Day 10: Last Day in London

all you have is your fire
and the place you need to reach
don't you ever tame your demons,
but always keep them on a leash

Arsonist's Lullabye - Hozier

This is the last post of this trip peeps. I don't think it's going to be long. You know I often feel that I cram all my physical exercises requirement in a year when I go travelling. I was outdoor a lot, I walked a lot, especially when I got lost. I even sometime felt that I got home skinnier. Now I start to feel that I cram all my writing requirement in a year when I write these posts about the trip. It's not like there's a requirement or anything, but I do think it's important to write. It's forcing my brain to think of words and be creative in putting my thoughts and opinion. Not that anything I write is beautifully phrased or any thought I have is sound and logical. I just always feel it's important to get my brain challenged. I guess that's why I've been taking language classes one after another, despite of me having days when I was just so frustrated of it all and felt that a 1-2 week break is too short. So after this post, I think you will not be seeing a new post soon due to my laziness. If you miss it (I doubt you will), don't worry, I force myself to write at least 1 post a month and so far I've been keeping it.

Before I start with this last post, let's talk about the UK leaving the EU. Man, I didn't think they had it in them. I thought they're going to chicken out and remain. So they're leaving, congrats I guess. The markets around the world as CNN put it are freaking out. If only they're not. Perhaps people need to chill. Yes, things are going to change. It may go downhill, but hey be positive, be resilient, get back to work, and make the best out of the decision. The ride downhill will eventually stop and things will start looking not so bad. So unlike me to sound positive. Right now things may seem disastrous. There are already talk from politicians in the Netherlands and France wanting to get out too. There's also talk about Scotland wanting to vote for their independence again. Then David Cameron is resigning, goodness right now everything does seem so nightmarish. I have to say he may have made the wrong move by allowing a referendum to take place in the first place. It's like opening a Pandora's box. Again it brings me to mind a conversation in the book The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro. Anyways, one good point is with the pounds going down, it might be a good time to travel to the UK :)

So my last day in London. My flight out was at 8 pm, so I still had time to explore the city. The plan was to visit The National Gallery and Westminster Abbey. I took my time that morning. I checked out from my hotel and went out to a rainy morning. The evening before as I checked the weather I saw that there's a 12-hour yellow weather warning until 12 pm of my last day. Finding out there's a warning, it seemed serious to me. I didn't know what yellow warning meant. When I went out that day, I had to use the umbrella (again it proved that my decision to bring one was correct), but the rain was so-so for me. It wasn't heavy. It made me think of being in Singapore, I don't think we have weather warning and we often have big heavy thunderstorm rains with lightning and thunders. If there is warning, it's not something that appears in the news. So the whole thing was a bit strange for me that day. I did hear a tree fell on the track somewhere though and some train wasn't operating, but all and all it was an okay manageable weather situation for me.

The National Gallery is this awesome museum in Trafalgar Square. I say awesome because it's free (again the UK is so awesome about their museums) and the collections are great. I read that you can not bring your backpack so I put it at the cloak room, but then I did see people with their back pack :( So anyway, I started at this special exhibition of flower paintings. You can't take picture here, so I don't have any. I think they're all by Dutch painters and they're all so so beautiful. The museum is divided into different styles: Early Renaissance, High Renaissance & Mannerism, Baroque, Rococo, post-1800, Impressionism & Post-Impressionism. When you enter the sections, you really do see the different styles. Unfortunately my knowledge on this is still very very limited. The Early Renaissance section is kinda further off and you go through High Renaissance first before getting there. I thought it might be better if it's the other way around. This picture below is from one of the room in the High Renaissance & Mannerism section.

This is from Early Renaissance. I think all if not most of the works are about Jesus, the angels, and the saints.

This one is from the Baroque era. Looking at the picture, the kids look so happy. For a more detailed explanation of the painting, you can go here.

Here are paintings by Pierre-Auguste Renoir. Left is Dancing Girl with Castanets and right is Dancing Girl with Tambourine and I think they fall under Impressionism.

For more pictures from the gallery, you can go here. I forgot how long I spent here. I had lunch at the gallery, had Guineafowl. It's not bad, I actually enjoyed it and I actually googled what it looked like alive while waiting for my food. Leaving the gallery, it was still drizzling a bit, but I still walked around Trafalgar Square a bit. Seeing this picture, I think the weather that day is cliché London. It's like England was saying, you cannot leave yet without experiencing this :D

Next stop was Westminster Abbey. Again I have booked for this, but they didn't seem to have a dedicated entrance for people who already had their tickets :( You can't take pictures inside the Abbey, so all have is the exterior pictures.

Inside you are given an audio guide. I listened to all the stops. There are a lot of important historical things inside the Abbey. A lot of tombs. A lot of people were buried there, of course some of the Kings and Queens of England, but there's also people like Isaac Newton. There's a Poet Corner which contained many famous writers. There was a Shakespeare statue and I also saw a memorial for Jane Austen. I wonder if the Abbey is still used to bury famous people. If yes, I wonder if they really just start making a hole on the floor to bury the person. When I was there, lucky me, the garden was opened that day. So I went there too. It's not very big though and since I was running out of time, I didn't linger. This below is among the last pictures I took in London. It's a picture of the Big Ben that I took before I dashed to the tube station.

As you can see, it shows 03:30 PM. I had a ticket for the bus to Heathrow at 4 pm. I needed to rush to the hotel, get my luggage, and go to Victoria Coach Station. Victoria Coach Station is very near my hotel, but with 30 mins to spare I was cutting it close. When I arrived at the coach station, I got confused with the TV boards so I just asked one of the staff there. He was taking his time examining my print out, but luckily the gate wasn't far and I made it. As I sat down, I saw the clock in the bus showed 03:58 PM, that's how close I was cutting it in. When I booked the ticket, I thought I may have made a mistake, I could have taken a later bus, but then as the bus struggled with the traffic in London I thought I may have made the right decision after all. It made me think of how it's the same in Jakarta. When I need to get to the airport from home, the struggle is to get from my house to the toll. The distance is short, but the traffic can be a killer. In the end though, the bus arrived at the stated time, so really they have calculated the journey time to include traffic. I arrived with a lot of time to spare but as my mom always says, it's better to just wait at the airport than be late. The airport wasn't busy and after passing security check, I just spent the time walking around. Somehow I found out that I needed to take their internal train to get to my gate and I thank God that I didn't find that out at the last minute. I would have been in such a panic then, like the few passengers who seemed to be quite panicky about it. The section where my gate was didn't have a lot of shops, only a Starbuck and something else so yeah it wasn't much fun waiting there, but at least it was quiet. Perhaps that day really made me tired that I was able to sleep on the plane, as mentioned in post 1. At the end, I really thank God for this blessing and opportunity. It's another adventure done and each time I am always still in disbelief that I did it, that I am still blessed enough to be able to do all these. It's humbling and my gratitude to God is never enough. For pictures of London, please go here. So that's it peeps, we're done. THE END :)

:) eKa @ 10:06:00 PM •

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