My London Expedition

The trials, tribulations and triumphs of being a working traveller in London

Friday, 29 October 2010

Travelling across Europe

Ok. So much to share.
The past 2 and a half weeks have been the best of my life, I cannot describe with words how good it has been, except to say that it was amaaaaaazing.
7am on 7 October, we departed on our topdeck tour.. With high spirits and high hopes, 50 of us hopped onto a bus which was to take us around Europe. Dominated by aussies, immediately good friendships were formed, and the partying began. Our first stop was Paris, where we indulged ourselves with snails and frogs legs, and partied until the sun came up. I cant say we got a lot of sleep during the trip, but I wouldn’t change a thing. After 2 days in Paris, our journey continued to Switzerland, followed by Italy, Austria, Germany, Amsterdam and Belgium. The memories and friendships we formed during this trip is priceless, and I am already really missing everyone 
After a sad farewell, I am back in London, continuing my journey as a solo traveller.
A couple of days ago I went to Manchester with a friend, and after that stayed with a mate in Harlow town, down south of London.

Coming back to London has been bittersweet, sad to leave my new mates behind, but also excited for my next stage of the journey. One thing I can say is I am soo sick of lugging my giant suitcase up and down stairs in Europe! There are stairs everywhere, so im quite content to be staying in one place, for now anyway.
I am currently living in a hostel, right in the centre of London. I love it. It isn’t cheap, and I share a room with 7 other girls, but it is in an awesome location and gives me everything I need including free internet  I have been making use of that free internet by job and house hunting, and I am pleased to say, I am now employed  I had an interview this morning at Sofitel London, a 5star hotel, and I got the job. I will be working in the room service department full-time as of Monday. It is about a half hour walk from where I am staying now, quite convenient.
The house hunting is not going so well, I have been looking on gumtree and viewed a couple of houses today, theyre shocking! First of all London flats are tiny which is to be expected, but the majority are also very dirty and smelly. I feel that it is going to take me a while to find a good place to live.
On the bright side, I’m getting to know a few people in London town, so my calender is staying busy :)

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Big mistake

I made the HUGE mistake of counting my pennies and opting for a coffee 50pence cheaper than at Starbucks today, it was a horrible experience! After a sip it was in the bin and I lost £2. Starbucks I shall never put another coffee shop before you again!!

It's my last night at the generator hostel tonight, just when I'm finally starting to enjoy it. My next move is to Clink hostel, 10minutes down the road. It used to be a courthouse and I've only heard good reports. My room size will half from 12 people to 4-6, plus we get our own bathroom and free breakfast. Half my room will most likely be made up of Australians no doubt. They're everywhere, we rule London town!

I got a new iPhone today. I visited the apple store, told them there was a problem with my phone and the replaced it no questions asked. It's a really cool store - the biggest in the world. It is located in Covent garden, right by all the markets. Markets are everywhere in London, covent garden markets are my fav so far. They sell anything from food to clothes to jewelery to souvenirs, and the clothes are actually quite cool. Call me a tourist, but I bought an 'i love london' hoody. It was only £12 I couldn't resist.

Something I find quite funny is that I get asked for directions about 5 times a day. As I said in my previous post, quarter of London is made up of Aussies, and the rest tourists! Everyone asks each other for directions but nobody knows the answer. I am am a little pleased with myself though, I've been able to point a couple of people in the right direction now. 1 week in London...what can I say...

Monday, 4 October 2010

A few things I've realized about London..

During my days of sightseeing and touring London I have noticed a few things -
•coffee is expensive. I pay £2.50 for a coffee which = $5.00. maybe because I'm a starbucks addict...
•I can walk to places in the same amount of time that the tube would take me to get there
•no londoners actually live in London, just tourists,travellers and foreigners.
•food is fairly cheap, other things arent
•the traffic lights turn green then orange then red then back to orange and then to green.
•pedestrians do not wait for the walk signal at traffic lights, but pretty much walk over the road whenever they want and expect cars to stop for them
•after the tube, biking seems to be a really popular method of transport. There are pay and go bike stalls all over London for hire.
•there are way too many pigeons,seagulls and other annoying birds in the city
•rubbish gets left out on the sidewalk in rubbish bags
•it costs extra money to dine in, even at coffee shops (except for good old Starbucks!)
•it is the most beautiful and exciting city in the world, but then I already knew that

Saturday, 2 October 2010

I just wrote a massive blog, but thanks to my one hour of free internet expiring, it deleted itself. Boo! So here we go again...maybe a little shorter this time.
One of the many things that I love about London is that theres a starbucks on every corner. And the amazing tube. I have become quite a tube pro actually. I am now compulsively standing to the right hand side of the esculators to make sure I do not get stampeded, and know my way around the different tube lines. Its quite an amazing system of underground railroads. Trains come every couple of minutes. At some stations instead of esculators there are lifts. Which can be quite interesting especially at peak time. About 50 people will squash into one lift haha.
Another thing that i am really loving is the parks that are all around London. It is actually quite an outdoorsy place suprisingly. Transportation by bike or walking is really common.
I visited Harrods today - the most expensive shop in London. It is huge, but quite a bore to be honest. Id rather be spending my time at Hyde Park. I also made a stop off to the famous Notting Hill - it looks just like the movie.

Friday, 1 October 2010


I stepped into London heathrow airport with big eyes and a giant suitcase.
The view of the city from the airplane was amazing, and I already LOVE this place. I was expecting intense cold, but instead Today was a warm sunny day.
 I checked into my hostel last night, and the foreign receptionist insisted he give me my first English kiss. My hostel is awesome! Free breakfast buffet,wifi Internet, lounges and organized tours and pub crawls... I'm staying in a girls dorm with about 8 others at the moment, it's not that easy to sleep with the noise we all make.
Today being my first day in London, I got up nice and early for a morning walk. I was greeted by several squirrels running around the parks, they're the cutest things ever! I did a 3hour walking tour of London and got to view all the impressive historic London icons, including a spectacular show of the changing of the gaurd at buckingham palace. 
with my new found tour friends we went to a pub for lunch and then I decided to continue touring the city on another 3 hour trip. On this one we mainly got to see the thame river and the bridges over it, as well as the London tower. 
After my day walking the lengths of the city, I well deserved a sit down, so I met up with one of the girls I'd met on tour, and we went to see the lion king show! London is well known for it's musicals and theaters, and I have to say the lion kong is the best performance I've ever seen. It is soo good! I'll go and see another show again for sure.