[ENGLAND – PORTUGAL EXCHANGE 2012 — DAY 10]
Introduction: This was our last day in London. We went to Harrods to begin with after checking out of the hotel and changing buses (plus lunch) at Marble Arch. We then went to St Paul’s, walked across the Millennium Bridge to Tate Modern. We didn’t spend too long at Tate Modern before following the river up to Tower Bridge. We then got a bus to Liverpool Street as we had to change their to get back to Harrods in order to collect our bags from there. We then went to St Pancras station for a while, which is where we said goodbye to Nona for her to get her own flight back to Sweden. We then got to Luton Airport just after midnight and spent several boring hours there before we were finally able to go through security at about 3:30am.
We checked out of the hotel at 10am, or just before and lugged all our luggage to Harrods. We had a whole day to spend with our luggage and although confident that there would be no issues with this at Harrods as they much have had this before there we did worry slightly they wouldn’t let us in. This was kind of true. We arrive at 10:50 with 10 minutes until Harrods opened. They didn’t let us in with our bags but showed us the cloakroom. So glad this happened as we could leave our bags he all day. It wasn’t free but was only about £3 or £4 each for the whole day, which for London is so cheap. We spent a little while looking around Harrods before deciding what to next for our last day.
This was a sign in the hotel, the spelling was dreadful so I corrected it for them lol
The shoe section of Harrods, we tweeted it because we think our friend CJ would live there if she could
Marble Arch, Lunch and Buses
We topped up our Oyster Cards and decided the places to go would be down by St Paul’s as we could get a lot done it that area for the afternoon. As we were still only getting buses we got a bus to Marble Arch and had to change there. By this time it had gone midday and we were all so hungry so we had lunch here before getting our connecting bus to Marble Arch.
At Marble Arch
St Paul’s to Tate Modern
We got off the bus at St Paul’s. We walked around St Paul’s before heading down to the Thames, crossing the river at the Millennium Bridge. We crossed over the bridge to the Tate Modern. We went inside but there was little we wanted to do. There was only a few free exhibitions and instead looked around only a bit including a moving piece of art which to me was just pure weird because it was just a large group of people walking/jogging/running at various speeds from one end of a large space to another. I think within the Tate Modern the place we spent the most time was in the gift shop. I suppose this was quite typical for us.
At St Paul’s Cathedral
On the Millennium Bridge looking back to St Paul’s
Looking down the river from the bridge
View of the Globe from the bridge
Approaching Tate modern
Standing outside Tate Modern looking back the way we came
Walking Tour: The Globe, London Bridge down to Tower Bridge
We walked past The Globe. We were going to go inside… well until we saw the prices and though the time and effort involved we would just be happy enough to walk past it. Then from here walked down following the river through the London Bridge and Southwark area right up to Tower Bridge. We stopped just a little just before Tower Bridge mainly for photos. Then walked up to the bridge itself to get a bus across Tower Bridge and onto Liverpool Street so we could change for Harrods again.
The stupid Olympics mascots which they had everywhere!
Us with Tower Bridge behind us
The Tower of London over the river (next to Tower Bridge)
Getting closer to Tower Bridge
At the bus stop on Tower Bridge
Getting back to Harrods again
At Liverpool Street we had to get the Number 23. This change seemed to be more complicated than any other we had done. First we couldn’t find the stop. Even on the map we struggled to find where it was, luckily we had Laura with us who had the brains it seems and cutting through Liverpool Street train station it didn’t take us too long. Some other people who were looking at the same time us walked the long way round and took a lot longer. I suppose it made little difference as there seemed to be no buses for 20 minutes. Like many others we almost gave up, and even afterwards we had no clue what happened there.
We finally got our bus back to Knightsbridge for Harrods. We actually missed the stop as we were expecting to drive past the building like we did before and this one didn’t. As we walked back the way we came on the bus we saw lots of paparazzi, still not sure why as they wouldn’t tell us, and we went past some very expensive cars on the way.
We went back into Harrods as Nona wanted to buy something and then to collect our bags. We had plenty of time to spare as we didn’t want to get into a problem of missing the closing time of 7pm.
St Pancras Train Station
We had plenty of time to kill so we went straight to St Pancras Station. There was several reasons for this. Firstly this is where me and Laura would have to get our train to Luton Airport from, secondly it had a Paperchase which stayed open later than most and I had a plan for Laura there, and thirdly it has the only Starbucks which is open all night there. The plan did kind of work, however we found although Starbucks was open all night the reason we like it is because they have sockets to change laptops and phones, but this one however didn’t. In the end we resorted to Costa Coffee as they had one socket. It was not greatly accessible but was better than nothing. While there we did go to Paperchase as it is a shop I know does a lot of London styled stationary although this one almost ironically seemed to be lacking, but Laura settled on something all the same. We were also hungry and had a long night. We couldn’t find much around as it was late and little was open so we left St Pancras and went to the McDonalds just past Kings Cross Station. This also was the perfect opportunity for us to charge our phones again, although we did have to wait a bit for some sockets to be free.
By 9:30pm Nona started to needed to go as she had to get to Victoria Coach Station to get to Stansted Airport. We went back to Strabucks for a while before deciding about midnight to get the train to Luton Airport Parkway and then onto Luton Airport. Laura was a little concerned that the shuttle bus from Luton Airport Parkway train station to the Airport itself might not be running at 3am but with early flights I couldn’t this being possible. I double checked it and although the service was not so frequent it did meet every train to arrive in the train station. We spent the whole way chatting and comparing almost every aspect of our educational systems.
At Luton Airport we had several hours to kill until we could even get through security, so we didn’t fall asleep every now and then we would walk around the airport, ate M&Ms, got food and coffee, etc. Finally we could go through security at about 3:30am.
Laura falling asleep in Luton Airport