Prime Minister’s Office? I feel so honoured that you read my blog. Thank you. I will amend my blog right away.

    Wish you a good week ahead.

    Posted by Pamela's Online Diary | July 25, 2010, 14:15

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