#2043 – A Winter Weekend in London (Part I: London)

ENGLISH

Before the story becomes too old, here is the story of my weekend trip to London which took place last month in December. Posts in the A Winter Weekend in London mini series:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: London
3. Part II: The Long Way Home

KLM KL 983 (Amsterdam – London-City)


Flight: KLM KL 983 operated by CityJet
Equipment: Avro RJ 85 reg EI-RJW
ATD: 09:04 CET (Runway 36L of AMS)
ATA: 08:48 GMT (Runway 27 of LCY)

Learning from my latest experience in London, I decided that I would want to fly to London City Airport (LCY) this time around. Beside, I felt like I had an unfinished business with LCY because the last time my flight did not land at runway 09, haha 😛 . However, in its winter schedule KLM only scheduled two daily flights to LCY on a Saturday. Unfortunately, both flights were at the ungodly hours of 08:05 and 08:40 departure. Of course I chose the lesser of the two evil that was the 08:40 flight, haha 😛 .

I already checked-in online and secure the awesome 3F seat. This way, if the flight would land at runway 09 as I had hoped today, I would get the amazing view of London upon landing! 😀 However, upon boarding, I got notified that I was upgraded to Europe Business Class on this flight (which I assumed partially because the cancellation of the 08:05 flight) and was assigned an aisle 2C seat!! While this was certainly awesome, deep down I was also a little bit annoyed because if we were to land at runway 09 at LCY, I would not get my London view! Haha 😛

Anyway, the flight today would be operated with the cute CityJet’s Avro RJ85 reg EI-RJW. EI-RJW was parked at a remote stand today so we were taken by a bus to the plane. I boarded the plane and settled onto my 2C seat. The seat position was quite awkward btw because of the “misalignment” of row 1 that only had two seats, thus I felt like part of “my space” was “intruded” by boarding passengers during boarding.

The breakfast service in Europe Business Class on board KLM flight KL983 operated by CityJet

It turned out we were taking off from the Polderbaan this morning so it was quite a long taxi to the runway. Not long after take-off, the breakfast service commenced. I was given the breakfast menu which consisted of ham, cheese, yoghurt, and some fresh fruit. I accompanied those with coffee because I did not want people to judge by ordering champagne on a morning flight 😛 . As with my previous flight on board Europe Business Class between London-City and Amsterdam, the meal occupied myself pretty much through the entire duration of the short flight.

It turned KLM knew better and I was lucky today, because we did not land at runway 09! We flew straight from Amsterdam and landed at runway 27, the same runway as in my previous trip. So I was really glad to get upgraded to Europe Business Class this time because I did not miss any view upon landing! Hahaha 😛 . Thanks KLM 😛

A CityJet’s Avro RJ85 reg EI-RJW at London City Airport

Anyway, I just loved arrival at London-City Airport. It was super effecient, again, where it took me less than 20 minutes to get off the airport after EI-RJW touched down at runway 27.

London

Months ago upon searching for ideas of what to visit in London, I stumbled upon the following Garuda Indonesia’s post on Instagram:

Oh wow! Certainly I found it really cute and so I immediately put Camden Market as a place to visit on this weekend trip, haha. And so from London City Airport I took the DLR towards Bank, and then changed to a tube to Camden Town.

It was sunny at the Camden Market in London this morning.

London was quite sunny this morning, but don’t be fooled by this appearance because it was still like 1°C outside at the time! Haha 😛 .

Anyway, Camden Market was quite cool where some shops indeed put up some decoration on their buildings, adding special “vibe” to it. Btw for some reason the market was very crowded today. I tried to enjoy it while at the same time was looking for the building with the plane 😛 . However, after looking for it for about an hour, I still could not find it. And so I resorted to Google to look for its location. And at the location, it turned out that:

The plane had been taken down in Camden

Yeah, it turned out that the plane had been taken down! Damn!!  Well, no wonder I could not find it and it kinda disappointed me a little bit! Haha…

Anyway, it was almost noon already so I decided to go straight to my hotel to check in and get some rest. My hotel was located in western London so it took me quite some time to get there, haha.

Once I was in my room and got connected to the wifi, I received a notification from KLM that my flight to Amsterdam for the next day had been cancelled due to bad weather forecast and that they were working on rebooking me to another flight. I kept checking the rebooking option via my KLM app (which was just as up to date, it was really cool, btw!) but could not find a convenient option. The only options that I got were the 06:30 AM or the 06:15 AM flights via Paris. Obviously I wasn’t going to take a flight that early! After waiting for some time, finally I got an opening at the 11:45 AM flight and I decided to grab it!

I also decided to order a lunch at the hotel while dealing with my cancelled flight situation.

The flight drama turned out to “awaken” me and somehow I did not feel the need to nap anymore. So after securing a seat on the 11:45 AM flight, I was getting ready to go out again.

I decided to walk east and reached the Royal Albert Hall before turning south to the Natural History Museum which I last visited in 2013. The museum was quite busy this evening as there was an ice skating rink and a carrousel there.

Christmas vibe at the Natural History Museum in London

For whatever reason, London was super busy this evening too. The tube was so full of people that it actually became really uncomfortable! Originally planning to go to my favorite area of the City of London by the River Thames, I had to switch it last minute to Covent Garden and Soho, haha. Even then, it did not mean that I avoided the crowd because it was also very busy there!

Piccadilly Circus in London

Understanding that I would not be able to get a seat at a descent restaurant, I decided to have dinner at a walk-in Japanese fast food restaurant and had a chicken katsu curry that was really cheap (but also wasn’t the best Japanese dish ever as well). From there, I took the tube to go back to the hotel.

At the hotel, I ended the day by taking a very comfortable hot bath before going to bed, haha…

TO BE CONTINUED…

BAHASA INDONESIA

Posting-posting dalam serial mini A Winter Weekend in London:
1. Introduction
2. Part I: London
3. Part II: The Long Way Home

KLM KL 983 (Amsterdam – London-City)


Penerbangan: KLM KL 983 operated by CityJet
Pesawat: Avro RJ 85 reg EI-RJW
ATD: 09:04 CET (Runway 36L of AMS)
ATA: 08:48 GMT (Runway 27 of LCY)

Belajar dari pengalamanku yang sebelumnya di London, kali ini aku memutuskan untuk terbang ke Bandara London City (LCY) saja. Di samping itu, masih ada perasaan “belum selesai” dengan LCY karena terakhir kali kan penerbanganku tidak mendarat di landasan pacu 09, haha 😛 . Namun, di musim dingin ini KLM hanya memiliki jadwal penerbangan dua kali sehari saja ke LCY di hari Sabtu. Sayangnya, keduanya adalah di jam yang malesin banget yaitu keberangkatan jam 08:05 dan 08:40 pagi. Ya sudah, aku memilih yang lebih tidak malesin yaitu penerbangan jam 08:40, haha 😛 .

Aku sudah check-in online dan mengamankan kursi 3F yang asyik banget. Dengan begini, jika memang penerbangannya mendarat di landasan pacu 09 seperti harapanku, aku akan mendapatkan pemandangan kota London yang kece ketika mendarat! 😀 Namun, ketika boarding, aku diberi-tahu bahwa ternyata aku di-upgrade ke kelas bisnis Eropa dong di penerbangan ini (yang mana aku asumsikan setengahnya disebabkan karena penerbangan jam 08:05 yang dibatalkan) dan kursiku dipindahkan ke kursi lorong 2C!! Walaupun ini jelas asyik banget, tetapi di dalam hatiku ada sedikit perasaan sebal karena jika beneran pesawatnya mendarat di landasan pacu 09, artinya aku tidak akan mendapatkan pemandangan kece Londonku itu kan! Haha 😛

Anyway, penerbangan hari ini akan dioperasikan dengan Avro RJ85nya CityJet dengan rego EI-RJW. EI-RJW diparkir di tempat parkir remote sehingga kami diantarkan kesana dengan bus. Aku naik ke pesawatnya dan duduk di kursi 2Cku. Posisi kursinya agak awkward btw karena agak “tidak lurus” dengan baris 1 yang hanya memiliki dua kursi, sehingga terasa “ruangku” sedikit “terusik” oleh penumpang yang sedang naik pesawat ketika boarding.

Layanan sarapan di kelas bisnis Eropa di dalam penerbangan KLM KL983 dioperasikan oleh CityJet

Ternyata kami akan lepas landas dari Polderbaan pagi ini sehingga taxiing-nya lama. Tak lama setelah lepas landas, layanan sarapan diberikan. Aku diberikan satu nampan sarapan yang berisi ham, keju, yoghurt, dan potongan buah segar. Aku menemaninya dengan segelas kopi soalnya aku nggak mau orang men-judge jika aku memesan champagne di penerbangan pagi 😛 . Seperti penerbanganku yang lalu di kelas bisnis Eropa di antara London-City dan Amsterdam, makanan ini menyibukanku di hampir sepanjang perjalanan penerbangan jarak pendek ini.

Eh ternyata KLM tahu lebih baik dan aku beruntung hari ini, karena kami tidak mendarat di landasan pacu 09! Kami terbang lurus dari Amsterdan dan mendarat di landasan pacu 27, sama seperti penerbanganku yang lalu. Jadilah aku lega aku di-upgrade ke kelas bisnis Eropa kali ini karena toh aku tidak melewatkan apa pun dari segi pemandangan ketika mendarat! Hahaha 😛 . Terima kasih KLM 😛 .

Sebuah Avro RJ85 rego EI-RJW milik CityJet di Bandara London City

Anyway, aku suka banget dengan ketibaan di Bandara London City. Sangat efisien lagi lho, dimana aku hanya membutuhkan waktu kurang dari 20 menit untuk keluar dari bandara setelah EI-RJW menyentuh ujung landasan pacu 27.

London

Berbulan-bulan sebelumnya ketika mencari ide untuk tempat baru di London untuk kukunjungi, aku melihat posting-nya Garuda Indonesia di Instagram berikut ini:

Oh wow! Kan lucu banget ya dan jadilah aku memasukkan Pasar Camden sebagai tempat untuk kukunjungi di perjalanan ini, haha. Jadilah dari Bandara London City, aku naik DLR ke Bank, dan kemudian berganti naik tube menuju Camden Town.

Cuacanya cerah pagi ini di Pasar Camden di London.

London bercuaca cerah lho pagi ini, tetapi jangan tertipu dengan kecerahannya karena toh suhunya tetap aja 1°C waktu itu! Haha 😛 .

Anyway, Pasar Camden ternyata keren juga dimana memang beberapa tokonya memasang dekorasi gitu di gedung mereka, sehingga atmosfernya terasa spesial. Btw, entah kenapa pasarnya ramai banget dengan pengunjung nih hari ini. Aku mencoba menikmatinya sementara pada saat yang sama juga mencari gedung dengan pesawatnya itu 😛 . Namun, setelah mencari-carinya selama satu jam-an, aku tidak kunjung menemukannya. Jadilah aku meng-google lokasi persisnya. Dan ketika aku pergi ke lokasi yang ditunjukkan itu, ternyata:

Dekorasi pesawatnya sudah diturunkan di Camden

Iya dong ternyata pesawatnya sudah diturunkan! Sial!!   Ya pantes aja ya kok aku nggak bisa menemukannya dan jadilah aku merasa kecewa! Haha…

Anyway, karena sudah nyaris tengah hari aku memutuskan untuk pergi ke hotelku untuk check in dan beristirahat. Hotelku berada di London barat sehingga aku membutuhkan cukup banyak waktu untuk kesana, haha.

Setelah berada di kamarku dan terkoneksi dengan internet, aku mendapatkan notifikasi dari KLM bahwa penerbanganku ke Amsterdam keesokan harinya dibatalkan karena cuaca buruk dan mereka sedang berusaha mencarikan penerbangan pengganti untukku. Aku terus mengecek pilihan-pilihan yang muncul melalui app-nya KLM (yang mana up to date banget lho, keren banget deh app-nya!) tetapi aku tidak bisa menemukan pengganti yang enak. Pilihan-pilihan yang kutemukan hanyalah penerbangan jam 06:30 pagi atau jam 06:15 pagi via Paris. Eh jelas aja dong ya aku ogah naik penerbangan jam segitu! Setelah kutunggu beberapa saat, akhirnya aku melihat ada satu kursi di penerbangan jam 11:45 pagi dan langsung kursinya aku ambil!

Aku juga memutuskan untuk makan siang di hotel aja sembari mengurus situasi penerbanganku yang dibatalkan itu.

Drama penerbangannya ternyata “membangunkanku” dan entah mengapa aku jadi merasa tidak perlu tidur siang lagi. Jadilah setelah tiket jam 11:45 itu kupastikan, aku bersiap-siap untuk keluar.

Aku berjalan-kaki ke arah timur hingga mencapai Royal Albert Hall dan kemudian berbelok ke selatan ke Natural History Museum yang terakhir kukunjungi di tahun 2013. Museumnya cukup sibuk malam itu karena ada rink untuk ice skating dan carrousel.

Suasana Natal di Natural History Museum di London

Entah mengapa, London amat sibuk malam ini. Tube-nya penuh sesak dengan orang sehingga terasa tidak nyaman! Aku yang awalnya berencana pergi ke tempat favoritku yaitu City of London di sisi Sungai Thames harus akhirnya berpindah tujuan ke Covent Garden dan Soho. Walaupun begini, bukan berarti aku menghindari keramaian karena di dua tempat ini juga ramai banget!

Piccadilly Circus di London

Karena tahu nggak mungkin aku bisa mendapatkan kursi kosong di restoran yang bagusan dikit tanpa reservasi, aku memutuskan untuk makan malam di restoran walk-in dengan menu fast food ala Jepang. Aku memesan kari chicken katsu yang harganya murah banget (tetapi ya jelas bukan makanan Jepang paling enak yang pernah kumakan sih, haha). Dari sana aku naik tube untuk kembali ke hotel.

Di hotel, hari ini kuakhiri dengan mandi berendam dengan air hangat yang mana enak banget sebelum akhirnya tidur, haha…

BERSAMBUNG…

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5 Comments Add yours

  1. niee says:

    hahahaha, udah cari berjam-jam ternyata udah gak ada ya ko pesawatnya 😛

    1. zilko says:

      Huahaha, untungnya ngga sampe berjam-jam juga sih Niee, tapi tetep aja sebel 😛

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