It was Monday evening when I saw my phone light up from the corner of my eyes. Dropping whatever I was doing, I reached over to grab my phone and check what it was. It turned out to be a message from a friend who had decided to visit London. She had asked if I was free on a Wednesday. I said ‘yes.’ Then she continued to ask me if I wanted to come with her to Winter Wonderland. Of course, I agreed. I mean, who wouldn’t want to go to Winter Wonderland?
Days turned to hours, hours turned to minutes, and minutes turned to seconds, and it was finally Wednesday. At around noon, I started to get ready. Putting on denim trousers, a cotton mesh collared shirt and a red-knit jumper over it, I paired it with leather boots and a jacket and topped it off with a cute tote bag from Waterstones. The weather was twelve to thirteen degrees, so the temperature wasn’t too bad. It wasn’t cold, and it wasn’t warm either. It was mild and tolerable. However, the Tube was extremely boiling. I switched off all electricity in the house by one o’clock and headed out to the nearby bus stop.
The whole journey from home to London Victoria took me an hour, and once I got to the station, I made my way to the hell of a Tube and took the routes to Queensway, where I met up with my friend. As we walked to Hyde Park (which oddly felt like more than fifteen minutes that Google Maps suggested), we caught up with our lives and everything about uni. We reached the entrance to Winter Wonderland at around three-ish in the afternoon, so there were no long queues, and the park wasn’t too crowded. Then we met our other two friends inside, and the adventure began.
Our first ride was called the Ice Mountain. I’ve never been, and neither have my friends. We’d pre-booked two rides, and this was one of them, and we didn’t know what it was. We knew it was a rollercoaster, but based on the appearance, we thought it was an easy one, you know, for kids – a kiddie ride. As the line continued to grow shorter, our anticipation grew, and once we were on the ride, we started to grow nervous. But we were also excited. I’m not going into detail about what happened in the ride, as that would spoil the fun for the people who wanted to visit Winter Wonderland. The other pre-booked ride was Irrgarten – well, it wasn’t much of a ride. It was a funhouse, a maze. It was trippy, but it was fun.
We got into two more rides: a bumper car, the good ol’ classic, and one of those swings that go around and high up. We also had churros, one of my friends got a burger, but I didn’t spend too much because Winter Wonderland is weirdly expensive, if you aren’t aware. Then after that, we walked around once more to see if we could find anything else to do.
Once we collectively agreed that we wanted to leave, we all went, and by that time, it was around six-thirty. Along the way, one of our friends suggested we could go skating in Queens. So, we did. I have zero experience with skating, but it was still fun, holding onto a friend and desperately trying not to fall on my face. Unfortunately, though, I did fall. Not on my face, but my bum. While we were there, we also noticed a couple of famous TikTokers. We didn’t approach them because we were unsure if it was them, and it was a little weird. (It was them, though. I checked once I got home.) We finished skating at about seven-thirty.
I was tired by then, and I wanted to go home, but they asked if I wanted to cycle with them. The offer immediately lifted me, and I had never cycled in London before, so this was a first, and I realised that this would be probably my last opportunity. I didn’t know where we were going, and I assumed that we were just going to go around the park and back to Queens. But we didn’t.
We cycled from Queens to Hyde Park, passed by the Marble Arch, through the mall, Buckingham Palace, the Houses of Parliament, the unfinished Big Ben, and the London Eye. Even though I was tired, it was the most magical thing that I had ever experienced, and the beauty of London at night… Spectacular! I can’t forget the goosebumps I got when we went by under the Marble Arch or when we were cycling through the streets as Big Ben towered over us. I was close to tears because it was so beautiful.
Then we returned the bikes and took the Tube from Westminister Station to Leicester Square because we wanted to get Jollibee. Once we got our Jollibee, we said our goodbyes, and we all went our separate ways!
I think the only regret I had throughout this experience is that I didn’t get many pictures or videos. I’m upset because I couldn’t physically look back and watch how fun it was. I wouldn’t be able to show other people the beautiful moments I experienced, and all I could do was share them with people by words and memory.