Before the Mozilla Festival, I had some time to explore London! I arrived at the London Heathrow Airport (LHR) at around 6AM and I have to commute via the Tube to the hotel. This trip is different from my other overseas adventures as it was my first time to travel alone! 🙁
When I arrived, I searched for the Tube station and bought a £5 Oyster Card that I loaded with £30 credits (which apparently was enough for my whole London transportation! My total transportation expense was £31). With a conversion £1=PHP70, I have experienced the rumors about all the stuff in London being hella expensive. For example, for two stations I paid around £2+ which is PHP140 in the Philippines. Hell, the most expensive train fare in Metro Manila is just around PHP20! 🙁
So from the Heathrow station, I boarded a Piccadilly line train to Green Park then walked to the Jubilee line train to Waterloo. I got lost on the Waterloo station and instead of going to the Westminster Bridge, I went to the Waterloo Bridge! I asked around and after around an hour of looking, I finally arrived at the Park Plaza Westminster Bridge. The hotel is just along Westminster Bridge and you can see this awesome view of the Westminster Palace there. I arrived at around 8AM and there are no rooms available yet as check-in time is usually 2PM so I left my luggage and stayed at the lobby to rest before I head to my forever alone adventure. GOOD THING I stumbled upon Mozillians who do not have rooms yet as well and decided to go around London. Hello Deb, Sayak, Cliff and San James!
After going around London we went back to the hotel to freshen up before heading to the Mentor Call at the Mozilla London office.
After the meeting and before the facilitators meeting, I went around London again to search for some of the shooting locations of Sherlock! I went all alone this time and I have 3 hours to complete my task. I had no difficulty going around London as there are maps all over the city and it is so easy to figure directions on your own with all the signage! I first took pictures at Trafalgar Square. It was also one of the Sherlock locations.
Around Gower Street, the Baker Street in the Sherlock TV series.
And the real Baker Street. This is not the right place where the 221 should be but there is nothing between 220 and 222! Cool.
After the meeting at the Mozilla office I walked back to the hotel alone and had some alone feels with a good nighttime view of London.
The next day we had some free time so Cliff and I visited some famous places in London. We got off at London Bridge station to kick-off our journey.
We then walked to the Tower Bridge via the Queen’s Walk.
We then crossed the Tower Bridge and stumbled upon the Tower of London.
Souvenir shops! We also paid a visit to the Chinatown which doesn’t feel much like a Chinatown 🙁 Or maybe we just didn’t have much time to explore it because we are already running out of time to catch the events at the MozFest.
Now let’s talk about the London Underground! My daily route is walking to the Waterloo station then riding the Jubilee line train to North Greenwich.
And the hotel! Park Plaza Westminster Bridge is truly a wonderful hotel. I have a roommate supposedly but I ended up having this lovely room for myself!
Now time to to go home! There was a storm in UK that day and everyone was worried about their flights. Some actually had flight delays and cancellations. Being in the same flight to KUL, Syafiq and I went together from the hotel to the airport and it took us 2 hours to reach it because of massive train suspensions and delay caused by the storm. We were so nervous but then we made it just in time for our flight!
I am assigned to a window seat again (but as usual, ON THE HUGE WING) and the flight attendant asked if I wish to transfer to an aisle seat. I did and eventually had all the four seats for myself! Woohoo!
And that is my London adventure at the MozFest this year! I conquered the “Travel Abroad Alone with Just $200” challenge! Yeah I think I spent only a total of $200 for my trip this time. Because I was alone, I got to immerse myself with all the different cultures because I can’t run to people who grew up the same way I did like I usually do when I travel with my friends. I had to understand and cope with the diversity and I got to appreciate that, especially in a place like London where people from all over the world flock to. I wish someday I can travel to provinces in the UK. I’ve always wanted to ride a train that will cross fields and mountains.