Hello everyone! My name is Kisty and I’m a blogger based from Singapore. As part of the Big Blog Exchange contest, I’ll be taking over Sophie’s blog for the next few weeks to share to you my adventures here in England.
DAY ONE: I arrived at the airport at around 4:30PM, and was welcomed by James, the YHA Manager of London Central. We took a cab going back to the city and spent most of the time chatting about the country. It took us an hour or so to get to the hostel due to the traffic. The traffic here isn't that so bad, even it was a Friday night and a rush hour. I am amazed, however, that I could barely smell the pollution or toxic fumes cars would emit during traffic.
This is first time to stay at a hostel and to be honest, it is far better than I have ever imagined. The room is basic but spacious for two people and more importantly clean. The shower and toilet were in separate rooms, with working hot and cold water. They also have a really posh lounge for everybody to chill and interact. I really love what they’ve done with the place.
After I settled in, I took the rest of the evening roaming the area until I reached Oxford Street. It did strike me as odd but equally awesome that most stores are closed before 7PM. I wish that kind of work ethics are also applied to Southeast Asian countries, so more people can get to relax and not slave themselves to death.
DAY TWO: The second day of my trip is really the start of my adventure. I woke up really early, like 5AM early. James told me that I’m set to go to Stratford-upon-Avon around 11AM and since most stores weren’t open yet, I figured the best next thing to do was attempt to go to Westminster and see the famous icons of London.
I took the Tube going to Westminster. The Tube is a complicated network of trains and it'll take time to find the right platform, but rest assured is that you'll be able to get to your destination. I also love how comfy and stylish their trains are. In other countries I’ve been to, including Singapore, they have a lot of space for people to stand and seats are made of hard plastic. But here, there’s not a lot of space for people to stand and the seats has cushions and fabric in them. This might not be a good thing during rush hour though.
I was in awe when I saw the House of Parliament and Big Ben were right in front of my eyes. It was the prettiest building I have ever seen in my life. I stayed there for good 30 minutes just taking pictures and staring at its beauty. I wish I could stay longer but I had to go back to the hostel to prep up for my trip to Stratford.
The sun was out and the locals were all outside, either having a picnic at the Recreation Grounds or chilling at the pub. Steven, the manager of the YHA Stratford hostel, and his wife accompanied me throughout the da and we rode the City Sightseeing Tour Bus, as our time was very limited. We hop-off at Mary Arden’s Farm, a famous farmhouse owned by William Shakespeare’s mother, and see some rare breeds of animals. Kids would absolutely love this place!
We also went to Shakespeare’s Birthplace to know more about the famous playwright’s life while growing up in Stratford. Although Shakespeare left behind a great deal of legacy, his past is shrouded with mystery. In fact, nobody really knows his exact birth date, as there were no records of his birth. Scholars acknowledge that he was born on the 23rd of April, 1564 though.
After visiting Shakespeare’s Birthplace, they brought me back to the hostel to have dinner. I ordered the poached chicken smothered with Bulmers cider and sage sauce with a plate of chips (or fries) on the side. I’m very picky with food, but this meal was so delicious!
To cap off the day, I went to watch As You Like It at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. Although the play was not the best play Shakespeare ever written, some scenes were still funny and the main protagonist, who both played a man and a woman, was quite talented. The play started around 7:30PM and lasted for about 3 hours and 20 minutes (including interval).
My jet lag kicked in and all I wanted to do after the play was go back to the hostel. My room at the YHA Stratford was quite lovely, by the way. My room was quite spacious for four people to sleep in and has its own bathroom. Not to mention the food was just delightful.
As much as I want to write a proper conclusion to this entry, my jet lag is starting to kick in again. Please stay tuned for my Day 3-5 entries by tomorrow! :)