te Where I Walk Tall: This is London

This is London

This is London!


I am finally in London! When the flight attendant announced our arrival (she said "maligayang pagdating sa London!). I could only let go of a silent "sigh" of relief and thank God for the safe 15 -hour flight.

I tried to contained my excitement and prepared myself for the immigration. It would be a shame to travel and cross timezones, only to be denied entry to London.

There were only a few of us who flew in from Manila. It felt like flying via a private plane. I love that we had the privacy the entire flight- and I had both the window and aisle seats for myself (the others took the 4-seater in the middle to lie down and sleep). 

I stopped myself from taking pictures from the airport and just walked with the other passengers to the immigration area. I remember my first travel to Singapore where the guard stopped me from taking a selfie - and in Vancouver where the airport personnel asked us "to keep going" because they are "busy people". I should take note that Heathrow is the busiest airport in the world, and when in London.. well, I have to act like a Londoner ;)

Signs are everywhere welcoming me to the beautiful city of London! I was itching to post an update in social media to let my friends and family know that I landed safely; but (again) I chose to delay the big announcement. I had to first get the hotel address to write in my immigration card (of all the things I would forget!!)! Thankfully, wifi connection at the airport is reliable. The first message I received is from my host who asked if I had already checked in. I told her that I just arrived and waiting at the immigration.

I don't know why I always get to the least friendly immigration officer. The one who "welcomed" me in London told me I traveled all the way from Manila just to be in London for a few days. He asked me what I was planning to do, or where I am headed after the event. I told him I am planning to visit the Harry Potter Studio (haha, as if he wanted to know that!). He clarified which country I was planning to visit after London? I told him I was going straight home to Philippines. He gave me the precious "arrival stamp" and off I went to take my luggage.

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It was not the first time I was traveling alone - but on the same instance, there was always a ground transportation service waiting for me at the Arrival Area. I felt like a million dollar celebrity when I met my "driver" who drove me to my hotel in style. 

The car is a BMW with sunroof, wifi and minibar. 
I posted my picture with my awesome driver in Instagram.
Check out the hashtag #RuthGoestoLondon
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It felt like living in a dream without the fairy godmother and unicorns. I took a video and did a fun vlog while my driver and I talked about London and the beautiful scenes of London.

I arrived in Cumberland Hotel in Oxford Street, London (which is near the Marble Arc - such beautiful place!) past 5 in the afternoon and I only had less than an hour to prepare for the welcome dinner. 
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At the lobby of the hotel, I finally met our hosts (lovely lady Teresa and Nazia!) and more media practitioners who came from different parts of the globe. I was surprised there were over 200 people checked in the hotel for the big Lenovo event!

Some snapshots taken while riding a double decker bus:
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Welcome dinner at Smith of Smiths 

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The Smith of Smithfields is an interesting pub restaurant. I made a quick research about the place before my flight and now I wish I have taken more pictures of the place. I just lived the moment and enjoyed the talks with new friends I met (hello Lizza, Eduardo, Muriel, Natasha, Amir, Steven, Teresa and Nazia!)

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After the dinner, we decided to just walkgoing back to the hotel. But our host didn't allow us to wander at night in the area, and they pleasantly dropped us off somewhere in Oxford.


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I am trying to remember the feeling of walking down the roads of the rather, quiet and elegant city that is London. It was surreal. I was with people who are both first timers and a few who are certified wander bugs, but the feeling of exploring a new city with people I just met is just so exciting!

I never really thought I would see London or be in London (!!!). 
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And when you are in London, you just don't sleep. We found our happy nest in O'Neils Bar where I had the most delicious, authentic dark beer - Guinness. O'Neil's an Irish Pub which has good live band music and rooftop deck.

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I was expecting colder weather and nights in London, but it was still a bearable cold for me. I am guessing my new friends are surprised at how I handled the weather (especially that I am from a Tropical country). Shameless #ootd taken at the washroom. I wore really comfortable shoes, you can check out my Outfit Post in my blog. It is good to invest in a pair of high-quality shoes from ZALORA that give your feet ample support and comfort when you're on walking tours.

Here's my new friend, Natasha (from Croatia) such sweet, young lady who offered us the best from her country :) I love the vibe in the O'Neil's roofdeck area where your view are bricks and brick walls from neighboring bars. Totally different from the bars in Manila.
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We left O'Neils at around 3 in the morning and started the long journey back to our hotel. It was interesting to feel safe in another country. London is beautiful even at night. There were only a few lights from bars and cars that guided us back to our hotel.

When I got back to my room, I didn't feel like going to bed - not worried that I might wake up from the dream that I was living that day. I just want the time to stop while I was in London. I want it to be the longest 4-day trip of my life.



More about London soon.

Travel Date: October 2014
Destination: London, United Kingdom

You might also want to read: How I Got My UK Visa in 3 Days


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This blog entry is written by Ruth and published in www.whereiwalktall.com.






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