I took a quick bus to the King’s Cross Station, and by quick I mean 2 fucking hours because the airport was literally in another county. I then bought myself an Oystercard, the rechargeable metro card to make sure I would not find myself stranded in a ditch with no money and no means to get home. By the time I arrived at my hostel just a few blocks from King’s Cross, it was almost midnight. Of course, for it being London, the city was nowhere close to its sleeping time. I checked into my hostel, which was converted from a former courthouse, and slept over the drizzly night.
interior of the court is still preserved, with a great touch
I woke up to the next day late, but it was still raining, and I was reluctant to do anything since I hate sightseeing in the rain, but it was London, so if I implement my common strategy of waiting it out I would likely rot in my hostel till death. I prepared myself and set out to the cold, damp city. I first turned right and immediately saw a fried chicken store. Well, if you know me well enough, you know I had to go in now; it is built in me genetically. I re-emerged in the streets 5 pounds poorer but 5 pounds heavier. I saw a bus passing by, with “London Bridge” as its destination. I had nothing to do, and I saw its second deck was free, so I hopped on. I swiped my card just like a normal London citizen, and rushed to the first second-floor seat on this double-decker bus. The bus slowly tumbled through the wet streets, passing classic black taxis, hurried businessmen crossing streets, and one old building after another. I put on some music, and slowly watched these typical London things roll by. After passing St. Paul’s Cathedral, I found myself at the final station: London Bridge. The bus slowly came to a halt, and the last few passengers took their time to get off. The rain was still the background default weather, and I just let the cold drizzle drench my coat: it is part of London life.
Tower Bridge from a distance
London Bridge is actually not the big bridge some might think. It is actually the oldest and the most featureless bridge out there. It was a flat bridge with a few lamp posts, and the bridge what most people think is London Bridge is actually named the Tower Bridge. I slowly made my way east, crisscrossing among the Tuesday crowd. When I found myself by the waterfront again, I saw a giant WWI style warship docked in the middle of the Thames River: HMS Belfast. It was a world-class battleship back in her heyday. Well, it looked like it was more fixated at the middle of the river than docked, as during my entire visit, the battleship did not move one single bit, not even bobbing up and down with the waves. I rushed in trying to avoid the pouring sky water misery, and I was in this historic and original piece of antique of immense importance. There happened to be a Japanese modern battleship visiting and it was docked right next to HMS Belfast. It was open for visit too! A free tour on a modern light cruiser? HELL YEAH LETS GO!
two battleships side by side
Japan is still not allowed to have standing military with the goal of assault, so they have the so-called “Self-defending reserve” which is no different than a military by now. The light cruiser I was on was a practice ship, with multiple sets of batteries in 6, 8 and 12 inches. It was slightly larger than HMS Belfast, and was flying an imperial Japanese flag, not your normal Japanese flag, which may seem odd some people. I was warmly greeted by the serving navies aboard the ship, and they showed us around the vessel. It had some serious firepower, a few 60mm guns as well as anti-aircraft missiles. However, we were not able to go anywhere other than the main deck or go into the vessel, so that just was a quick tour.
Japanese practice light cruiser 3508
I got off the warship and finally started my exploration of the legendary HMS Belfast. The ship was quite large on the inside, and I grabbed a free audio guide to take me around. I started with the upper decks, and realized the entire vessel was like a maze that was designed to function without outside help for years. All personals had to report to the station master upon embarkation, and then they were given provisions of soap, linens, and other toiletries. If they want something to treat themselves, they had to use their credit to buy snacks, magazines, cigarettes and others in the dispensary. There was a barbershop, a carpenter workshop, a large electric workshop, and many others. The medical bay was over 100 square meters and was well stocked in all kinds of medication, and numerous equipment as well as machines lined the walls, some say they can even perform intricate surgery on board, but how they managed to do that in the rocking ocean, I have no idea. There was even a dentist’s workshop with a full time dentist ready to take on any problem with a range of the most advanced equipment at that time. The postmaster had his own little place that receive and send out letters of loved ones, so if I were on board I would likely never had to use it. I walked up to the bow of the ship, and a union jack was flying in the light wind with pride. The vessel may be older than my jokes, but the glory never faded one bit.
the bow of the ship
Let’s look at the hardware this baby had got. She was armed with 12 of 6-inch guns, 4-inch dual-purpose guns and 2-pounder anti-aircraft guns; she also boasts 8 0.5-inch machine guns and 6 21-inch torpedo tubes. There were also 2 light Supermarine Walrus aircraft for reconnaissance, but they were disembarked during WWII. Now that is a lot of firepower! She also has meter-thick armor in almost every plate exposed to the outside, an impenetrable fortress for sure.
looking up to the union jack
I then continued to the lower decks, and I explored the mechanical rooms and boiler rooms. The machinery and pipelines formed an intricate system and a metal labyrinth. Since it was before we had a better understanding of safe materials in constructions, the pipes were painted with lead and covered with asbestos, making these rooms quite carcinogenic if anyone stays in it for too long. I avoided touching anything, but studied in great detail how the engines and propellers work.
the steamer room
Then in the middle of the ship there was the armory and where they store all the warheads and missiles. It was like a factory. The shells were stored in boxes, and there was an elevator/conveyor belt thing that pumped them up to the batteries. They were in the dead center of the boat so that no incoming fire could easily reach this place and KABOOOM the entire boat, so technically this was the safest place.
look at how many of them there are!
Then I found myself in the upper decks again, but this time in the forward superstructure, standing right inside the bridge. I walked and sat onto the Captain’s seat, feeling the responsibility of being in charge of one of the best ships in the world that cost a few hundred million pounds. I imagined what I would do if I needed to make a life-and-death decision within 10 seconds… Ugh so hard! Chicken or beef? CHICKEN OR BEEF???
Captain Young is here~!
Above the captain’s bridge was admiral’s room. He was the one in charge of the entire fleet, when HMS Belfast was the flagship of a group of battleships. There was also a jail cell in the boat, for those garrison who could not do their jobs or for defectors, or even for POW! It was usually used for only very short term incarcerations as punishment, as the Royal Navy prohibited solitary confinement on board. There was no window, or privacy, as the iron bars face the propeller room. The sound at night must be horrifying as well. I, however, did find myself being one of those unlucky bastards…
from Captain to inmate in only 10 minutes
There were so many things to explore in this ship, and seriously it was exhausting on such a gloomy day. I took a deeper look into the history of this boat. HMS Belfast was commissioned and finished in 1939, right before WWII, and she is classified as a Cown Class ship. After striking a German mine in the ocean, she was put out of commission for 2 years and return to the battlefield better armed and this time with radar! She played a historical role escorting the Arctic convoy, and in December 1943 sank Germany’s Scharnhorst in the battle of North Cape/Nordkapp. She also assisted in the Normandy landings, and redeployed to British Pacific fleet afterwards. Post war, she saw further combat in Korean War, and peaceful missions during her later times. She was preserved as a museum ship after her decommission in 1963, and stood in Thames until today.
After learning the spectacular adventures of this boat, I decided to take a break. I took a small sip of coffee in the cafeteria literally on the main deck of the ship, effectively waiting the rain out in this ever-raining metropolis.
sometimes, you just wish you can be a cat
I walked back onto solid ground, only to find a beautiful riverside walk towards the Tower Bridge. Needless to say, I happily dragged my legs towards the famous sight. However, before I could wiggle too much distance, I found the grandiose city hall sitting beside the Thames like an egg sitting inside a ramen bowl. It was definitely a stunning building, but the only thing that I could think of was how it must feel like if you could slide down the roof?
London City Hall
As I approached the famous bridge, the angle of view started getting quite small, making each step harder to take as the view kept getting better. I looked towards the structure in awe, and every step I took, I gasped even louder. The geometry and the shape was absolutely brilliant, and I have no idea why the thing I like the most about the Tower Bridge is its shape. (I know this paragraph is starting to get strange, I guess I will just put up the pictures, but seriously, don’t you guys feel like that was the bridge you would make when you were little and you only had 2 triangular blocks and a rectangle block? Am I the only one?)
gazing down the London Bridge*
*may not be the actual London Bridge
I walked onto the bridge, and joined the afternoon home-returning crowd pushing through thick moist air after the long drizzle. I looked up like a young boy looking into the starry skies for the first time. I never thought I would be so excited crossing a bridge, but hey, I am not complaining. The steel beams passed by one after another, while double-decker buses whooshed by the curb, picking up some water still remaining on the surface. I happily avoided the museum on top of the bridge because it was expensive as fuck, and also it was clogged with hundreds of tourists unleashed by the lack of rain. I made it to the other side, and stood right in front of Tower of London. It was the old castle-like structure that marked the beginning of this city. However, I wanted to save a full day for it, so I continued west towards the financial district. I made it to the Monument before the buildings around the CBD let out their employees like mad dogs. I looked up to this 202ft/62m column, and I almost broke my neck.
looking up to the Monument
After waiting a few minutes and paid 3 pounds for the entrance, I climbed up the staircase winding up like it would never stop. As I emerged on top of the tower struggling to breathe, the view just took my breath away instead. Though it was once the tallest thing in London, the Monument was now nothing more than a toothpick among the sky-high buildings in London CBD.
oh god I need to reward myself with 4 burgers after this
The full name of it is Monument to the Great Fire of London. Commemorating the fire that burnt down half of London in 1666 like an Adele hit song, this monument has a height of 202 ft, signifying the distance between the place where it sits and the bakery where the fire started. It was designed to look like a giant candle, which was likely the cause of the disaster. So if it is toppled right down the street, it would hit the place where it all began.
view from the top
I descended the tower as the last visitor of the day, and continued to walk towards Chinatown. I crossed many busy streets, as people were pouring out of buildings like floodgates had been opened from a reservoir: it was 5 p.m. I was an oddball in the crowd, as I was the only person not wearing suit and tie, and not hurrying down the street in order to catch the 5:03 underground train. Thus, people bumped into me one after another, giving me stares filled with anger and contempt: better get outta here!
London’s traffic light
I finally found a refuge at Trafalgar Square near Charing Cross, which was touristy enough so that I would not get devoured alive by people much more successful than me on their way back from work. I sat in front of the National Gallery by the fountains, watching the traffic passing by the statute of Charles I. This is where London center was measured, and everything’s distance to London is counted from this very statute.
Trafalgar Square, ground 0 of the empire
Here, I finally found an iconic red public phone booth that was actually available and had a phone inside. I picked up the receiver, and I couldn’t help but feel like I was the luckiest person ever! I had been travelling for more than 2 months and I had visited so many places, met so many people, and it was like a dream! Anyways enough of being sentimental, I was in the most iconic thing representing London! How can you make it even more iconic you say? Well, take a look at this:
“hey is it Life? Young here. I seriously need an order of love, asap, thanks!”
Yes, there was a double decker bus passing by when this photo was taken. They say it is more about the right time than the right place, eh?
I eventually ended up in Chinatown, and boy it was a great place to be for dinner. London has a different kind of Chinatown than whatever the hell Hollywood movies are portraying. It was a place filled with cobbled walk paths and street performers. Lots of restaurants as well as trinket shops lined the roadside, with none of all the dirty and gangster vibe as some may expect. However, all the places to eat were still massively cheaper than the rest of London. I quickly delved into a buffet costing me 5-pound, and I made pretty damn sure I ate 5 pounds of food as well.
Chinatown in London, a home away from a home I was never a part of
After increasing my weight by roughly 2%, I disappeared in the busy underground. The night was nigh, and the rain covered the city again. I slept incredibly well as the sound of the raindrops hitting the roof covered the noise of the traffic. Don’t you love the sound of rain while you cozy up in a little warm bed?
Next day, the plan was to join a free walking tour from the hostel. As a norm in European cities, it was more of a tipped tour than a charged tour. I was accompanied by a full group of people who were too poor to afford anything else, but I made two friends Georgia and Daniel, both Australians, along the way anyway. We first took the underground and our first stop was Trafalgar Square. After that we made our way towards Buckingham Palace, where the Queen her majesty lives. On the way, we discussed a lot about Scottish Independence, and the story about Mary Queen of the Scots, but I will not repeat it for the sake of your sanity, as I already mentioned it in the Scotland part. We happened to run into the switch of guards, and they walked straight past us!
I was seriously resisting the urge to touch those hats
After a long walk, we finally reached the Palace proper, and oh boy were there many tourists! The guide also told us interesting stories about how some people had managed to break into the Palace. You would think that the Palace would have maximum security with hundreds of cameras preventing a fucking mosquito from even approaching the wall, then you are very very wrong. Many people have managed to actually climb the wall using ladders, with a group of students doing it for 4 fucking times! However, the legend has to belong to a drunk homeless bloke who one day decided to climb the wall and walk into the Palace, and boy did he walk into the Palace like it was his damn backyard. Nobody spotted him, nobody stopped him, and nobody even fucking heard his drunken footsteps! He wobbled from room to room, making himself even more intoxicated with some of the finest wine in Queen’s collection, and eventually, he ended up in the Queen’s bedroom! No kidding, he literally wandered into Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in her pajamas, and nobody even knew he was there! He sat on the bed right beside poor Liz, who was definitely so baffled like me in a math exam, and started talking to her, or more like, slurring to her a fucking word salad. (those who know psychology will understand the joke) She quietly nodded as he spoke, and pushed the silent alarm button right beside her bed. Probably the security guards were high on drugs that day, since nobody came for a solid 15 minutes! It was the butler who was supposed to serve the Queen something the one who found out the situation, and of course, the drunk dude was politely escorted out the Palace, and that was the end of the story. No police was called, and nobody was harmed, except the Queen’s sense of security I guess.
the front of Buckingham Palace
After that, we turned into the famous Hyde Park. Many people gathered there for the lunch break, and a lot of folks were there to enjoy the greenery and animals. There used to be a private zoo there, but after the government made that plot of land a public park, most of the animals in the collection either died or got transferred. Only one kind of them managed to survive in this park, and is actually doing quite well. No, not the guinea pigs, pelicans. Yes, pelicans survived by eating almost anything that fits. As a result, there are some quite fierce pelicans in Hyde Park, and do not google “Pelican eating chihuahua Hyde Park”, I warned you.
After that, we finally crossed into the area where Westminster Palace was located. It was the heart of the empire, and still the most important parliament in the world. The view of the Big Ben along with all other buildings of the era was simply the most phenomenal London thing you can ever get, and of course the guide talked a lot about the history of the parliamentary system as well as the empire as a whole.
Big Ben with Westminster Palace
On the way to Westminster Palace, we also passed by Westminster Abbey, where English monarchs had been crowned since the beginning of time. Of course it is a protestant one, and has a front very similar to the one Notre Dame.
The tour came to a finish at the big plaza in front of Big Ben, and I was still stuck in the nice walking pace the tour offered, thus I decided to pay for another afternoon one. However, before that I needed to refuel myself with the best food I could find. I ordered myself a meat pie and dug in like an experienced silver miner in Potosi, Bolivia, who probably would be dying from 50 years of dust accumulating in the lungs. (this metaphor took a strange turn, I just realized) Anyways, I could barely resist anything after such a long walk, and this could not have been a better reward!
crusty meat pie, I could have had 3.1415926535897932 of this
The afternoon walking tour mostly focused on the bridges and structures around Thames, as well as the part of city called Covent Garden and Temple. As we walked along a big street called Strand, its history slowly unfolded on us. Its name, Strand, meant for a waterfront, however, the river was still a solid block from the road. The river used to flood, and back in the days without any dams or bankwork, the strand was a long string of sandy beaches. Nowadays, however, it was more than just a normal street. The high court, as well as some of the best lawyer agencies in the world, all concentrate in this small strip of land around Strand called Temple.
the Strand, with Royal Courts of Justice on the left
The little marker symbolizing the divide between the city of New Westminster and City of London, which were supposed to be different upon their establishment, was a tower-like structure in the middle of Strand called Temple Bar Memorial. The Queen on the memorial was underneath the dragon representing the City of London, maybe it is their way of saying you are now in the turf of the people?
a famous bar called Wellington
We passed through the crowds and news crew (yeah, for real) and turned into a small alley. The little community of Temple was in neither London city nor Westminster jurisdiction, and it was guarded by security on all sides. Century-old buildings lined the sides, blocking the sun completely in these small streets. Looking inside the large, spotless windows, and you would see hundreds of young men and women dressed in professional clothing, busy making calls, organizing files, and typing on the computers. They at least had their lives figured out, much better than me.
Temple Bar Memorial
Temple Church, however, would be a no-brainer for the readers of Dan Brown. Here, the Knights Templar built their first sanctuary in England for the people in 13th century, and so, so much had happened in this piece of land ever since. Did they leave us some hints of their immense amount of wealth? Or is that a complete hoax instead? It did not matter on that sunny afternoon, as the church itself exuded a sense of tranquility, and beauty, in its everlasting silence. Tree leaves rubbed against the air in the narrow cobbled roads, hitting the tinted windows from time to time, as if the wind wanted to come in. Eventually, we reached the side of Thames. People jogged passed us with their heavy breaths; people riding bikes left a gust of whirlwind instead. The sun was so blindingly bright that I could not even open my eyes looking into its reflection in the river. We passed London Bridge, and Millennium Bridge, eventually ended up in St. Paul’s Cathedral. It was a different kind of cathedral, as it was the mother seat of the Diocese of London, making it the seat of the Bishop of London. There were 4 churches before this one on the same grounds, and the last one was destroyed by the Great Fire that the Monument was all about. Thus, a new one was consecrated in 1697 by stone, and it stood until this day. Its dome was a stunning 365ft high, and it was the tallest building in London until 1967.
St. Paul’s Cathedral
The walking continued, (ugh more walking?!) and not too far was the intersection called the Bank. It was where Bank of England was, and who knows how much gold it has in its enormous vault! Eventually, we came to Monument, where I accidentally passed by on my first day in London, and a few more blocks brought the group to the Tower of London, where I also stumbled upon earlier, and I will explain in detail further down this (boring) journal. We eventually finished in the plaza right in the front. I met a nice USC girl on the tour, but she was so horrified to learn that I was studying in the rival school UCLA (or maybe I am just that ugly) that she left the tour early. (No kidding, she really left the tour early.) I could not walk anymore since my legs were designed for testing the legroom in a plane seat, not to support my obese body, so I took an underground to Chinatown, meeting with a friend of my mom’s, so that she could treat me free dinner~! I am always up for free food. ALWAYS.
a pretty house on a London street
The next day was dedicated to the Tower of London, where the city began and where most of the fascinating objects were collected. I took an early underground (11 a.m.) to the ancient castle, and promptly joined a guided tour by the old-fashioned soldiers who were still stationed in the garrison. They are called beefeaters for some bizarre reason, or as what they are formally called: Yeomen Warders of Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress The Tower of London. They were all armed forces retirees, and they lived with all their families within the walls. They needed to have at least 22 years of service in the military, and must hold a Long Service and Good Conduct medal. The one I got was incredibly funny, and was able to clearly explain his job, why he chose this job, and if he liked the job, as well as all the details about the castle.
the outside of Tower of London
Tower of London is a UNESCO heritage site on top of the Tower Hill, and its name came from the single tower built in 1078 by Norman the Conqueror. However, later expansions by all kings made the tower almost indescernable nowadays.It was once a public records office, or the Royal Mint, or a tourist trap, or a royal residence. However, the consistent role it had played was being a prison from the day it was founded to 1960s. The fortress itself was notorious for torture and executions, but the real deal was the hill behind it: having claimed more than 400 lives in the history. The prisoners would be trialed and sentenced to death in the tower, and in the morning, dragged through a door, towards the top of the hill, and with a clean chop, the head came right off, spilling blood everywhere, and sometimes the mouth would still be moving! Now you are done vomiting down the drain, we can continue to other fun stuffs in these walls. The Royal Mint moved out of the walls later in 19th century, but still retained a nice musuem of a lot of coins and models to make coins. What was the most fascinating was probably the Crown Jewels. The same crowns and staffs used by kings and queens, including the reigning Elizabeth II, were displayed in a well guarded vault. It is very unfortunate that no photos were allowed within the perimeter, so I cannot show you a nice picture of the most beautiful gems that have ever graced the Earth. I did snap a picture of the cute guards, though, almost as good, right?
guards with their fluffy fluffy hats
The jewels were probably the best thing I have ever seen in my life. When diamonds get to a certain size, and are cut so brilliantly into different angles, they become like a little sun, a power source of some kind. The ones mounted on those crowns and staffs were not bright, they were radiant. Add in the largest ruby gem, sapphire crystals, and a touch of emerald sparkling green, all ingrained on top of a gold-and-silver frame, you got yourself the most beautiful plaything in the world. I would love to see a movie of how some thieves try to steal them, fulfilling my wettest dream. After drooling over the ground for a while, I explored the central tower of the compound, which was filled with the history of this place. I have briefly explained it in the paragraphs before, so I will not waste time here. I exited the compound, and walked down Thames aimlessly. It was a great day to be certain, and I happened to pass by a chain sushi shop called Itsu that was really popular in London amongst the working class. They were not big, but not far between either. They offer freshly made sushi in a box, along with drinks and salads, making them a healthy meal along with some good energy. There were so many of them everywhere, and there are other types like western style chained cafe offering sandwiches and salads called Pret a Manger, etc. You could see two of the same kind on a block in CBD, and they were always so popular. After a quick dinner/lunch, I returned back to my hostel, and talked with Georgia and Daniel more. We decided to go explore a different part of the town the next day, which would wrap up our stay in the capital of the Empire.
a look up to Westminster Abbey
We woke up to my day 4 in London, and took a quick underground to High Street Kensington. We were gonna visit the Kensington Palace! It was surrounded by a huge park and had a beautiful round pond right in front of it. We walked under the scorching sun towards the palace, and we were all sweating like freshly melted ice cream by the time we walked into those marble-lined walls. We hopped inside Princess Diana’s rooms, and examined the pillows used by the royals, and of course, had a lot of fun running in those big corridors despite we were explicitly told not to do so! This place had been the Royal Residence since 17th century, and many famous kings and queens, including Princess Diana and Queen Victoria, were part of the resident population one time or another.
Kensington Palace from the front, with a statue of Queen Victoria
a corridor in Kensington Palace
There was a display of Diana’s clothing, and one of Queen’s. There were also numerous history displays, as well as objects once used by royals. They were all brilliantly spectacular, and the fact that Royal Collection was able to maintain such a large hodgepodge of stuffs was quite a feat as well, in retrospect. The part of the palace open to public is very small, since the palace is still in use by some members of the Royal Family, including Duchess Kate and the newly born royal baby. Thus, you could technically look into the other side, but you were unable to find anyone walking around with royal blood, as the entire residence compound was heavily guarded.
a display of Princess Diana’s night dress
a light dimmed by the art surrounding it
Upon exit, I took another detour to Chinatown to eat food I could actually afford, as I would soon be going into territories that would bleed me out like a gazelle being hunted by 3 cheetahs. I went back and cleaned my bed, tidied up myself, and packed my bags. The next day, I ventured back to King’s Cross Station, went to Heathrow, and boarded a flight towards Stavanger, Norway, and hereby beginning my grand tour in my 4th Scandinavian country visited, and effectively ended my 10 days in Great Britain. It was such a tragedy that I only had such a short period of time to explore London, a city that seemed to have endless possibilities, out of the old yet in front of the new, so historical but so innovative. I would never get tired of taking the red double-decker bus, hearing the lady voice saying “mind the gap” on the underground, or watching those black cabbies scurry around the road like tiny rats. I found people of London to be very accepting, yet busy almost at all times. The sights were truly brilliant for such a big city, and the means to get around were so convenient yet effective and economic. The rain was supposed to be my biggest adversary, but it started to grow on me. The type of rain in London forces your heart to slow down, and look at the ever-busy streets with a different perspective. A simple chicken kebab combo in a street shop, or a sip of coffee in a Pret a Manger, whatever enables your inner spirit to slow down the pace enough to watch men and women in trench coats hurry down the streets with a small umbrella, was the right choice on a rainy day here in London. It seems like a lot of things are happening, yet it feels like none of those things are happening. I guess it is the power of the magical London rain, as it brings everyone’s pace down together, into a timezone specific designed for Londoners in rain, a “Greenwich rain time zone” I reckon. The city has this strange charm to it, so strange that I would like more to call it a power. It was so strange that I believe only those who have sat in a double decker bus watching raindrops hitting the windshield, those who have tried the Anglophone Indian curry on a small stall 11 p.m. at night, and those who have watched the Tower Bridge slowly drops back to normal level and traffic resumes its norm, can understand. It is a kind of magnetic pull that only works on Londoners, and those who have fallen in love with it.
oh also did I mention I have to pass THIS every day to get to the underground?
My underground train came to a halt at LHR station, and I hurried to my check in table. Nobody was at the check-in, as nowadays, almost all things are done by machines. I put my numbers into the automatic check-in machines and tagged my bag. I was in LHR terminal 5 again, the same one I used for my EuroHop 15/16 trip. It was the only place I knew in London before this journey, and it brought a strange feeling to my heart. Last time I was here, I had 0 idea how London as a city would feel like, now I thought I had 100%, but logic told me I barely had 10%. I boarded my SAS A320 regional jet, and I was ready to start the very country I wanted to visit since the beginning of planning this trip. I had to plan everything around this enigmatic place, and I was about to make this dream come true. I double checked my boarding pass, for my elite status and destination. Yes, I am indeed flying to Stavanger. I am indeed, flying to Norway.
bye Big Ben, hello big dreams