Immigration Stopped Me!
02.01.2015 - 02.01.2015
The agenda for 2 Jan. 15 was to take a day trip to Paris from London on the Eurostar. It's approxately a 2 hour ride. And then after seeing London returning on the last train to Paris. However, when I got to customs, border patrol starting asking me a ton of questions and then retained me for further questioning. Why you ask? Because in 2011 I applied for a work Visa in the UK that was denied and all BP sees is the denial without seeing the reason. So needless to say I missed my train and my friends had to travel along without me and I was there guide. The good news is that I was cleared fairly quickly and was allowed in the next train out which departed 30-40 minutes later that my original departure time. In my mind I kept saying this is out of your control so don't sweat it and my attitude was cool calm and collected and I was excited about the opportunity to visit London a second time and a more focused time exploring.
We arrived at St Pancras International Station from Paris Nord and collected two Passport stamps both going and coming for a total of 4 stamps! That is pretty awesome.
We then proceeded to purchase a 1 day Underground Unlimited subway ride card. Which allows you a very short commute to any attraction in the city. I had friends who choose the Oyster card which was supposedly less expensive, and more flexible for a day journey, but I didn't research it to know the difference.
From St Pancras/Kings Cross Station we took the underground Blue Victoria Line to (Victoria station) which placed us a few blocks from Buckingham Palace where we got to see the palace, and the guards. A noteworthy mention is the Queens shop which had some really royal items inside.
We left the palace and travelled from the Victoria station via the Piccadilly line to Piccadilly circus and ate at a popular London Franchise that I don't recommend doing called Garfunkels. Not because the food wasn't good, but it cheapens the experience. After lunch, we strolled down the shopping heaven in London called Regents street where both sides of the streets were lined with most of the worlds most popular shopping and we walked from Picadilly Circus to Oxford Circus. It was a ton of shopping to be had if you are a shopper. The tricky part about shopping in London is the conversion rates. With the pound being so strong compared to other countries a shirt that costs 20£ Considering the exchange rates you end up paying 45 dollars for a shirt. (I did this) and I knew better but still.
We then when back to the underground and travelled the Brown bakerloo line to Waterloo Station and walked to see the London Eye, Big Ben, Parlament and all of the cool attractions in the Westminster area. All a nice walk.
After that we stumbled around the Westminster area and ended up at an Italian restaurant that was very modern, Galileo Locanda Tuscany, and the food was amazing. And after walking toward the crowd we realized that we were 4 blocks from Picadilly Circus.
So from there we went back to the underground and took the Picadilly Line toward cockfosters station and stopped at finsbury park station, which was completely away from the tourist trap and far enough out that we could see how the real Londoners lived. We went into a cafe and used the wifi at a place call costa I believe. It's just across the street.
After that we mosied back to the station and went back to St. Pancras and lounged there until it was time to return back to Paris on the Eurostar. While we were in the station, which is a large market with anything you'd need from clothes, to groceries to wine and beer to hot food, flowers etc. So we purchased some items to have a picnic upon our return from London to Paris. And after that long day trip, we still had time to spare. We came we saw and we conquered.