Backpacking to Europe – Part 27: Getting lost in London

Backpacking to Europe – Part 27: Getting lost in London

Previously

If you just reached here and wanted to read the start of our journey, let’s go to Part 1!

London, here we come!

London is a city known to everyone. When we talk about London, everyone will know what are the attractions in the city, what to do, where to eat, to stay and whatnot. Many people surely have a dream to visit London at least once in their lifetime. Even for us, when we told our family and friends that London is in the plan, they were like “whatttt?!”. But things did not go on smoothly for every journey. We did not foresee that getting lost in London is one of the things that would happened to us, not when he had everything planned beforehand.

“Wrong direction, love”

Our Vueling flight arrived at London Gatwick Airport at around 8.40 pm, local time (one hour earlier than Paris). Immigration at the airport was smooth. We had to fill in the arrival form and get our passport stamped upon entry. A few questions from the immigration officers to ensure that we were in London for holiday and not doing other things.

After passing the immigration, we went to reload our Oyster cards since my office friend and my dad loaned us Oyster cards so that we could save some money in London. We intended to take the Gatwick Express straight to London Victoria station since it would costs us only 20 pounds. Plus, the journey was supposed to be just a mere half an hour.

Heading towards the train station at London Gatwick Airport
Heading towards the train station at London Gatwick Airport

We went down to the platform and saw a train with an LED screen stating “London Victoria – Gatwick Airport – Brighton“. Us being unsuspecting of anything wrong and also due to our tiredness (and had not bathed for a day) went into the train with our luggage and sat. When the train started moving, I heard on the PA system that the train will end in Brighton. I am not too good with England’s geography so I did not know where Brighton is.

Suddenly, a man started a conversation with us “Hi there, having your vacation here? Where are you from?“. “Yes, we are planning to visit London and we are from Malaysia“, I answered. “London?! You are going on the wrong direction, love“, a woman sat next to the man told us.

A long night

True enough, we were going on the wrong direction. In addition to that, the train did not stop at any other station except at the final station i.e. Brighton. Gladly, the English people inside the train were so kind, they helped us check the train schedule to ensure that we could still arrive in London on the return train.

After the train arrived at Brighton, we disembarked from the train (not without further drama – the train doors on our coach and 3 to 4 coaches in front of us would not opened. We had to drag our luggage along the coaches to the front coach to exit) and waited for the next train back to London. In total, we wasted an hour and a half journey – half an hour to Brighton and an hour back from Brighton to London.

The worst hostel from my personal experience

When we reached London Victoria station, we took the Circle Line tube to Bayswater station. We had made a booking at Smart Hyde Park Inn Hostel which is located near the station. It was close to 11 pm as we reached Bayswater. There was no elevator at the station so we had to drag our luggage up the stairs to exit.

A tips to everyone visiting London – most Underground station has no elevator but flights of stairs. So, better not to use a heavy luggage or you will face difficulty in bringing them up to the street. 

A very long night for a what supposed to be a straightforward journey
A very long night for a what supposed to be a straightforward journey

We were really tired at this point of time – no rest since the morning, did not bath and had not had a proper meal since we left Potsdam. We thought that we would get a good rest at the hostel and mind you, it was not the first time I have ever stayed in a hostel. But things were so unpleasant in the hostel (I wrote a review of the hostel on Trip Advisor here). We left our luggage in the room and went to find a place for dinner. Good thing about Bayswater is Halal food is everywhere, even the Subway is Halal. We decided on an Indian restaurant and whilst eating, Amira and I decided that we would find a new place to stay at.

Getting lost in London trying to find accommodations

We were so desperate to find a new place to stay that night. We decided that we would just leave our luggage at the hostel and just sleep at the new place. As soon as we finished eating dinner, around 12 am, we started looking for hotels. We walked from one street to another, pressed the bells from one hotel to another. However, to our disappointment, they were all fully occupied.

We could not remember how far or in which area we were at, we just walked and walked until we got lost. It was close to 2.00 am. Yes, getting lost in London for almost 2 hours was not fun at all. Especially when it was in winter.  Well, not only getting lost in London, getting lost anywhere is not fun. We almost lost hope when we finally found MStay Hyde Park Hotel which has a vacant room. We paid 99 Pounds for a night stay and went to bed and had a very good, sound sleep.

That was the end of us getting lost in London. Hopefully, the next day will be better.

Next: Part 28

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4 Replies to “Backpacking to Europe – Part 27: Getting lost in London”

  1. Penat sgt la tu sbb kalau tgk kepada route train tu mmg arah ke Brighton sbb stating “London Victoria – Gatwick Airport – Brighton“…x pe pengalaman..sib baik ada org tanya kan..syukur

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