On the ferry, I met a cyclist from Poland but now living in Leicester, UK. Thanks for his offer to give me a lift from Harwich to Colchester in pouring rain. That was a typical British weather, I was welcomed with all good luck in terms of rain! Thanks Greg, the Polish cyclist for taking me, otherwise it would be a night riding and camping all under the rain!
Since Greg was going towards Cambridge direction, he had to drop me in Colchester. He was so nice to help me find a place to pinch my tent safely. I felt so warm to have an angel helping me when I was a bit desperate!
The next morning I wandered a bit in Colchester, bought a UK sim card (Lycamobile) and the 3G plan. But I couldn’t use the 3G service until 2 days later that I found out on the internet: http://www.lycamobile.co.uk/en/mobilewebsettings
You have to do the web setting by yourself, otherwise there is no data signal recognized. That was a bit annoying, because I used other mobile network in Finland, Sweden, Denmark….the web setting was automatically done. Anyway, if you are a new user of Lycamobile, be aware of that!!
England is totally not a bicycle friendly country, there are bike lanes but mostly they are just put on the edge of the main road, or share with the bus lanes. Some of them are on a very narrow pedestrian pathway, with lots of branches and terrible nettles sticking out, they stretched and prickled by arms and legs a few times, very unpleasant feeling! And when I jumped back onto the road, British drivers are not that friendly with bikes, in times of turning, half of them don’t give way to cyclists.
Arriving in London in the evening, I crashed into my friend Calvin’s place and we had a good catch up since 4 years after we met in Hong Kong.
London is a metropolitan, but it is not as crowded as I thought. Although in the busy city center, air is quite polluted, one can still find a lot of green spaces!
I love the fact that most of the museums are free to visit, including British Museum and Museum of London. However, on the contrary, you have to pay to enter various Cathedrals (where in most cities in Europe it should be free!).
St. Paul’s Cathedral
Museum of London: You can learn a lot of interesting histories about London throughout the centuries, the plaque and great fire in 1665 and 1666 are brutal, but the city survived and is always leading the change and trend of the world!
The British Museum: Showcase a lot of stuff either the British stole, or excavated from all over the world. I do appreciate their efforts to preserve those antiques and parts of our human history.
Big Ben and Parliament House: Landmark? Well, it is indeed very appealing because of its golden color!
Tower Bridge: This is not the London Bridge we sang “London Bridge is falling down” when we were young. Very unique bridge, and I was lucky to saw the bridge opening for a big sailing boat to go across it!
Harwich to Colchester 30km (got a lift)
Colchester to London 105km