Thursday, 29 October 2015

Trip to Paris and London... Day 11 - London (Bath, Stonehenge, Windsor Castle)

21 September 2015 (Monday)

So on this day we have planned to do a road trip to places outside London. Took us a while when we were still in the planning stage back in Malaysia to agree on the destination to go. Tiba2 masa tu rasa macam so little time, so many places to go, so little money in the pocket hihi. Benar bagai di kata, "if you are tired of London, you are tired of life". Banyakkkkk tempat one can go when in London.
One of the many meetings we had to agree on places to cover during the road trip.

So in the end we agreed to cover Bath, Stonehenge, and Windsor Castle. After all, most of tour package somehow cover these places in one day.

Buuuuut our expectation did not meet with the reality of things - we didn't factor in things like lambat dapat kereta sewa, sesat jalan, berhenti sana sini, and all. Eventually, we only managed to cover Bath and Stonehenge je. Itu pun masa sampai Stonehenge dah tutup rupanya hahaha (gelak in pain -___-").

So we rented our cars from Europcar. And the pick-up point was at Bayswater - near to our apartment of stay. To rent a car in London doesn't require international driving license. But one needs to be mindful about the congestion charge in London, where to park, extra charges for things like child seat, additional driver, and navigation system; and of course, driving around.

The bummer thing was, even though we were supposed to pick up the car at 9am but things got delayed and eventually pukul 11 kot baru dapat kereta... Sigh. Hubs and BiL went to the pick-up point early but some people came even earlier.

But still, we had a great day anyway :) Lucky we covered Bath first coz the place is soooooo beautiful and scenic! 

And when we factored in Stonehenge in our itinerary, we planned to actually have a view of it from afar; i.e. tak plan pun nak masuk. Entrance ticket is so expensive! -__-" But, turned out they have built up macam visitor centre or something (got to know this from reading after dah sampai kat sana haha speaking of tak buat homework siap2) that's blocking the view from outside. So masa kitorang sampai memangggg tak nampak apa2 pun, kitorang dok terintai2 jugak hahaha but kehampaan.. Oh well.

So, enjoy the pictures taken during our trip to Bath :)

With mom and MiL around, food is not a problem :) They cooked all these dishes in the morning and I prepared the nutella sandwiches for us to pack to eat during lunch later. 
Killing off some time while waiting for hubs and BiL to come and pick us with the rented car.
The waiting agony finally ended ! Phew.
Our car for the 2 days.
(my 2Ks ngantuk tunggu kereta, masuk2 je terus doze off hehe)

And the journey began! :) 

Along the way - kejap hujan...
Kejap cerah...

There are a lot of R&Rs can be found along the highway. And somehow setiap R&R yang kitorang stopped at mesti ada Mark&Spencer food store. Nice!

About to reach! Weeeee :) Took us about almost 3 hours I think, with the stop and all.
At the car park - which took us a while to find also. Another homework not done. Huhu. Btw check out the beautiful building with the beautiful blue sky as the background.

Sampai2 terus kasi Kazim si penasik makan. He's like so hungry already dok mengadu "Mamaaaa perut Kazim sakittt sangat.." huhu. Biskut and other snacks dah tak jalan by this time..
The rest of us settled for our lunch at the nearest benches. Home cooked food never tasted that delicious! :)

Dah settle lunch, baru continue our journey to tour the Bath city. Here's 2K's doing their mandatory pose at the Bath visitor centre.
2K's pose at the beautiful Bath Abbey.
Panoramic view. (Hmmm macamana nak kasik gambar besar and yet fit into the page eh?)

Discussing which part of the huge Bath town to be covered. It says that Bath is just a small city, but entah, I beg to differ. Hehe. Rasa macam besar je.
Outside the Pump Room and Roman Baths where the Romans use to bath there in the natural thermal spa water, and it still steams till today. Macam natural hot springs. It's one of the unique attractions in Bath sebab now open for public. Tapi nak masuk kena bayar. 
Pulteney Bridge - one of the world's most beautiful bridges.
Panoramic view of the Pulteney Bridge that crosses the Avon River.
So scenic and beautiful 

After dah penat jalan2, we then drove off to look out for toilet (it was all sun and shiny but it was SO colddddd.. brrrrr). And that's when we found this one park. It's time for the 2Ks to have their moment pulak :) It has such a hugeeeee playground. 2Ks loved it!

After giving some time for 2Ks to let out their energy, we then made move to this one hilly place for a view point of the Bath town.

The picture doesn't do much justice to the beauty of Bath....

Lepas tu we then drove off to Stonehenge, to which we didn't get to have a glimpse of it pun. Boo hoo. It was already quite late, almost 7pm I think. So we knew Windsor Castle had to be scratched off from the list. Maka pulanglah kami back to our apartment at Westbourne Grove with 1001 memories of the beauty of Bath.... A city so unique that it has been designated as world heritage site. The building architecture is just so gorgeous!

Coming up next - Day 12, road trip to University of Oxford, Bicester Village and Harry Potter Studio! :)

Friday, 23 October 2015

Trip to Paris and London... Day 10 - London (Camden Lock, Westfield)

20 September 2015 (Sunday)

It was a laid back Sunday for us. We needed some rest after few days of intense work-out (read: walking :D) so we purposely arranged for a chillaxing day, after all it's Sunday! So our itinerary was just to cover 2 places: Camden Town and Westfield Mall. Plus it was the day the in-laws will be done with their tour / activities so they will be joining us at the apartment during the later part of the day. Full house yaw!
Alhamdulillah for another sunny cooling weather. I'm so missing this kind of weather!

After we had our breakfast back at the apartment, we took bus to the Camden Town. Kids were happy because they finally get to sit at the upper deck of the double-decker London bus :) All the while in London it was always a short-distant trip whenever we took the bus so we didn't allow them to sit at the upper-deck takut by the time dah sampai bus stop diorang terkedek2 nak turun. But since it took a while to travel to the Camden Town (I think maybe around 30 - 40 mins) so we thought ok, lets sit at the upper deck. Only thing was, yang depannn sekali depan cermin tu dah ada orang duduk le pulak. But oh well, kids were smiling ear to ear nevertheless :)

 Boleh travel by tube as well ke Camden Town Station, but based on reviews and website it was not advisable to do so during peak time (i.e. weekends) especially if you are travelling with kids coz the station can get very crowded (hmmm Kazim, whats with the pose??? -___-")
Camden Lock Market. Camden Town ni ala2 pasar karat / uptown whereby ada banyak2 open-air markets selling a lot of stuff, especially souvenirs, vintage stuff, clothing, accessories, well, macam2 lah. One of the purposes of us coming here is to do our souvenir shopping. Memang lagi murah (ok as of now I cannot remember how much murah, but, memang murah lah senang cerita. Hehehe.)

Kat sini ada Camden Lock Market, Camden Lock Village, Camden Market, Inverness Street Market, Stables Market, and Indoor Fashion Market. Even though it can get crowded, its advisable to come during weekends because that's when all the markets are open (and so I was told lah. Tak sure pulak kalau datang weekdays bukak je semua market nih.. hehe).
Camden Lock. Kat tepi tu ada dua laluan air with 2 different levels hence ada twin-lock. Bila kapal nak lalu from one level to another, the gates will be locked to allow the water to flow to the same level and kapal tu boleh lalu. This is apparently the unique part of the Camden Town.
Camden Market. Only Kazim did the mandatory pose. Masa ni Khayr pergi toilet dengan abah dia. 
Kids wanted this. Well, it costed us less than a pound, so sila kan. Pandai korang pilih wahai anak2. Hehehe.
Gotta love the food market here! :) We tapau-ed our lunch (and packed some for dinner) from the Malaysian food stall.
Kazim so happy to get to eat fried chicken :)
He had three servings! :D Mee, fried chicken, and barbeque chicken.

Nyummy churros 

Gotta try the fresh orange juice from this stall - so refreshing!
View from the upper deck of London bus.
Very vibrant and lively.
After did our shopping and settled our lunch, we then hop on a bus to go to the Westfield Mall pulak.
This time, kids get to sit at the upper deck, most front seating! Yeay! (Kids sunglasses juga adalah hasil pembelian di Camden Market...)
It was quite a ride but I didn't mind coz we get to see the different part of London. I think we even passed by some areas at the Zone 2. Tengok rumah2 kat sana, the suburbs area - so cantik. Just like how we saw in movies. Lovely. 
Its just like another mall. But as compared to Oxford St, at least all the shops are under one roof. Cuma sini takde Primark lah.

Kids sempat pau lego minifigure ni. I think in KL is cheaper (?)
Walaupun cover 2 tempat je, dekat pukul 6pm ++ jugak lah we call it a day. So it felt like it was almost a full day itinerary :)
Makan besar at night when there were 8 adults and 2 kids altogether! :) Dinner that night was a combo of food bought from the Camden Market and food brought from Malaysia 

Malam tu sembang2 catching up with the in-laws and also we sat down together to finalise our itinerary for the next 2 days - we have arranged for car rental to drive around! 

So coming up next - road trip Day 11 and Day 12...  :)