The mood was very somber as we woke knowing that today was the last full day in London. To make matters worse, we needed to wash our clothes again so that would waste a portion of this precious day. We packed our dirty clothes into our carry-on and went across the road for some breakfast. I had been there a couple of times to pickup breakfast and take it back to the room, but this was T-Rex’s first experience. As such, we decided to dine in but that was a mistake, normally it only took less than then minutes for breakfast to be prepared, but today it seemed to take an eternity. More likely was that we were so conscious of every minute knowing that we were going to soon say goodbye to our home for the last fortnight. Breakfast, when it arrived, was ok and helped lighten the mood as we headed out to get a bus to the laundrette that we had visited last time.
On the way we took some final snaps of Big Ben and enjoying the cold. I think we had graduation goggles, the phenomena where things that use to annoy you start to enjoy and worry about missing – just before it comes to an end. We made quick work of the washing as we were seasoned pros and was soon on our way home again. We started planning our day as we were unpacking the clothes and packing our suitcase for the next day’s Euro Star journey.
The original plan was to walk down the river Thames and cross one of the bridges (where a bus blew up the next day) and have a casual day. However we realised we were not going to have anytime to visit King’s Cross Station as we needed to be at Saint Pancreas so early. So being both risk avoiders, we thought we could rehearse and time tomorrow’s journey, visit the Harry Potter famous Platform 9 3/4 and have my first taste of Starbucks in two weeks. On they way we said goodbye to Picadilly Circus which had been the launching point of most of our adventures. I said hello to a pistachio and rose mocha that tasted like I was drinking flour milk. Finally we found the magical platform but there were a hundred people with the same plan. We hoped to get a photo of ourselves there, but we didn’t care enough to endure the long queue. Instead we took a photo of it empty and went to the gift shop. It was a fraction of the size of the one in the Warner Brothers studio, but was probably more packed with people. We elbowed our way around the place, looking at the trinkets and muggle contraptions but left empty handed.
With our timings of the journey mapped out and our route sorted, we both felt immensely better a pout our first international train ride. We retraced our steps back to Picaddily where we decided to do some last minute gift shopping. I managed to grab a present for j-street, colnub and nickname, having already found one for g-cat. I also grabbed a memento for my travel collection and something for T-Rex’s and I’s apartment. After grabbing some awesome loot we went to grab a Chinese (how the locals say it) as it is Chinese New Year, the year of the fire monkey. It was very busy as I’m sure you can imagine with a city of seven million people. It started to rain so we decided to try our luck at random, luckily we picked a great place and didn’t have to wait at all. We order some familiar dishes that didn’t taste familiar at all. My Mongolian had a ‘milk sauce’ and certainly was thick, but also equally delicious. After feeling quite full, we were given complimentary fortune cookies which is coincidentally a tradition we have back home when we get Chinese. T-Rex’s said that she had mystical powers which is correct, however mine was missing a fortune all together, which was an ominous sign before our daring trip under the sea.
We headed back in high spirits but a heavy heart, London had certainly surprised us with the ease in which it was for us to slide into living there. We were apprehensive about the culture shock of France after being surrounded in pleasantries and never feeling unsafe. We returned back to our hotel for one final night and packed our bags and called it an early night for the early start the next day.