The Long Awaited Day

After quite a lengthy planning, finally the day arrived: we were ready to embark on a trip to the largest city in Europe: London. We have booked our flight already back in November last year, so we had nothing else to do, than print our boarding passes and try not to oversleep (the flight was scheduled to take off at 06:45 in the morning).

Wizz wingHaving the tickets booked so early, we managed to buy our round-trip flight for two persons with WizzAir from Cluj to Luton Airport for as low as 842RON (~€187), which included also one checked-in luggage. So far everything was great ;).

Due to the early departure time, we had woken up at 04:15 in the morning and after just about an hour and a half we have already passed the check-in process and were standing in line to embark the plane. Due to the deicing procedure, the plane took-off at around 07:10 and additionally we had a quite long flight. On top of that we could see hardly anything of the land below, so I was really glad they changed the Wizz-magazine since the last time I flew 🙂 . It was already around 08:10 (U.K. time) when we finally landed. I am saying “finally”, because the last few minutes were… well… “messy”, as the pilot also announced. We had to go through multiple layers of clouds and were approaching the runway in an angle which was far far away from straight… The whole experience, however, was actually OK, because by the time the plane really started to shake we got out of the cloud layer so everyone jumped to the windows to admire the beautiful, green, English countryside instead of worrying about the plane 😉 .

The next challenge was the long-long queue at the passport control gates. I think we stayed there about an hour, so our plans to do a quick tour of the city center just before lunch was slowly fading away… Despite of the long queue, our morale did not fall: we made a quick cash withdrawal (there are some “free” cash withdrawal machines which accept a lot of cards) and were ready to search for our bus to London.
National Express
Finding the right bus was also a piece of cake: there were some HUGE signs painted on the wall, about National Express who would take you to London Victoria station for as little as ₤10 round-trip. The buses start off from the coach station just outside the exit from bay number 10. Tickets can be purchased both inside the terminal and at the bus (there is no difference, the agent even accepts credit cards). We had a small issue here with the payment: although the sign said the trip only costs ₤10, this actually meant, that the whole round-trip costs ₤20 per person. (otherwise it costs ₤15 just one way, making the round trip cost ₤30). Luckily I have withdrawn enough money so I was able to pay without problems.

The last part of our trip was just to get on the bus, and get into London in the scheduled one hour and 15 minutes period… well, this is what we thought at least… Unfortunately there were some very heavy traffic jams in London, so by the time we actually arrived to London Victoria Coach Station, it was almost 13:00 (U.K. Time). The trip itself was full of surprises, though, we really got to know how unforgiving London traffic participants may be. The driver was funny, he took all the small challenges really well and made jokes about the other drivers double-crossing him…

By this time we were absolutely positive, that we were going to take the first city stroll soonest towards the evening, but we were actually glad that we arrived and we were ready to get in contact with the public transport system of London. But I am going to write about this whole tale in the following post…


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