Some days ago, the prominent blogger Iman Brotoseno suddenly asked me whether I have an interest of flying to London. A crazy question. I almost considered nothing before answering with only one word: Deal. In the following correspondence, Iman told me the T&C. Air Asia will pay the flight ticket for me, and only the ticket. I will have to pay all the taxes, the accomodation, visa application, and anything else. I must also plan the travel, and I will have to blog it, with a link to Air Asia. I might go with a partner, but the partner I chose must be a non-newbie blogger, who must also report on blog. Coincidentally, my partner is a long-time blogger too. Here we go!

It needed days before I could actually get  the ticket from Kualalumpur to London Stansted and return (I had to pay for the airport tax to confirm the ticket). Until now I haven’t received the ticket from Jakarta to Kualalumpur and return. But today I have submitted the UK Visa application. It will need about 10 days for approval. Wow :).

Meanwhile, here is my brief plan: London -> Thirsk -> York -> Coventry -> Cardiff -> London

  • London. Air Asia will terminate at Stansted around midnight. We will need a rest before our terrestrial journey. So, Day-1 will be occupied by short cultural visits in London. British Museum, or London Symphony Orchestra, or others.
  • Thirsk. All started here. In this tiny town, the late Alf Wight used to work as a veterinarian, and then wrote his book If Only They Could Talk, with his pseudo James Herriot. Thirsk was altered as Darrowby. The translation of this book in Indonesian — Seandainya Mereka Bisa Bicara — started my interest of writing my diary — and then blogs. Anything Andrea Hirata wrote, Edensor has nothing to do with James Herriot.
  • York. The voted best UK city. The cemetery of James Herriot. And the squirrels.
  • Coventry. In english, the idiom sent to Coventry means excommunicated. But here in Coventry I pursued my master degree in telecommunications. A reunion with my alma mater and the city I lived years ago must be interesting.
  • Birmingham. The perfect couple of Coventry, it is also the biggest city in the UK after London.
  • Cardiff. I have visited Scotland, including the capital Edinburgh and the highlands. So I decide in this session to visit Cardiff (Caerdydd), the capital of Wales (Cymru). In Wales, they speak both English and Welsh (rooted in celtic).
  • London. London has many uniqueness worth another visit, before the return fly to Indonesia.

Oh, if anyone wants to sponsor the travel: to pay the hotels, the train & coach tickets, etc, don’t hesitate to contact me :).

15 Responses to “Thirsk or Bust”

  1. Kapan ke London? asiiikkk 🙂

  2. neenoy says:

    selamat! ditunggu cerita dan foto-fotonya, ya 🙂

  3. Hi,

    I work as a reporter for The Northern Echo, a regional paper covering the north east of England. Thirsk is one of our main areas and I would be interested to know a little more about your trip. Could you contact me on daniel.howlett@nne.co.uk to discuss it further. Hope you’re well.

    Dan

  4. Koen says:

    If the visa is approved, we’ll take off on 15 April. Would you meet us in London? Or Caerdydd?

  5. I think the ticket to London is cheaper. But why not Bayreuth? 😉

  6. Koen says:

    @Vishnu:
    (1) I have visited Bath in 2001. A neat small town, I have to admit. And I visited Jane’s house, although I haven’t read any books she wrote.
    (2) Any advice how I can escape Stansted around midnight like that?

  7. Pak Koen,

    Kapan nich visit aku 🙂 London to NY (or Boston) is only 6 hrs 🙂

    Salam.

    [TH]

    • Koen says:

      @TH: I would need you to send me invitation then, haha. And I guess I will have to find sponsors too.

  8. Dude, stop by Bath on the way to Cardiff. When I was there the downtown core was being renovated. There is Cardiff Castle and the Waterfront where they shot Torchwood.

    A lot things to see in Jane Austen’s temporary hometown. The Roman Baths, the Royal Crescent, the Abbey, the old town city tour and much more.

    Also, by the time you arrive in Standstead, lots of places and taxis maybe closed so keep that in mind.

  9. Sorry, second paragraph is about Bath

  10. Twited this to you but will put it here for archive’s sakes…

    Wikitravel for your destination. This link has info on Standstead and getting there and back http://bit.ly/aFtSnx Don’t even think of taxis, expensive! Other option, sleep in the airport and leave at dawn… you may want to travel light (i.e. no large suitcases)

    You can also look for prepaid phone cards in vending machines… they had them in Heathrow, not sure Standstead

    Suggest do London first, but you can’t do that in a day. British Museum, Trafalgar Square, Buckingham, Tower of London. I did a crash tour of the British Museum but when I saw the scale of it all, I took pictures of EVERYTHING as I zoomed passed, and am STILL reviewing them… It would take me 3 days to carefully go through it all…. and I completely missed the National Portrait Gallery!

    Buy your train tickets online NOW. Closer you are to departure day, the higher it gets (believe me… personal experience!) http://bit.ly/cFLrz9 There are rumors of strike action so keep that in mind and in your plans. Otherwise, the MEGABUS may be in the cards.

    Where are you staying? Check out University Dormitories…. the London School of Economics rents out rooms during the vacation periods as do other schools….

    Damn, all this talk makes me want to go back… missed so many museums on my first go there…. not to mention all of Scotland!

    • Koen says:

      @Vishnu:
      Thanks for the tips, haha. It looks more like a blog entry instead of a comment. And I agree with you. I live in the UK for 1 year; but when leaving, I still thought: but I just started!
      Thinking of that, we haven’t even begun exploring Indonesia.

      I have seen Buckingham etc. But I was unlucky not to visit The British Museum. My previous partners were not educated enough 😉 to be interested to the greatest museum on earth. I will visit it now.

      Have you visited the US? Tell me, tell me, tell me. Blog it!

  11. Ambar says:

    I prefered Natural History Museum, specially Darwin Centre. I was there when they haven’t finish build it. Uhh…and free.

  12. Haha, nice one mas Koen ! 😀 Hopefully both you & your partner were able to enjoy it.

    Dang, must blogwalk more often, otherwise I’ll be more “cooper” than “Mr Cooper” himself 😀

    Congrats again.

  13. Found this post while searching info on UK tourist visa.
    May I know whether there is a minimum amount of fund possessed by an Indonesian traveler to be granted a tourist/short term general visitor visa? I tried to search it on http://www.vfs-uk-id.com, but didn’t find it… please share if you know about this.
    Many thanks in advance! 🙂

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