Monday, September 25, 2017

Day 9 & 10 - London, UK

Day 9 - 5th May 2017
After our final meal in Brussels - which was waffles (of course!), we took the Eurostar train back to London. This time we were more prepared and we made sure we had enough time so we did not have to run like a mad girl chasing our trains.

Although it was only a 2 hour train ride, but by the time we went back to our accommodation and left to the city, it was already 5pm. We rushed to one of our first choice for afternoon tea and sad to say we missed it by 10 minutes. The afternoon tea kitchen has closed. T___T We quickly searched for a nearby alternative and decided to go to The Crusting Pipe, located in Covent Garden.

Actually, the outside of the restaurant was so full when we reached, as there was a live band playing. And it was very cold that day although we were already in a building, so we decided to eat indoor and splurge on the afternoon tea set for £18.95 per person. Most expensive afternoon tea I've ever eaten.

Presentation : Pass!! But honestly the food was just okay. It wasn't bad, but not super good. Eating Burger & Lobster is much more worth it. LOL But still, no regrets as we have our afternoon tea in UK bucket list checked! =P

We were so rushed when we arrived at Covent Garden (as we were scared the afternoon tea kitchen are closing soon) that we didn't have time to looked around at the shops. We only did that after the meal which makes us skipped dinner as we were so full!

We have some time to kill before the sky turns super dark, so we headed to Oxford Street, which was also the shopping street in London. Actually our main aim was to just enter Primark, which was me and MeiChi's new favourite shop in London. LOL

I think we spent around 2 hours inside Primark until the shop closes. Then we headed to Tower of London Underground.

Loving thelighted buildings along the river as well. The Shard can be seen!

We braved the cold and only found out that they actually locked the area. Luckily we managed to enter into a pier for our purpose of this journey - to see the lighted Tower Bridge.

Our last night in London, so a wefie!

Day 10 - 6th May 2017
We packed our luggage and then went over to Stratford looking for post office to post some letters to our friends.

And found a cafe that serves yummy breakfast!

We went to Westfield again, and did some last minute souvenir shopping for groceries and headed back home for our final packing. We left the place around 3pm, knowing that we have a long journey to go to the airport. After 30 minutes walk to the tube station and a change of tube to the Piccadilly line (shout out to the strangers that helped us to lift our luggage up the flight of nightmare stairs of the underground stations!), we finally arrived Heathrow Airport 2 hours later. 

We couldn't check-in earlier via online at home, thus we tried to use  the self check-in machine at the airport. We keyed in our confirmation code and when we scanned our passports, it couldn't match our names. So we joined in the queue where an airport staff was helping those who have problems. I think we queued for around 30 minutes, and when it was our turn, we explained that we tried using the machine but it says invalid ticket. It might be due to our name (first name and last name mixed up by the system). She gave us a frustrated look and just typing her way into the system using our printed confirmation. We did not want to annoy her so we did not interrupt her during the process. After 2 minutes of her typing, she gave us back our tickets and say, no tickets issued on our name. WHAT?!?!?! 

I told her that we have tickets and showed her my printed copy of confirmation by the airline. But she just annoying reply something like "YOU DON'T HAVE TICKETS. I COULDN'T FIND YOUR NAME." We tried to explain to her that it might be due to mixed up in first / middle / last name, as Asians always encounter this problem, but she's having a deaf ear. She kept typing and ignored me. We was getting frustrated. She replied again that MeiChi and I don't have tickets and then shoo-ed us away, trying to serve the next customer.

We tried to remain calm and asked if there is anywhere or any counter we could go to help us to check, as we have the confirmation number and all she kept insisting there's no such name in the system. We got mad and since she couldn't redirect me to other place, we just remained standing there and insisted her to check. We refused to move over to let her serve the next customer. She continued to type into her screen angrily and mumbling "NO TICKETS", and then after 5 minutes, she miraculously found our names.

Seriously?!?!! Imagine if we didn't insist her to check and just let her being shoo-ed away, we would've been stranded in London and missed our flight. I remember writing her name down somewhere as I was really ready to complain her "kind" assistant, but I couldn't find the paper after that. LUCKY HER!

After our check-in, we went over to queue for our VAT refund. We queued for half an hour and began to panic as the queue was still very long in front, so MeiChi and I decided to split. She will queue for luggage check-in (as the earlier lady checked-in both me and her luggage under her name) and I would continue to queue for VAT refund.

I queued for another 1 hour when it was finally my turn next. Then MeiChi appeared beside me and said the luggage check-in officer insisted to see my face, although both luggages were checked-in under MeiChi's name. I don't want to start to queue all over again, so we waited until it was my turn. We handed our VAT forms and waited the officer to process the refund. It felt very slow because we were so stressed. Immediately after it was fone, we run our way to the baggage drop off counter. The officer was already serving another customer (so unlucky as it was a troublesome customer as well because they needed to last minute purchase check-in luggages). After another 15 minutes of waiting, finally I went to the officer, and he just "OH, OK" like he has forgotten the case and couldn't be bothered. 

Our plan to have a proper dinner before boarding has to be cancelled, as immediately after we proceed to pass through the immigration and security check. When we finally entered our Terminal, we were left with 30 minutes to grab some food. That's when our wheels of luck has changed and we managed to find a £1.00 salmon and seafood pre-packed meals.

We headed to our gates took the 17+ hours journey back to Penang, Pearl of the Orient! Arrived home way past midnight and off to work the next day!

****THE END****

Read all about :
Day 1 & 2 in London - here.
Day 3,4 & 5 in London - here.
Day 6 in Antwerp - here.
Day 7 in Brussels - here.
Day 8 in Bruges - here.
Day 8 in Ghent - here.
Day 9 &10 in London - here.

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