Tuesday, March 2, 2010

england/north wales tour 1997 (1)

outside our accommodation in london - 1a gosfield street, off oxford circus - for which we paid s$240 a night. we had travelled on mas to london, with a one-hour transit stop at subang in kuala lumpur. throughout the nearly 13-hour flight, we had to endure cigarette fumes in the smoking section. ironically, my friend victor samuel, a heavy smoker, who had taken an earlier flight, was nicotine-starved on his sia flight. in 1997, all flights on sia were already smoke-free.

victor and his wife helen were at heathrow terminal 3 to meet us. we rode on the tube from the airport to oxford circus. the 50-minute ride cost us about s$17.80. we had to change train at piccadilly. that night, we had dinner at a nearby chinese restaurant.

on day 2, we did a lot of walking in central london. from oxford circus, we walked down regent street towards piccadilly, passing carnaby street along the way. we so walked past the sign pointing to soho but we did not visit that area. the london palladium - where the musical 'oliver' was being staged - is about 800m from gosfield street.

we joined the pride of london sightseeing tour at piccadilly. for first-time visitors to london, this was the recommended way to see most of london's famous landmarks. the 20 stops that the open deck double-decker bus made included the west end, piccadilly circus, traflagar square, st james's place, hyde park corner, buckingham palace, westminster abbey, the houses of parliament, big ben, whitehall, downing street, horse guards, strand, fleet street, st paul's cathedral, the mansion house, london bridge, london dungeon, tower bridge, the tower of london and shakepeare's globe.

places which we made multiple visits to included leicester square, covent garden, trafalgar square and charing cross. we found leicester square the most exciting place to be in the evening, especially on a saturday.

which child could resist feeding the pigeons at trafalgar square? there were more pigeons in the later part of the morning and early afternoon. there seemed to be fewer pigeons in the evening, especially after seven. the pigeons were apparenty well-trained; they would take food from visitors/strangers but would not steal from the stall that sold the bird food at 30 pence a cup.

we were there not to admire nelson's column or to take pictures of the four impassive lions. all three times when we went to trafalgar square, it was to feed the pigeons.


Icemoon said...

Are they ivy and ida?! Such a big difference in height last time.

yg said...

yes. 5 years age gap.

pck said...

Hi yg,

I presume that’s you in the second photo? When I brought my children to visit London in the eighties,they also enjoyed feeding the pigeons in Trafalgar Square and were totally awed by the huge dinosaur skeleton they saw in the British Museum.
To control their number, I was told that nowadays anyone caught feeding the pigeons in Trafalgar Square could face a hefty fine of £500.

yg said...

pck, yes, that was me almost 13 years ago. the bird flu wasn't heard of then.

kimology said...

Interesting because I also took my children there in 1997, the same time the Commonwealth Games. All my children, especially my daughter, wanted to do was to feed animals - pigeons, ducks, squirrels, birds, fishes, cats,etc. Eventually, I took then to the Aquarium where they patted sting-rays and some other fishes.
Holidays are wonderful for memories.

yg said...

hi kimology, holidays with children are like that. you spent thousands of dollars and all they wanted to do were to feed the ducks, to play at the playgrounds and to sleep in the car.

peter said...


I chose Thai Int'l or Lufthansa when I flew to London. Bcos that time I was a smoker and only 2 airlines allowed smoking. The problem is one has to make 1 stop-over for connecitng flight. In Thai case, it was BKK and Lufthansa in Frankfurt. I think I could have also taken CX but thta meant 1 stop-over in HKong.

Smokers will go to great length for that smoke.

Lam Chun See said...

YG. You look familiar; I mean in your old photo. Were you involved with NJC's Outdoor Activities Club in 1969 like Unk Dicko? Maybe you were one of our tough instructors who trained us in Pulau Tekong?

yg said...

chun see, i think i have a common look. when i was in a supermarket in australia, two teenagers came up to me and requested that i posed for a photo with them. they said i looked like their uncle. recently, my cousin also made the same request because they said that, now that i am older, i looked more and more like their late father, my uncle. i did serve as an instructor at pulau tekong but not at the njc camp but i do know most of the instructors who served at your camp.