United Kingdom Days 4 and 5 – Westminster and Notting Hill

Westminster City is one of the most tourist-packed areas in London and it’s very understandable why! A lot of the usual tourists spots were just 5 minutes away from each other. The moment you step out of the Westminster Station, you’re already greeted by Big Ben, the Parliament Square, and Westminster Abbey. I didn’t know where to start! I decided to head to the Westminster Abbey first because it is incredibly beautiful from outside. There was service inside so they didn’t allow tourists to enter so I decided to go in and sit through an Anglican Catholic service. I couldn’t concentrate when I was inside! The walls were covered in gold. It was a really magnificent sight and I wish I was able to take photos but photos weren’t allowed during service so I guess I should just feel happy that I was able to take a look around. Inside the Cathedral, there were the graves of some prominent people such as Isaac Newton and David Livingstone. I’m sure there were more important people in there but those were the only two that I was able to take a look at from where I was seated. Most of the floor was covered in people’s graves and I was a bit paranoid about that, trying not to step on anyone’s grave while walking because that just felt a bit creepy. Other than that I was completely mesmerized by how the Westminster Abbey looked inside.

After the service, I decided to walk around the area because there was really a lot to see just by walking. I passed by the Parliament Square and the Big Ben. When I passed the Big Ben, that is when I truly felt that I was actually in London! I couldn’t help myself, I kept taking pictures of the Big Ben from every angle I could. It was hard to ignore it because most buildings in London are not very high (one thing I loved about London, you can actually see the sky everywhere you go! I love the sky!) so you can actually see the clock tower towering above everything else and can easily take shots from many different angles.

I also got to go inside the Jewel Tower, which is one of the two remaining structures from the old Palace of Westminster! It was smaller than I expected it to be but it was still full of history. Going inside was like a real history lesson for me especially since they included a lot of information not only about the tower but about the government structure.

I did a lot of walking that day but I did not get tired at all because my eyes were too busy just observing the beautiful architecture not just of the historical sites but also of the regular shops that chose to maintain the old buildings that were first built where the shops now stand.

Something weird happened to me that day. I was walking down a street and two guys approached me asking to take a picture, as I went to take the camera from them they said, no we want a picture with you. What was that? Is that some sort of scam that they do like take something from you without you noticing? It was a bit creepy so I went away and walked really fast in case they came after me.

Anyway, after that, I decided to sit down and have lunch at 3pm. I was too busy sightseeing that I actually forgot to eat! I had my first ever Fish and Chips from a really nice tavern near Big Ben. It was actually pretty good. It was funny seeing tables of tourists all ordering the same thing I did!

After lunch, I just kept on walking from Westminster all the way to Trafalgar Square at the end of the road where they were celebrating the Hindu Diwali Festival. I didn’t stay long because there were so many people so I decided to walk all the way to Oxford Circus where I did a little shopping. I needed to shop because it was too cold and I didn’t bring enough covers for myself!
The next day, I went to Notting Hill, which is made famous by the movie of the same name starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant. The houses were very pretty and colorful! It took me around 4 hours to walk to and from the end of Portobello Road which is filled with all kinds of shops. I managed to buy several things from there and it made me happy. I passed by the famous Blue Door from the movie as well! It was a really nice day to be a fan girl. Haha. I noticed that a lot of the sites I went to have relations to being a fan girl of something.

My next stop after visiting Notting Hill was Upton Park where the West Ham United Football Club is based but that was not the reason I went there! I went there to visit the Who Shop which I heard was the best Doctor Who Merchandise shop in London! I had to go there and glad I did because there were some things there that could not be found in the Gift Shop at the Doctor Who experience in Cardiff! I wish I could have taken home a Tardis Trashcan or a Doctor Who Monopoly board game but alas my baggage could only carry so much.

I had to get back home by dinner because I would have to pick up Ian from the Walthamstow Central Station! It was so nice seeing him again after two years! Wow! It’s been that long but despite the amount of time we have not physically seen each other I really do still see him as one of my closest friends.

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