BELLION TRAVELS – London

We’ve been to London a few times but this time my brothers were the tourist and we were pretending to be Londoners showing them around the city.

We didn’t visit any of the touristic attractions but we did walk a lot and met up with Tim’s friends but overall we just explored the city by foot.

So here are the pictures we took of London in our 2018 UK trip 🙂

 

 

BELLION TRAVELS – Bath, Cardiff (Wales) and Stonehenge

The purpose of this trip was to visit Wales. So we managed to visit Bath on our way to Cardiff and we also visited Stonehenge on our back back from Cardiff to Hayling Island.

BATH

On our way to Cardiff, we decided to make a quick stop in Bath. Of course the famous Roman Baths and the historical city are a must. So early in the morning, Tim drove to Bath and the first thing we did was of course visit the Roman Bath, we later decided to explore the city by foot.

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CARDIFF

In Cardiff, we did a quick stop at the Cardiff Castle and the city centre. Where we went for hot drinks, lunch and shopping.

Early in the morning, we managed to visit the Mermaid Quay. The view was lovely and the place looked like a nice hang out area but it was freezing cold. So we decided to drive back home.

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STONEHENGE

Before it got dark and before heading home, we thought OH WELL Stonehenge is on the way. Lets do a quick stop and check it out.

OMG! The place was MAGICAL. Before heading to the site,  we went into a small museum where they displayed facts and theories.

WE LOVED IT.

The issue was the weather, so we ran around instead of walking and did quick stops to take pictures. IT WAS FREAKING FREEZING COLD.

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We were jumping to keep ourselves warm and my brother, Mohammad took a picture of us LOL

Anyway we headed back to Hayling Island but the drive was the most beautiful drive we’ve done so far in England. The nature and the country side was just breathtaking.

I told Tim, we need to visit the country side next time and just enjoy the nature.

So Yes, we managed to visit Bath, Cardiff and the Stonehenge in 48 hours 🙂

 

BELLION TRAVELS – Winchester, Southampton and Portsmouth

Winchester, Southampton and Portsmouth are the places which are not so far from each other. After landing at Southampton from Edinburgh, Tim decided to take us to Winchester to check out the Cathedral, Christmas Market and a Local Market. As we were walking towards the local market, we were invited to see St. Lawrence Church. The people were so friendly and funny, we actually stayed there for almost 2 hours just mingling with the church people.

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Afterwards, we did a quick stop at a local tea shop and bought bags of tea (HOW BRITISH OF US).

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Although we could have continued our journey to Portsmouth, we decided to head back to Hayling Island but we did a quick visit to Portsmouth days before going to Southampton. Of course the best place to visit in Portsmouth is Gunwharf Quays. Best place for shopping and eating.

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After visiting all those 3 places, we enjoyed Winchester the most.

 

BELLION TRAVELS – Hayling Island, Havant & Chichester

Initially my brothers and I discussed a potential trip to the UK so they can meet Tim’s family and also explore a new country. My brothers went on and on about how they never experienced winter and the cold. So we decided to visit the UK in December to enjoy the winter along with the Christmas markets and all. The UK visa application is one of the most difficult visas to obtain so we thought it would be a good idea to celebrate my birthday in the UK so we can have a logical reason to why my brothers are planning on visiting the UK.

As some of you may know, Tim is from a place called Hayling Island. It’s in the south of England and yes it is an island that connects to Havant by a bridge. It is also very close to Chichester.

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My brothers had a great time on Hayling Island, it’s quiet and the island has lots of local stores and cute coffee shops.

My first birthday celebration was with Tim’s sister, his brother-in-law, nieces, his mum and my brothers at Inn on the Beach, one of my favourite places to eat on Hayling Island. This time, I tried their Haloumi Burger and it was DELICIOUS.

We mainly spent our time on Hayling Island visiting family and friends. Also visited book shops and local markets to buy things which are not available in the UAE.

We recommend the below restaurants to try.

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That’s a Minion Cake LOL

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Chichester

The next day, I had another early birthday celebration in Chichester but this time it was with Tim’s dad, his step-mum, cousin and his cousin’s fiance, Tim’s sister, his brother-in-law and my brothers.

Since it was a Sunday, we all went for a Sunday Roast at Fox and Hounds. The food was delicious and we all had a great time. It was my brothers first Sunday roast experience and they enjoyed it. However my brother, Mohammad hated the horse radish (LOL).

Our trip to Chichester started with a walk at the city centre market, we visited the Chichester Cathedral and had breakfast and coffee at The Buttery At the Crypt. 

We also visited the Christmas market and bought a lot of cheese.

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Havant

We don’t really spend time in Havant but we do have to pass by it all the time to get to Hayling Island. Tim and I always visit TESCO supermarket to get food for our journeys and we had coffee and hot chocolate at Bosewell’s Cafe at the Meridian Centre with Tim’s niece and my brothers. We also went for a walk with Tim’s sister and her husband.

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Whenever Tim and I travel to the UK, we always visit Hayling Island, Havant and Chichester.

 

 

UK – Anchor Bleu’s Fish & Chips

I LOVE UK’s Fish & Chips and particularly Anchor Bleu’s. Thanks to my lovely mother in-law who invited us for Tim’s 28th Birthday. I really enjoyed the vibe, the service and the food.

If ever you stop by that area, please order their Fish and Chips and around the corner, there’s a cute souvenir and art gallery to check out.

The place is really cozy and feels like home.

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UK- The Bellions and the Deadly Hallows

Tim and I took a flying car to Warner Bros Studios and as we got there, we were welcomed by the Half-Blood Prince, who led us to the Chamber of Secrets, we were amazed and mesmerized by the magical world of Harry Potter.

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We both purchased the package tour which included the ticket, souvenir guide and the digital guide that explained the set in detail and included videos. We spent almost 4 hours in the studio and looked at the costumes, behind the scenes, green screens, every single detail from each and every movie. They entertained the Gryffindors (WUHUUU *High 5 if you are one), Hufflepuffs, Ravenclaws and the Slytherins into wand competition and broom riding lol (I’m not quite sure if that is what it’s called)

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As we got to the platform of nine and three quarters, we ran towards the Hogwarts Express to escape the Dementors. We safely reached our destination, called the FOOD COURT and decided to take a break and have some Butter Beer.

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We continued our mystical journey through the world of the Dark Lord. We truly were shocked by every single detail and work that was put into the movie. Especially the drawings and architectural planning. We ended the tour with our mouths open staring at the 3D Model of Hogwarts.

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Before ending our adventure, we stopped at the Souvenir Store and bought wands. I’ve got Lord Voldemort’s and Tim’s got Dumbledore.

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That’s it for now..Oh well then …

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UK – Yes!!! We went to Top Golf AGAIN

Oh Watford we keep going back to you, well you gotta thank Top Golf for that.

So earlier that day, Tim and his friend Ryan planned to go karting while Gina (Ryan’s fiance) and I wanted to go and get our nails done. Unlike here in Dubai where you can be a walk-in, we were so unlucky, all the nearby spa’s were fully booked and that was on a weekday.

Anyway we stopped at an outdoor coffee shop that overlooks the river and enjoyed some Chinese tea with a slice of carrot cake on the side. Tim and Ryan followed us later and we all decided to play golf. Where? TOP GOLF OF COURSE.

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Ok! So if we actually went there twice that means WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND IT.

After losing 3 times in a row in our last visit. This recent visit I managed to find the right golf putter and grip and won Tim TWICE!!! I never win if I play against Tim. So this is a glorified moment for me. HALLELUJAH

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Top Golf is the perfect place for hang out especially with friends. If you don’t know how to play, don’t worry about, it’s not a professional field anyway. Just have FUN.

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UK – Eat, Shop & Tour in South Sea & Portsmouth

Tim and I visited SouthSea Cafe twice during our second visit to the UK, once with the familia for lunch/ dinner to celebrate Steve’s (our brother in-law’s birthday) and Tim’s 28th. The following day, we had breakfast with my ex-colleague and her husband who settled in South Sea after living in Dubai for some time. The cafe serves delicious seafood and perfectly made Eggs Florentine.

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During our first visit, Tim, his mum ‘Shirley’ (who is reading my blog right now hehe! HELLOOO!!!) and I made a stop at Gunwharf before heading back to Hayling Island. She wanted to go shopping and buy shoes but instead, I ended up shopping because Gunwharf is like an outdoor outlet mall and the prices were so cheap compared to what I’d get in Dubai.

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On our second visit, right after breakfast Tim and I went back to Gunwharf to check out the Emirates Spinnaker Tower. Yes! It looks like Burj Al Arab and is bought by Emirates. Although I come from Dubai and the view from the second floor isn’t that impressive, I’d still recommend the place because of the stunning view of the Ports, Hayling Island and Isle of Wight.

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After spending an hour there taking photos and admiring the view. We continued our journey to Chichester to spend the day with Tim’s dad.

LONDON – City of Inspiration and Creativity

Sadly we had 2 days in London which I personally think is not enough to explore the city. I believe if I  ever moved there, I will never get bored of that place. There are so many things to see and restaurants to try. We managed to be proper tourist and visited the main attractions like Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, London Eye, London Dungeons and Madame Tussauds.

During our second day in London, Tim and I visited Borough Market where we had Spanish oysters, Turkish coffee and French cheese. Later that day we met up with my friend Elise for dinner in Carnby. Tim and I also did some shopping at Harrods and Oxford Street. I was amazed by how many GGC nationals were there shopping, it felt I was back in Dubai.

The main thing I love about London is the blend of modern and history, similarly to what I felt about Istanbul. London is a perfect place to be creative; everything is spectacular like the architecture, roads, art, museums… I can go on and on. Speaking of museums, Tim is a physicist and is in love with science however on the other hand, C’EST MOI oh well I’m like Penny from The Big Bang Theory. So while strolling the streets of London, I asked Tim if he can take me to a museum. Tim just smirked and said ‘Oh I know where to take you’ and YES!! We ended up going to a SCIENCE MUSEUM. Ladies and Gentle, that’s my cheeky husband. Anyway I got to learn the history of vehicles and the only thing that amazed me in that museum was the glow in the dark room.

London is in my top 5 favourite cities in the world, I can’t wait for my next visit and explore more.

I LOVE LONDON

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Palestinian Refugee Visiting the UK

Before travelling to the UK, I had extremely low expectation of the country and especially London. Many factors led me to think like that, starting with the way I’m treated in Dubai, everyone I know complains about the British weather, also the stereotype that British people are as cold as their weather and finally the visa centre for giving me a hard time and rejecting my first application for minor reasons.

Anyhow, Tim and I landed in Heathrow airport and it was my first visit to the UK and amusingly the lady at the passport control counter cracked a joke about my travel document saying “it’s been ages I haven’t seen one of those”. FYI, I have a ‘travel document’ which is issued by the Lebanese Government for Palestinian Refugees and is still HANDWRITTEN. She also advised us that in our next trip, I get to stand in the EU/UK passport line. My reaction was ‘OMG! This is the first time anyone at passport control treated me in a  nice and respectful manner’. 

Besides the fact that my travel document is handwritten, it is only written in French and Arabic (يا الله / Oh Mon Dieu). The amount of crap I receive at airports and of course being interrogated and waiting for translators to translate my enormous booklet. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very proud to be PALESTINIAN but passport control are just pain in the @$$.

After landing in London and passing immigration feeling like the queen of the world, everyone I interacted with was nice. It felt weird at first but later made me feel very welcomed. Before heading to Hayling, we stopped at a rent a car in London and everyone who worked there were a racial mix of Asians and Africans with a strong British accent.

After spending days in the country side, Tim and I decided to stay in London for 2 days before flying back to Dubai. Honestly, I was impressed by the lovely city, country and the British people. Everyone was friendly, helpful and polite. I fell in love with the people, British culture and the UK weather LOL.

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