Pussy-cat, pussy-cat, where have you been?
When I was a child, I was taught this poem:

"Pussy-cat, pussy-cat,
Where have you been?
I've been to London
To visit the Queen.

Pussy-cat, pussy-cat,
What did you there?
I frightened a little mouse
Under the chair." 

London was like a dream then. And now at this age, I had the opportunity to visit London myself. Since I am not a pussy-cat, I did not get to see the queen... ;P

Actually, it was a business trip to Sheffield, with two other colleagues. We represented the UKM Bone Metabolism Research Group to visit the Mellanby Bone Centre in University of Sheffield. I was excited since it was my first time experiencing London. I have been to Heathrow airport though, for transit, many years ago. Besides excitement, I was apprehensive too. Since the temperature would be very low during the visit. And I had to ensure I have everything to keep me warm.

So we made the trip. Thirteen hours of flight. My legs are very stiff after the long journey. I managed to sleep for a few hours but I ended up watching 3 movies: The Conjuring, Casino Royale and Jobs. How's that for a variety of genre? :) We finally arrived at LHR, very early in the morning, 5.30 am.

From the airport, we had to go to St Pancras International train station to catch a train to Sheffield scheduled at 11.55 am. We took the underground tube and it was an hour journey to the train station. The ticket costs us 5.50 pounds.

We arrived at the St Pancras train station and sat on one of the benches.

It was beginning to get very cold. We have been sitting there for quite a while before we found out that there's a lounge for first class ticket holders. Luckily, when we bought our train tickets, we paid for the first class. It was very cozy in the lounge. With sofas and tables and newspapers. They also provide free drinks and snacks. Alhamdulillah.
The train ride to Sheffield was about two hours. The train is very comfy. When we bought the tickets, we can actually choose our seats by stating our preference. Like near the toilet or window seat or near the plug point. I chose near the plug point and yes, my seat was just beside the plug point. In case I need to charge my phone. The train station also provides free wifi. They even have free wifi on board the train. Bliss... And what's more wonderful, they offer drinks and snacks for free! Berbaloi jugak la bayar mahal for first class.
Finally, we arrived in Sheffield. Took a cab to our hotel, Mercure St Paul's Hotel. The hotel have quite a number of Pakistani staff. We also observed that there are quite a number of them making a living in Sheffield. In one of our cab rides, the taxi driver who is a Pakistani made a joke: VIP stands for Very Important Pakistani.:D

The room is nice and comfy. For a single occupant, this is spacious.

After we have freshened up, we went out for a stroll and looked for a place to have dinner. The hotel was just beside the Town Hall.
And the streets were nicely lit-up with Christmas deco.
There are a few halal kebab stores and stalls. And we settled for one of the stalls: Zing.

The next day (still feeling jet-lagged and the body clock still following Malaysian time), we spent the whole day in Mellanby Bone Center and the Medical School in University of Sheffield. Discussion, meeting new people, visiting their lab and 'secretly' drooling over their equipments. How we wish we have the means to acquire all those lab equipments...

The day is very short. Pukul 4 ptg dah Maghrib. Kalau puasa time ni, memang best. That night we were treated to dinner where we had the fish dish. And finished off with one of the desserts.

The next day, again we went to Sheffield university to meet some more people and we concluded our discussion around noon with the promise of future research collaborations or attachments or visits. We enjoyed our visit and we met nice people who have the same passion.

Ok la... I have to admit, I am the shortest of all. Tak perlu tanya mirror, mirror on the wall...:P

Then we left for our hotel and checked-out. Boarded train for London at about 2 pm, which ended our Sheffield adventure and begin our London adventure. (to be continued) :)