It’s a city that I only ever hear bad news about; whether it’s the government, terrorism or some form of strike, it has always just been a little dot on the map where I knew big things happened.
I have been twice in my life before now – once when I was seven years old and it was cool to take a day off school to go travelling (thanks, Dad), and last year for a job interview. I suppose that’s a little known fact about me – I applied for (and failed to secure) a job at a massive accountancy firm in London. Boy, how things would be different for me if I got that.
Anyway, I decided to head down to London for a day on January 2 2017. An amazing way to start the new year.
I arrived at Buchanan Bus Station in Glasgow at around 10pm on New Year’s Day, giving me almost two hours to kill before hopping on the Megabus to London. You can read more about my not-so-fantastic bus ride here.
I dragged myself off the bus after it pulled into London Victoria at 8:30am, and tried to look for the exit through bleary eyes.
The first point of call was breakfast – a nine hour journey on a bus with nothing but a few disappointingly flavourless Pringles had left my stomach sound like a grizzly bear falling down a mountain. Yeah, have fun trying to picture that.
I wanted to spend time searching for a cute little unknown shop for a bagel or something, but I had hardly made it off the bus when the smell of Frankie and Benny’s beckoned me. I am ashamed. But hey, at least I was full.
A quick look at my phone and I realised that I was right around the corner from Buckingham Palace, and old Queen Lizzy herself who unfortunately wasn’t home.
The building itself was absolutely stunning, but it was so difficult to get a good picture past all of the tourists crowding the gates – my anticipation of a quiet Monday morning sans tourists was quickly falling apart.
We jumped on a tour bus next, after research proved that unless you wanted to get eaten alive on the underground, tour buses were the best way to see and travel the city.
It was an uncharacteristically sunny day, and so I had absolutely wonderful lighting for a lot of my pictures, the majority of which were taken with an iPhone 6 camera after I accidentally brought the wrong lens for my SLR – I don’t like the zoomy ones.
A few people chuckled to themselves when they saw me taking a picture of a really shiny Maserati parked round the corner from the bus station.
I am not a car enthusiast – far from it, in fact. Hence the reason why I took the picture.
Last year, when out with my (now ex) boyfriend, we were waiting on a bus in a not-so-busy street outside of Glasgow. A few of his friends were with us, and although we had been together for several years, I still felt like I had to make a good impression.
As if in cue, in rolled a Maserati.
No one had noticed it yet – this was my chance. My boyfriend and I had talked about this car before, so I was confident that I knew everything that there was to know about this beautiful vehicle.
So I cleared my throat, mustered up courage that I didn’t know I had, and exclaimed: “Look, isn’t that Lanzarote gorgeous?”
Maybe that’s why I don’t speak in public.
Anyway, away from the embarrassing moments and back to my touristy London experience.
The London Eye was something else entirely – I am not exactly one for heights, however the gleaming glare of tall windows and bright skies enticed me to the top.
The pod was so crowded it was difficult to see outside, even though I was surrounded by glass.
After I managed to snag a spot next to a window pane, I snapped as many pictures as I could before graciously stepping back and letting a small woman take my place and soak in the sights. Y’know, like any decent person would do.