THE NOT SO FREE “FREE DAY”
The next day was chill out day and everyone was at liberty to do their own thing, or so we thought. It was the day of the Royal Wedding. Most of us assumed we’ll be in our hotel room, bumming around. We thought wrong! We were given royal wedding themed tasks to find certain things around London, kind of like a scavenger hunt, which turned out to be so much fun. Check out our tasks for the day and I nailed it except “photo of Harry or Meghan look alike”. That was so difficult to find!
- Take a picture of a souvenir for Harry & Meghan’s wedding
- Take a picture with either a Harry or Meghan lookalike (or people in wedding clothes)
- Show off your creativity and have someone/people say “TravelstartswithVirgin” and “LivefromVirgin” on camera
- Ask people for 1 location in Africa Meghan and Harry might have their honeymoon
I also spent the day catching up with family and friends, shopping and also attending a multi-sensory exhibition at Selfridges. This was my first time in one and wasn’t sure what to expect. It was just okay if I’m being honest and not sure I’ll be going back to one anytime soon, lol.
ONE DAY LATE TO THE ROYAL WEDDING
One thing I was looking forward to on this trip was visiting the Windsor Castle and the day was finally here! We set out from Stratford to Waterloo Station and took another train to Windsor. The trip from Waterloo takes about 50 minutes.
To my surprise (well not really) Windsor was still packed and filled with tourists. The queue to get tickets was over 200 people long and we spent almost an hour waiting in line.
Right after lunch, we grabbed our tickets and went straight to the St Georges Chapel, where Prince Harry and Meghan got married.
Photos and videos are prohibited within the chapel so all you’ll have is memories of your visit (in your heart). I think it’s great photos are not permitted as it gives you time to soak this spectacular structure all in.
We also checked out the state apartments, the famous queen Mary’s dolls’ house, the semi state room and the grand reception room. Also no photos allowed in any of these places which was fine. I’ll advise you to get an audio guide. You can rent this at the castle grounds. It puts things into perspective and gives you information about Windsor. You can also book a private group tour. The only down side to it is it requires a minimum of 15 persons per group. An alternative, read everything up online right before you go! There are a ton of things to see and loads of information to soak in.
A day trip to Windsor should be put on your itinerary if you are visiting London this summer. Adult tickets costs: £21.20, under 17 £12.30 and under 5 free. All passes are valid for a year.
THE VIRGIN ATLANTIC EXPERIENCE AND A FAREWELL TO LONDON
It was our last day in London! We still had a packed itinerary and though our flight was later at night, we checked out of our hotel 12 hours earlier! The itinerary for the day included visiting the Virgin Atlantic Airways’ head office in Crawley and experiencing the Virgin Clubhouse at the airport.
The experience at the Virgin Office was spectacular. We got a mini tour of the uniforms office and it was great to see how much detail is put into something as “basic” as the general outlook of the cabin crew.
They took us through the evolution of the outfits, how they started and where they are today. We compared outfits from various parts of the world; the hostesses in the Caribbean wear their skirts shorter while the ones in the Middle East have it longer.
There were also grooming standards and it all made sense why the Virgin cabin crew always looked impeccable even after hours of flying. They are required to keep their nails short and colour of polish can range from red to burgundy.
Tights must be nude (as close to skin as possible), lipsticks any shade of red, hair must always be in a ponytail and earrings must be gold studs. We rounded up our uniform trip by trying out some uniforms and taking tons of photos. It was a memorable experience, one that we will not forget in a hurry.
We moved from the uniforms office to the safety school where we experienced a tiny bit of the thorough training process the cabin crew have to go through. The crew is trained with bits a pieces of actual aircraft to make it as realistic as possible. Safety school was fun and it was refreshing to see how much importance is attached to safety.
The final stop on our itinerary was the airport for the clubhouse experience. The clubhouse had a great selection of food and drinks, a games room, a nice viewing deck and a spa. A 15 minutes back & neck massage and a couple of bellini’s later, it was time to head back home to Lagos.
And so the travel trio got back home with hearts full of gratitude and memories to last a lifetime. All thanks to Virgin Atlantic Airlines and Travel Start Nigeria.
This trip was definitely one for the books. It opened my eyes to a London we as Nigerians often fail to explore. A typical Nigerian visit to London will entail shopping at the High Street, visiting friends and family and occasionally, a trip to the O2. The city is filled with so much to see and do and I’ll round up this story with a challenge for you. Next time you visit London, DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT!
Ever been to London? What do you love about the city? Share your London experience with us in the comment section.
P.S Travel Start is the ultimate plug for cheap flights so if you’re considering London or any other destination this summer, that’s your trusted online travel agent!