We finally arrived at Heathrow, London at 6.30pm in the evening, after such a long lay over in Sao Paulo, all be it a very comfortable one, it was nice to finally get there. Customs was a breeze, the first country where the first language was English in 5 months.
After putting on pretty much all the clothes that we owned, we stepped outside of the airport & still nearly froze. The steamy 5 degree temperature was just a little bit of a shock to our bodies, which had only just got used to the balmy weather in Brazil.
The tube was a breeze thanks to the fabulous instructions that Mat & Eimear, friends of my sisters who were kind enough to have me & Al stay, had given us. About half way to our destination we had to say goodbye to Nik, who was staying with another friend. After spending every single day & night together for the past 5 months, it was sad, but exciting, as she was off to set up her new life in London.
Once we reached Mat & Eamears we were greeted with Vegemite & Tim Tams, dinner, a shower & bed, which was more than any backpacker could ever hope for, especially after arriving - hours latter than expected.
The first few days in London were pretty much dedicated to shopping. We headed down to Oxford Street & found it hard to leave, if I had of let my shopping demon loose, I could have ended my trip there, but luckily my will power kicked in. I was also able to pass some of it off as career research, looking in all the stores that the brands back home buy from; I know what you'll all be wearing next season!
We visited the British Museum to see the Egyptian exhibit. Sadly it didn't impress me too much, but I think that's mostly due to the fact that it is housed so far away from where it is meant to be & the Egyptians have been trying to get it back for years & England refuses.
We also visited Harrods, just because we were in London, so why wouldn't you. Again we drooled over shoes & clothes that we will never be able to afford & left empty handed.
Later that night we met up with Nik, who had jumped straight back into the real world & had been working since the day we arrived. We ordered Indian take away, which is nearly a tourist activity in London & checked out her new home. It was a Friday night, so we headed out with one of Alison's friends Liv, who lives in London, to a club in Notting Hill called Neighbourhood. It was a cute little club, with some random Japanese theme going on. It was lots of fun until it closed at 2.30! How ridiculous is that, after 6 months in South America, where nothing is open till then, it was very strange, lucky we had befriended a group of Kiwis who lived nearby so the night could continue.
To continue the shopping spree we headed down to Camden for the Sunday markets. I wasn't quite so restrained on that day, buying a leather jacket & a pair of shoes. I definitely needed the jacket to protect me from the freezing weather, & the shoes were just way too cute to leave behind. Camden was very cool, there were punks everywhere, who despite there best efforts to look scary, just looked cute.
We also headed to the Tate Modern which was very cool. There was an exhibition by Rachel Whiteread which looked good, but we just looked around the general collection, finding adjusting to paying for things in pounds a little hard.
After the Tate, we spent some time wandered around South Bank seeing the regular tourist attractions, and then headed out to meet Nik for a farewell drink. It was strange to think that she was not coming with us for the next leg, so we commiserated with a pint or two of cider & said goodbye for now.