Throwback to the London Experience
Thank You Kuya!
Bautista Brothers on ready to traverse London!
First things first. Christian Bautista is my brother! So that is saying a lot when it comes to travelling. As a performing artist, he gets to go to many places around the world to sing and perform. He has numerous tours and concerts in Asia, Europe, the Middle-East and the US. Most of the time, he has his managers and producers with him when he travels for work. But on this rare occasion, he chose me! Oh joy! A trip to London? Who would say no? Nobody! So I filed my leave, packed my bags, and went on a trip to the United Kingdom with my brother!
He was to meet a local producer there for a new song they would be working on. He also wanted to go to catch two of his friends in a couple of musicals there. Rachelle Ann Go in Miss Saigon, and Mark Bautista in Here Lies Love. He also wanted to shoot the music video of a new song there as well, and I was happy to be his assistant, baggage carrier, security guard, anything he asked! If it got me to London for free, I had no complaints! None at all!
There Is Nothing like London
Striking a pose on the streets of London
Once there, I realized that London was unlike any place I have ever been. There have been quite a few places around that I have travelled to. Most of the touristy places in our country have been checked off in my list. Palawan. Bohol. Cebu. And many others. I have also been to other countries as well such as the US, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Indonesia, but nothing was quite like the city of London. It had a beauty that was all its own.
Walking the streets of Central London felt unreal. It was like I was in a film or in a movie. Everyone was in coats and jackets as the temperature outside was at a chilly 8 degrees. There were Britons, and Americans, and Asians, and Indians, and every other race and ethnicity walking the streets of this very international city. The roads were well-paved and the sidewalks were broad and wide. Everyone smiles and greets you with a friendly word. I remember our first day there.
Feels like I’m part of a British movie! Swipe a card, rent a bike? Awesome!
We checked in at a wonderful hotel in front of Hyde Park. A park! Right in front of our hotel! The parks there were enormous. Huge areas of land and grass and greenery where you could walk around and enjoy the day. The benches were great to chill in and watch the sunset. A squirrel even jumped on my leg one time! We tried to run on one of the mornings but stopped after a bit because it was too cold!
I got closer to the local fauna than I expected
You could swipe your credit card at terminals so you would be able to rent a bike. This would let you cycle around the city and enjoy the sights on a bicycle. One of the first things we did there was of course to come see the queen! Well. We tried to see the queen. There were hundreds of people there, tourists like us who came to see if they could get a glimpse of the royal family. A parade was going on that day and we were treated to the sight of British soldiers trotting down the street on their horses. We were pretty far away but I still gave the queen a salute just in case she saw me!
Sauting the Queen even if she couldn’t see me.
Our days were packed! We would wake up early in the morning to make sure we got to as many sights as we could see. We checked out the Museum of Natural History! It was a grand and big place with many halls. There were exhibits on animals, artifacts, dinosaurs, and everything cool about history! There was this huge dinosaur skeleton at the main hall, and of course I had to take a photo of it!
Seeing dinosaur bones at the Museum of National History made me feel like I was at Jurassic Park!
Of course we also had to see the famous London Bridge and the Big Ben by the Houses of Parliament. The first thing I learned was that the bridge with the tower that almost everyone calls the London Bridge IS NOT the London Bridge! That is actually the Tower Bridge, the bridge that connects to the Tower of London. The London Bridge is actually on another side of the river Thames, and it is a much more common looking bridge!
Tower Bridge!? I thought it was the London Bridge!
We also saw the cathedral and Big Ben near the government hub of London. This is also where Scotland Yard is, their police headquarters. This is the part of London where the New overtakes the Old. Most of London has beautiful brick buildings and arches and sights. You would feel like you were in an age and an era that was not the present day. There was a feeling of being in a classic, in a city older and more experienced than anywhere else I have been. But the central part of London quickly becomes modern.
Take a look at Good Old Big Ben!
Central London is where the offices and banks are, where the government establishments are, where the glass highrises and tall buildings can be seen. The great big London Eye can also be visible at almost any part when you are in Central London. The big red buses cruise around the streets at predetermined bus routes. The tube (MRT) is very accessible and easy to use. The degree of cleanliness and discipline there quickly outranks any sense of travel, and pedestrian conduct we have here.
Apparently, it’s true what they say. It’s always cloudy in London!
Seeing all these, of course I would not dare miss my chance to pose next to some classic English telephone booths. They are mostly unused and outdated now. But these big, red phone booths are a tourist sight and an instant chance for a photo op!
The red phone booth is a classic icon! I wonder if I can find a blue police box somewhere and get into the TARDIS.
Another fun moment is when we went to the Harry Potter Experience! Miles outside the main city of London lies the studio where they filmed the entire Harry Potter series! The films have all been released and taping is wrapped up, but now the studios have been converted into a tourist attraction!
A snow covered model of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Come see the main hall of Hogwarts! Drink butterbeer at Hogsmeade! Soar over the sky in your very own broomstick ride! Gaze at the wonderful three-dimensional model of the entirety of Hogwarts! We had a blast! We had so much fun that I found myself buying a replica of the Elder Wand at the boutique shop after the tour. Expecto Patronum!