From Madrid to London

My trip from Madrid to London by Easy Jet from Madrid Barajas Airport Terminal 1 was on the 26th of September 2014. This was written on my Notes in Iphone but  did not have the time to upload it yet until today. ^^ It’s pretty pretty long…

From Madrid to london

Alhamdulillah…the day to go to London is here!

This marks my first time to the UK but honestly I was not as excited as my first solo trip to Japan back in 2007.

Why? Because I’m married and going alone sucks!

Anyway, I can’t do much about it.

A blessing in disguise. ^^

Surprisingly, I met Heliza Helmi, the AF artist with a Malaysian tour group at Barajas Airport Terminal 1! They just finished a tour of Toledo-Seville-Granada-Madrid using Turkish Airlines and they will stay for a day in Istanbul before flying back to homeland.

I chatted a bit with Heliza but the security guard at the airport did not permit any picture taken around the security area. I hate the guard!! Hehehe…

I did not realize that it was her until my husband told me. How come my husband knew Heliza only God knows.

Actually I couldn’t care less if an artist is beside me but what I could care more was the fact that I met a Malaysian in Madrid!! I met many Filipinos in Madrid and they thought that I was one of them. Yes, we are from the same root and we are Asian.

The check-in my of luggage at 10.00am was a breeze as no one was around. I was super early. My flight was due at 11.35am.My husband urged me to get a second helping of breakfast as he was afraid that I would get hungry when I reached Gatwick Airport.

Mahoudrid, Barajas Airprt

So we had our second breakfast at Mahoudrid, a brand new cafe’ at Terminal 1 of Barajas Airport and kinda pricey. Breakfast at Mauhodrid set us off at 6.50 euro for a standard cafe latte, a glass of fresh orange juice and two slices of tiny oh tiny bread.

After the crocodile tears..hehehe, hugs and kisses, it was time to part with my husband. Time for both of us to strengthen our tie again, on our own with Allah.

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Another Malaysian called Azah spoke to me right before I had to rush to Gate B20 but what a shame, the flight was delayed. It got delayed until 12.00 noon and that made my arrival at Gatwick Airport to be at 1.20 pm (London time).

Gatwick Airport

Gatwick Airport.

Not much difference. The ETA was at 1.00 pm ^^ Gatwick Airport was quite big compared to KLIA2 (the old one before the newly erected) but less the oomppph! Among the similar characteristics of the both of them is that the walking distance between the flight tarmac to the arrival hall is like ages. ^^ Very long!!
And the funny part was where the separation at UK Border for UK/EU citizens and non UK/EU. The direction was kinda confusing as when I realized that you could just go into the same entrance instead of going over a different ramp.
I was asked loads of questions by Immigration officer. I think more than ten. For Malaysian, there is no visa needed to visit the UK for a maximum of six months but as usual you need to show your supporting documents ie. your saving account statement, credit cards, itinerary and etc.
But I didn’t have my bank statement and itinerary. Just my credit cards, my accommodation confirmation and return ticket. I’m staying in the UK for 95 days. So she was curious and hence the multiple bullets of question.
There were a couple of gays from Indian descent in front of me whom were asked much more. About four or five  peopled had passed the immigration before me but they were still not finished!
After the frightening interview, I passed the immigration! With flying colors!! Hahahah..not an exam.
Gatwick Airport
Then I went straight to pray at Gatwick airport prayer room. It is a multi-faith prayer room and there is a wudhu’ area. That is pretty accommodating!
After praying, I tried to connect to the Free Gatwick Airport WiFi but failed too many time. I needed it desperately because I forgot to print the direction to my host’s house! Aigoo…but finally the wifi was connected for a mere two minutes. Alhamdulillah.
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My flight + immigration + luggage claim + praying…by this time, it was about 3 p.m. My bus to Victoria Coach Station is supposed to be at 5 p.m. I was tossed around by three guys telling me incorrect information for Easy Bus waiting point! But..since my ticket was at 5.00 I didn’t mind.
I know…I am nice. Hahhaha…You should see me when I’m not so nice. Grrrr…
Gatwick Airport

Top:Left: Entrance/Exit to shuttle bus area

Right: Take the lift from South  

Bottom:Left: The bus stop for EasyBus customers (using National Express)

Right: EasyBus to other Aiport ie. Luton, Stansted. (Check out your luggage allowance before you take this bus)

When I saw the EasyBus, I was totally freaked out. My luggage was huge! But this tiny bus only fits cabin bag. Do check the luggage allowance for every bus that you want to take in the UK.  

But then, the guy told me that Easybus has joined with National Express for the route to Victoria Coach Station at platform 3 and it is a big bus with a maximum 25kg each person. Safe!  

I boarded my bus by National Express to Victoria Coach station at 4.00 pm. The best part was that EasyBus customers get to enter first. We were prioritized.  

The other best part was the bus driver of National Express did not mind and did not even glance at what was your departure time printed on the ticket.

I should have listened to my host from Airbnb! She gave me so many reliable and near to accurate information. Masha Allah.  

Gatwick to London

The journey was about 1 hour 30 minutes and I arrived at Victoria Coach Station at about 5.00 pm. Hmmm…the Victoria Coach Station (bus station) is not connected to the Victoria Station for train and underground (tube).

I urged those who want to travel using tube to bring a small cabin bag. The not so good was…I arrived at London’s peak hour. Yikes!!

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All those  hustle and bustle of people…but I really don’t care. I took my own sweet time. I paid for my ticket anyway hence I am entitled to some space right?

London’s rush hour was terrible…never ever go out between 6.30-9.30 in the morning or 4.00-7.00 in the evening. It will be a horrible experience.
Gatwick to London
I took the underground or tube from Victoria Station and changed at Oxford Circus Station to Central Line (red) to Redbridge Station. The central line was stuffy and hot. Every time, the tube went into some stations, my ear had some air trapped (only central line so far) like when you went to higher altitude places.
By now, I already miss the subway in Seoul. *sigh*
Escalator or elevator are really scarce in the underground or tube. Plan your transportation going to your accommodation in London really well or you will end up like me. Exhausted!
Not all station is equipped with escalator, elevator and toilet though. You may need to download a map from Transport for London site to check which one has them.
My host’s house is at Zone 4. Her rate in AirBnb is pretty cheap but I really regret the whole thing. It took me close to one hour to reach her house from Victoria Station.
If you only have 3-4 days in London, stick only to zone 1 or 2. The reason because of the main important tourist spots are in this area. Like myself, I had a week in London so I didn’t mind the distance. In fact, I only managed to go to one or maximum two places in a day. I really took my own sweet time. Traveling is tiring, honestly.
Oyster Card

Zone 1-4 for 45 pound (7 days) + another 5 pound for the oyster card deposit.  

I will stop here. Until another day then. Read to plan your journey in London.

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