October 13-14, 2015
The day started off on the plane. A 7-hour flight on October 12 meant we would arrive in London the next day, October 13. I’ve never visited family anywhere other than Canada or Malaysia so having family in the UK is mind-blowing to me.
My dad arranged for a taxi to pick us up from the airport and take us straight to King’s Cross Station. The taxi driver was a sweet man from Poland who had the funniest GPS ever. “Turn left and make fun of all of the pedestrians walking while you’re in the car!” Driving in London is crazy – it’s almost equivalent to driving in Bangkok. Once at King’s Cross Station we grabbed some delicious sandwiches for around £1.50, approximately $3.00 CDN – still cheaper than sandwiches in Canada.
Train stations in the UK are very different from what I’m used to at the GO Station.
Our train took us to Loughborough, pronounced “Loughborough” and we arrived at Platform 1. The station attendant told us the train to Nottingham was at Platform 2, all the way on the other side of the tracks. This meant we had to take an elevator up 1 flight, across the bridge above the tracks, and down 1 flight (because we had our suitcases). Turns out after all of that moving we missed the train and had to head back to Platform 1. Arriving in Nottingham soon we tried to contact my Uncle Richard, however, we didn’t know how to dial out to the United Kingdom from my phone so we figured we would find the only half Chinese man looking for family… it worked.
It’s really interesting to have family in the UK. All my life I’ve only known family in Canada or Malaysia. Having family with a British accent is pretty damn cool. As soon as I showed up at my Great Aunt’s house she brought out an old family photo from 1999 (that I very much ruined with my new Kiwi Green Game Boy Color…)
After a super tiring journey I napped on the couch while my parents caught up. For dinner we ate a Chinese restaurant, London-style, and I got to meet my cousins, Charlotte and Sam.
Dinner-time and then time for bed. My mom booked us at the P&J Hotel, the most quaint hotel you could ever imagine. Clean but freezing at night – I felt like I was camping.
Today was our first real adventure day. The public transit in Nottingham is £3.50 for a day-pass and super-easy to take (take notes Mississauga Transit and TTC…). After eating breakfast at the mall we headed back to the hotel to check out and then back to town to explore. We found a Poundland, aka Dollarama! We also visited Nottingham Castle and saw the statue of Robin Hood.
Nottingham is the cutest little university town. It reminds me a lot of Waterloo – not too busy, not too quiet, juuuuuuuust right. I’ll definitely have to go back and visit and now that I know I have family there, I’ll have more excuses to. I wish we had more time in Nottingham. Although it’s a small city there was so much to do and explore. It also would’ve been nice to spend more time with my family.
Uncle Richard drove us to his house for some tea (because England) and then the Nottingham Station so we could head back to London where our adventure continued…