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  1. It's the second day of our London stay, and also the the last day of the year of 2012! As you can probably tell, our itinerary isn't exactly favorable in terms of following a smooth geographical route. Commonly people would travel from London down to Paris and then to Italy and so forth. But we decided to come to London second because of time constraints, and of course to participate in the countdown!
    First things first, since we were in London and there was very little shopping to do early in the morning. We decided to pay the famed Stonehenge a visit. 
    Breakfast at Costa (:

    Now the Stonehenge is quite a distance from London, it lies about 140 km to the west in Salisbury. In order to reach Salisbury, we had to travel by train from London Waterloo. You can choose to book the tickets in advance or purchase them on the spot. We bought the tickets at the station itself, and it costs us around 36 pounds. 
     We brought along some food to fill our tummy! 

    After 1.5h, we finally reached Salisbury. It was a simple task as they had signs leading to where we should take our tour bus. Our tour was pre-booked online with Wilts and Dorsets for 24 pounds per person. Of course feel free to choose from the handful of tour operators, since Wilts and Dorsets' website doesn't seem to be up at the moment.

    Unfortunately for us, the weather wasn't exactly pleasant.

    While we had an umbrella which braved against the gale force winds, it finally perished and joined a graveyard of umbrellas lying by one of the trash bins. If you get to visit the Stonehenge make sure it's a nice weather!
    A tourist approached us to take photos for them and we took like at least 5 shots for them with different angles. After that, he helped us to take several shots with different angles too! Haha. It was really unbearable to stay out there for long! The rain was hitting on us like needles and the wind was super strong! We were out for like maximum 5 minutes! 

    Beautiful meadows stretch out as far as the eye can see with the woods lying far out, making it a scenery which city dwellers like us almost never see. Of course, we tried to spot some sheep, but they too were huddling together for warmth in some corner, out of sight.

    The tour also dropped us off at the town of Salisbury, a quaint place where there were old buildings, together with a slow pace of life. It's something hard for us to get used to, but definitely a more relaxing change of pace.
    Love how they mark the loo with huge words of the gender

    As we got really wet from the terrible weather, we went back to our hotel to rest and wash up before we left for dinner, in preparation for the long long night ahead! 
    I did a lil shopping at Oxford Street H&M where I got myself a waterproof boots for only 20 pounds! :D Since the weather destroyed my previous footwear =(
    Dinner at a random restaurant on Oxford Street! Its pretty easy to find food in London, pastas, chinese cuisines, Indian cuisines and the like. London is pretty cosmopolitan so food wouldn't be an issue. 

    In addition, they speak good old Queen's English so there wouldn't be any worries about communication. 
    We reached the Embankment area at around 9+pm? The crowd was crazy!!! Road blocks everywhere and tubes were really packed! We brought minimum items out with us! We stood for nearly 3h!!

    Londoners and tourists who were probably more experienced even brought their own liquor to enjoy while waiting for the moment. People dancing in the streets freely without any inhibitions. Great entertainment while we watched on as spectators waiting for the fireworks..
    BUT, the wait was really worth it when the countdown started. We didn't stand at the best spot but it was good enough. I didn't really take much photos because I was just too mesmerized by the scene. By the way, the fireworks and the music that the DJ was playing were in sync! SUPER COOL~!! 
    As soon as the fireworks ended, people started leaving the countdown area. It was kind of irritating when the crowd jams up. Us, being the petit Asians, couldn't spot what was going on up ahead which was causing the jam. But finally, as we got further out, we saw that the crowd control officers only let people leave in waves in order to prevent too much chaos. Although it's not exactly pleasant when you are stuck in the crowd, it was still an attempt at crowd management, so kudos to the organizers!
    If you're planning to spend countdown in London, this map is rather useful to determine which spot you would like to stand. Do some research beforehand to know where are the vantage points to view the fireworks unobstructed. Also bear in mind the ease of exit from the area just in case anything happens. Anyway the best spots are usually taken by the locals, we spotted people waiting since 5 pm, so you just have to try your luck. 


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