London Travels: Day One

Monday, 15 December 2014

All this week, I'll be posting some of my highlights of 2014. Book blogging will continue normally, I just wanted to re-cap on probably one of the most eventful years for me that I can recall.
In this post I will be looking back at August.

The months leading up to August were some of the most stressful I've ever had with teachers making me complete past papers and mocks all in preparation for the dreaded summer GCSE exams. Not to mention all the revision, or last minute revision in my case, I had to do. Anyone who knows me knows that I am terrible with revision. I deserve an award for how much I procrastinated in the run up towards my exams and I'll be honest, I probably didn't do enough revision for any of them which I later regretted throughout my entire summer holiday.
Finally, it was 21st of August aka the dreaded Results Day. I didn't sleep until 6am the night before because I was just so stressed. I was prepared for failure, but I knew if I was faced with anything less than a C I would break down in tears. Thankfully, that didn't happen and all my worrying was for nothing. I came out with an A*, four As and three Cs which I think is pretty alright.
Top & Blazer: New Look
Cupcake: Morrisons (haha!)

To celebrate my results, my parents took me to London for a few days which was really nice as we haven't had a break away since Isle of Wight when I was fourteen. Last time we went to London it was really brief and we barely had any time to see the sights. So, it was really nice to finally get to play tourist for the day and visit a bunch of really great places.

As quite a bit happened and there a quite a few photos for me to share, I'll be splitting my 2014 London Travels in two parts. This post will be focusing on the first day and then at some other point in the week I'll post the second half.
Day One

The first thing we did was head to the London Eye. My dad absolutely hates heights so it was just me and my mum that actually went on. It was about £50 for the pair of us and, according to my dad who was left waiting on the ground, we were up there for a good forty minutes which it didn't really feel like at all.
Thankfully, the capsule we were in didn't have too many people as I've seen some cases where you're pretty much packed in with a bunch of other eager tourists who end up getting in your shot. Despite having to fight a family hogging that side of the window to get a picture of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament, it was relatively fine.

Please excuse my terribly pale and exhausted face in around a hundred percent of all these London photos. We caught the train at 8am and I get terribly bored on a three hour journey, plus I don't tend to sleep well when travelling or staying in hotels. There's just something about it not being my bed that completely unsettles me and I'll spend hours trying to get comfy.

(Below: that coveted shot that I spent ages subtly trying to elbow a pack of tourists that had claimed the area in order to get this photo. A+ zooming skills!)


(Below; me on the London Eye with a rather cloudy view of the city behind. All clothing info is at the end of the post.)

Next up on our list of travels was the Sea Life Aquarium which is definitely one my favourite places we visited that day.
Entry was around £87 for the three of us for priority tickets which meant that we got to skip the general queue. In the grand scheme of things and considering all the exhibits inside it was actually value for money.
When we first entered we were led towards a dimly lit corridor where upon looking down we realised we were actually stood above the shark tank. In addition to this, you're ushered into a room where you're positioned behind a backdrop and a photo is taken of you. This probably one of the main reasons, along with the fantastic exhibits, that I think that the price was reasonable. Yes, you did have to pay around £10 for the photo at the end of the aquarium, but still think that it's a nice memento.
Here is the one of me and my mum and dad:
There were so many different displays on offer. From the stingrays (top right and bottom left), to adorable little seahorses that required Sam's A+ zooming skills in order to be seen (bottom right), to the extremely popular penguins (below top left) where everybody had congregated around to see them.  There were my personal favourites, the gigantic sharks who swam way too close to the glass for comfort (bottom left) and the turtles who were so adorable that I spent around half an hour glued to the tank not wanting to leave. In the end my parents did drag me away, ignoring my constant requests for them to buy me a turtle.
The last picture (bottom right) was of my least favourite attractions at the aquarium, the Japanese crabs. Purely because they frightened me so much. They are much more massive in reality than that picture makes them look and their horrifyingly long legs, which I'm convinced are probably longer than mine, make them look like an alien from another planet or a monster than belongs on an episode of Doctor Who.

Overall, it took us around two and half hours to go through the entire aquarium with the occasional pit stop to gaze in awe at some jelly fish or take photos. Most of the time was spent battling our way through the very dim lighting and obstacles of pushchairs parked in the middle of the floor, all the while trying to not lose each other in the crowd. One thing that was a little disappointing was the fact that you had to climb endless amounts of stairs to get around to the various parts of the exhibition and once you'd gone up the first several flights there was no going back. However, it was a lot of fun and if it hadn't had been for the fact we had other sights to see, I would've liked to go back and spend another hour or two wandering around as tickets were valid all day. After our maritime adventure, we were all exhausted so got food from one of the small restaurants located right outside the aquarium.

Once we'd filled our bellies with delicious food, we took a cab to Shakespeare's Globe Theatre. Or rather, the reconstruction of it. The Elizabethan playhouse is located in London Borough of Southwark, on the south bank of the River Thames. It was originally built in 1599, but was destroyed by a fire in 1613. It was then rebuilt in 1614, but eventually demolished in 1644. The newly constructed Globe was opened for performances in 1997.
We caught one of the later tours at around 4:30pm and it cost £40 for the three of us. Standard entry for one adult is £13.50.
The Globe is an open-air theatre and while it did rain while we were having our tour, thankfully we weren't in the yard so we didn't get too wet. The tour itself took half an hour, of which we got to see a live rehearsal of the play Comedy of Errors which was nice.
Outside on the Globe Theatre steps and the Globe reception area.
Bankside Pier
T-Shirt: Debenhams. Cardigan, Hat and Leggings: Topshop. Shoes: (seen in picture on Globe steps) New Look and Satchel: ASOS

To wrap up the day we went on the search for food. My parents popped into a noodle shop nearby the hotel and had a box each and then we went Starbucks to get me a croissant, cookies and a packet of crisps. You can tell what an unhealthy, yet picky, eater I am.

This concludes the first day of my eventful and completely tiring London travels. Day two will be posted some time in the week among book reviews and other 2014 memories.

Hope you have a great day!
Until next time,
Samantha


All pictures featured in this post were taken by me. Please send a e-mail to samkilfordblog@gmail.com if you wish to use these photos elsewhere outside of my blog, I will be expecting credit. All opinions featured in this post are my own.

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