A Day in London: Closing Chapter

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So by now, you already know that I’m so in love with London! it is one of my long life childhood dreams that came to life in a matter of one day!

If you have been traveling looking for historical places, you will always end up riding one of these hop-on-hop-off buses and it was definitely a life saver. My next stop was Oxford circus, and man wow! the lighting after spending sometime in the Tube and all the shinny shops and expensive places, they were all screaming and I got lost inside the people’s wave getting off the underground.

So I found a small souvenir cabinet that sells the tickets for a hop-on-hop-off bus called “BIG BUS B London” with a great selection of places. I selected the following route: starting from Oxford Circus through Hamleys to Piccadilly Circus, Haymarket, Trafalgar Square, Craig’s court, Whitehall and decided to hop off at Westminster Bridge.

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Wow! just wow, seeing Downing St. and Westminster Palace with the gorgeous Perpendicular Gothic style is just a mind blowing experience. Big Ben was standing out there shouting to me and I just enjoyed myself to the fullest.

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The Hop-on-hop-off tickets gives you a free ride on a cruise across the Thames river. By the time I enjoyed myself looking across Westminster bridge, enjoying the sun on a cold December day, I was full of joy, full of life 🙂

I kept wandering around the Eye of London area. Went in to see if I can secure a ride but hell no… the lines didn’t end, long lines of people ahead of me and there was no way to anticipate how long this waiting will take. The financial manager in the hosting company I visited in Cardiff advised me not to go to these well-knows sites as it will consume the whole day, his parents waited a whole day to get into the Shard! So I took his advise and weaved myself outta the place.

The cruise was just waiting for me and I took my late breakfast on the boat. The most confusing experience like these are usually how to capture these moments through the camera and looking around for real through your own eyes. I’ve gotta say, since I started taking pictures whenever I traveled, I felt that I didn’t enjoy the thing as much as before. Lots of these memories had gone and what is left is these memories on my laptop! they would say that this is the main reason for photography, however, I know as you know for sure, we are missing a lot looking around through a camera lens.

Most the picture I took inside were not that Awesome, however, the boat narrator was really amazing and thanks to him for all the information I learned cursing the Thames. The route we took was: London Eye, Cleopatra’s needle, Waterloo Bridge, Royal National Theatre, Millennium Bridge, Shakspeare’s Globe Theatre, Southwark Bridge, London Bridge, The Monument, The Shard, City Hall, Tower of London and lastly The Tower Bridge.

I went down at the Tower of London and started pondering around. The sun was really amazing and I was feeling cozy and comfy wandering around taking pictures like crazy. I decided not to get into the castle but wandering looking at the river bank and moving towards the Tower Bridge. What I found was a little sad story! After taking some selfie pictures, I forgot to switch the camera back and since I developed a habit of taking pictures walking without looking actually through the camera, I ended up with lots of half pictures of myself and half an eye!

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Walking towards the Tower bridge, you would start seeing the world in a different way. I guess I always loved looking at water (given that Jordan has water resources problems, seeing any form of water is always a blast, something not much people cherish to have!). The view from the top is stunning, I started to video tape this trip, it is definitely one of the best adventures I gone through so far!

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On the other side of the bridge, I went to a get some coffee and wandered back to the cruise and went back again to the underground through the Temple station. Back again on the run and it is almost 4 o’clock running around these places. My next stop was, yup, of course, I won’t miss it! It was the Kings Cross 😀

After jumping between a number of trains (it became my joy to wander around the Tube from one train to the other :D) I finally reached my destination. After passing some security checks, I kept walking and walking to find myself passing towards the trains area! I felt stupid for a moment before motioning back and asking some of the security guards about the place! and here I was, finally standing at Platform 9 3/4!

After waiting for almost an hour, my turn came to take a picture behind the wheels 🙂 it was again a dream came true 🙂 luckily, these guys have a shop just next this platform, where I got a Gryffindor scarf. It was really expensive (£32.99) so it was the only thing I get from there. However, no regrets, I wear it till now almost everyday to work 🙂

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I couldn’t resist the attempt to go out while the day is wrapping up and the night is falling. On the way back to Paddington station, I stopped once again at the Sherlock Holmes museum and bought more stuff 😀 (I told you I became an expert)

It was really AWESOME meeting you London! Insha’Allah, I will visit you once again in my life 🙂

A day in London: Chapter 2

So I decided to head back to Paddington station as there is nothing to do outside! I headed to the information center planning to ask the guy where should I go here in London… sounds so tourist, right? So while waiting for my turn to come, I saw a miracle! the Tube map with all colored veins that are screaming for you to come and explore 😀 and the guy was nice enough to advise me to buy the one-day traveler ticket to roam around the tube the whole day 😀

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Baker Street: Sherlock Holmes Museum

The moment I traced the brown tube to Baker street, I got that Eureca moment! what is better than my beloved Sherlock to go and visit in London!

Hopped off the tube, traced every single mark that promised to lead to Sherlock Holmes Museum. The moment I got off the station, I saw this magnificent sign! almost cried of happiness this time!

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I found myself running afterwards following the signs, heart beats very fast, all the books and the movies I watched are finally manifesting in front of me.

And finally I’m there, not believing that one of my childhood/adult dreams is finally becoming true! happiness comes in many form, and the best, when you are not expecting it!

Sherlock Holmes Souvenir shop

Yup, I bet you I spent money here like crazy, if I had enough cash on hand, I might ended buying half the shop!

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And of course, I bought the ticket “The Sherlock Holmes Museum” for the house tour.

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Sherlock Holmes House Tour

Now, the house is a 3-story building with an attic, each floor describes part of Sherlock’s life. From his bedroom, to the living room, to different murder cases meeting vast amount of characters you saw/read about. An amazing experience that if you are a Sherlock Holmes fan (Sherlocked by definition), this is a must place to visit.

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Where the magic happens!

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This is the amazing part, where you meet a wax-made characters and guess what! I had a selfie with Moriarty 😀

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and finally… the attic where all the relaxation happened 😛

It was a hell of an experience, I’ve gotta say… this adventure was the reason I’ve ended up roaming around London instead of heading back from where I came 🙂

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A year from around the world!

I gotta say, last year between October 2014 and October 2015 I had the most fun and wonderful time in my life! it was travel time through which I had the chance to experience traveling, meeting new people to trying new food, seeing new places and most important: discovering my own self!

ahRzfmd1YXJkaWFuLXdvcmxkLW1hcHJMCxIGcG9pbnRzIkA3NTkxQTJDQzZBQkFBMDk2MUU0MDJFQzRBM0QzQ0Y2NDM5N0M5QjcxNDlBOEEyNzUxN0E3NkMzMjNFRDdBODdEDAThese memories reflects the craziest and truthful times I’ve been through. From almost cryin’ at Paddington station knowing no where to go to cruising Charles river in a bus! 2016 lets see what new adventures you are hiding to me 🙂

So here are some of last year’s adventures:

 

Along the way to Sweden

Traveling is one of the most enjoyable and extraordinary experiences you have in your life. Sweden has been amazing so far in Lund, Malmo, Landskrona, the people, the place, the life and yes it might get a little boring for some since Lund is considered a college city where things can be slow sometimes but still I really think it is really a nice and perfect place if you are looking for a quiet place to be on your own and study!

Before talking about Lund as a city and my time here in Sweden, I’d like to share some experiences I had during this journey. It was a very long and tiring flight landing in two airports from Jordan through Frankfurt airport, Copenhagen airport and then Lund. Its been a while since I traveled through Queen Alia airport in Jordan, it is bigger now and you need to follow what exactly the direction the personnel who check your passport guides you to on the gates otherwise you might end waiting for more than 20 minutes in the cafeteria instead of the designated gate waiting area.

The flight was with Lufthansa airline and quite comfy. Its my first time to travel at night and I was amazed how they turned off the light during taking off for a while and then serving us a meal! I really cherished the small blanket and the pillow they placed on every seat but for sure I couldn’t sleep due to the noisy sound of the plane but it seems if you travel a lot, you get used to it!!

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Frankfurt airport is one of the biggest airports I’ve seen so far, everyone is on the run and if it happens and get your flight late as ours, you might miss a flight for sure! There was lots of running there, frankly I didn’t like the allocation and spread of the duty free shops as it was difficult to find a perfume shop! they might change your gate number so you need to keep your eye on every screen they have all over the place.

Lufthansa airport

One thing I didn’t like about Frankfurt airport was that the passport checking personnel were very rigid and they even through a racist comment to my face when passing the security check for being an Arab! the thing that you should keep in mind is to ask when you don’t know what to do, there is a lot of kind people who are willing to help and can direct you wherever you get lost. One last remark about the airport was that the toilets were really horrible!

Flying over Norway and Denmark was another story. I was very tired and even didn’t have the strength to pull up my Camera but it was an amazing view up in the sky. The clouds lines were very awesome looking like piles of cotton and snow. The wind turbines in the sea were epic, the formation and their movement. The far away ships and boats looked like frozen objects in time and damn I really should’ve filmed this but Insha’Allah will do so on my way back.

I was amazed when I went to get my baggage and that’s it! no passport checks whats so ever! a handsome taxi driver in Mercedes came to pick us up from the airport to Lund through the well known bridge between Copenhagen and Malmo but that’s a different story that will be told later 🙂

October in Sweden… wait for me!!

Lund University

I still can’t believe that I was accepted for the Social Innovation in a Digital Context (SIDC) programme in Sweden in association with Lund University. I’m actually over excited as it is the first time I have the chance to travel and explore the world by my own. Although I have to deliver a project by the end of the one year programme period but I’m really excited to meet my colleagues from the Middle east and North Africa who will be part of this programme as well.

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Having the chance to study and attend one of the best 100 universities in the world is really amazing were I will have the chance to meet professors, researchers and students and engage with constructive conversations, seminars and knowledge sharing. I’m really excited to be back to school, I had wonderful years in my Bachelor and Masters studies but I was only exposed to people from my own profession and study expertise unlike here, people from different backgrounds, ethnicity, cultures and even values and idealization would be very promising and rewarding. Being able to combine technology with socio-political affairs in this project were we can promote for social justice and human rights is really something we can build for our societies and hope for making change!!

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Anyway, these houses seems really beautiful I can’t wait to hang out in these streets!! it will be in October but I would like this even more as I’m a winter person 🙂 I started to check the grocery stores and these stuff to see if I would need to cook for myself or what!! I’d like it if I can have an access for my other colleagues to see from where they are. I feel excited already to make friends and have the opportunity to explore cultures and social norms from their countries.

Its crazy how excitement drive you to search for the living there, how the studio apartments for students will look like, what stuff to pack, I even started to order some books about the topics we might discuss and save them for the trip and the weekends there!! I hope the people there are cool and like to hang out as I definitely would like to spend evenings out and explore this city. A chance to visit the beach would be really AWESOME!! I know I won’t make it to Copenhagen but who knows I might plan for a visit there as well. I’ll prepare a list of the museums, castles, events I can visit and attend while in there.

Wow… its five months from now and I can feel the excitement and joy to leave already… so alive and so firing.. so here I come LUND!!

🙂