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  1. Europe Travel: Journey to London

    Monday, 27 May 2013

    It was our final day in Paris! We didn't squeeze in any attractions in the morning as our train to London was at 12.13pm and Eurostar requires us to check in 30 minutes before departure time.

    As some of you know by now, our hotel Ibis is situated really near the metro station Cambronne. So we lugged our luggage, took line 6 towards Nation and alighted at Montparnasse Bienvenue, where we visited the Montparnasse Tower. Then we changed to take line 4 toward Porte De Clignancourt and alighted at Gare Du Nord, the interchange where our Eurostar train waited.
    The Eurostar isn't the cheapest travel option from Paris to London but definitely one of the more convenient ones. We paid approximately S$150 per pax when we booked online. Air fares are cheaper but we just wanted to avoid the hassles of airport security. Besides, it's a cool experience!
    Comfortable travel environment, as good as, if not better than the HSR in Taiwan! They even have a small cafe tucked in one of the carriages.
    Because the alcoholic drinks in Europe are just so cheap~!! :D
    After 2 hours of train ride, we arrived at St Pancras Station. Note: London is an hour ahead of Paris. As Kings Cross station is right beside it, we went to check out Harry Potter's Platform 9 3/4.

    If you are a super huge fan of Harry Potter, do visit the Harry Potter Studio which is very recommended by my friends who visited it! (:

    We also bought our SIM card from Three at Kings Cross because it offered us unlimited data! After getting the Oyster card, we finally made our way to easyHotel at Earls Court.

    Travel tip: Travel in London goes by zones on the tube, or better known as the London Underground. The Oyster card is a MUST just like our EZ Link card, which warrants some savings. Be warned though, travel on the tube is still not cheap, about a pound and up for one journey

    It takes about 5-8 minutes to walk to the hotel. Rather convenient as there's Salisbury, Marks & Spencer, Macdonalds, Costa and several cafes and restaurants around the area. On top of that, the hotel is CHEAP! SGD330 for 3 nights for a room with windows! Although there's no free wifi, no free tv and the room was small, we like how clean the room was and the coziness! Since our itinerary was planned such that we're out the entire day and would be dead tired by the time we get back to the hotel, we felt that there was no need to look for a better hotel with the mentioned amenities.
    A view from our window and the street outside our hotel

    It's a quaint little neighbourhood, but the streets still have some traffic going about at night, so no worries about dark alleys and stuff of the like. Just make sure you walk along the main streets and you'll be fine.
    By the time we settle down, it was near 5pm and we decided to make our way down to Covent Garden to meet Kerwyn's friend who happened to be in London for dinner. He recommended us to Belgoo Centraal which offers a deal known as the "Beat the clock". It is available only on weekdays, 5 - 6.30pm, where we pay the amount shown on the time of the receipt. If you reach at 5.30pm, this means that you only pay 5.30 pounds! There's a limited menu to this deal though but still worth it! (:
    Dinner at Belgo Centraal

    My friend since primary school, Jonathan was just finishing up his exchange and travelling so we met up for dinner! Pity we couldn't Beat the Clock together because it was a weekend but I'm sure there would be opportunities in the future.
    The closing time of shops during winter is really early, by the time we finished dinner, most shops were closed! No shopping for me ): Thus, we decided to take a walk around the area to enjoy the beautiful lightings on the streets (:

    We did manage to pop in Accessorize and a couple of shops before they closed. Most of all we tried Laduree macarons! =D

    Covent Garden and the Embankment is within walking distance of around 15 minutes. Around the Embankment, you can find iconic spots such as the London Eye and the clock tower of Westminster Palace, also more commonly known by the name of the bell within it - Big Ben. It was really nice to take a stroll by the Thames River even though its winter time. Perhaps its because of Kerwyn, always warming me up with his hands... teehee... ^^ That wraps up our journey to London! Do stay tune to some of the places we went in London! (:

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