I’ve been a U2 fan for at least 10 years now and having hair-raising moments when I watched their live concerts on DVD made me long to catch them live. I’ve never been to a concert and badly wanted my first one to be U2. So when AirAsia Facebook contest offered a pair of tickets to watch their 360 concert in London, with air tickets thrown in PLUS three nights stay, you bet I threw myself right into it!

Needless to say, when I received the notification from AirAsia that I won, I simply couldn’t believe it! This would be the first time that my husband and I would travel to Europe and we were really looking forward to it.

The new AirAsia Airbus 340 decked with the Raiders livery took us on our 14 hour journey. Bracing myself for the long flight hours, I was pleasantly surprised that the seats were comfortable with adjustable “flaps” on the headrest so that your head doesn’t loll too much as you slept. The food which we pre-ordered also took us by surprise as it more than just edible, it was good.

We took a train from Stansted to the hotel, also courtesy of AirAsia. St Giles Hotel is smack in the middle of the city, a great advantage to pound the pavement to sight-see London. The hotel also offered a great English buffet breakfast to fuel our energy for the day.

London is filled with beautiful buildings. I love the architecture and appreciate that they were built so long ago yet continue to look so good now. While we were there, the weather remained bright and sunny, unlike the dull grey British weather it is famous for.

The U2 concert was … Magnificent! I kept blinking in disbelief that I was seeing Bono, The Edge, Larry and Adam with my bare eyes. The 88,000 crowd at Wembley surged and thrived with energy as soon as Bono took the stage. We screamed, sang, waved throughout the 2-hour performance and were sad when they waved goodbye. More of the concert has already been covered comprehensively by Han Sen , another winner, earlier.

So what did we cover in London? The changing of guards at Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, London Eye, British Museum, Natural History Museum, V&A Museum, Sherlock Holmes Museum, Tate Modern, The Royal Albert Hall, Hyde Park, Leicester Square, Picadilly Circus, Trafalgur Square, Covent Garden, Camden Market, Portabello Market… perhaps the list of what we DIDN’T cover is shorter!

We managed to squeeze in a baroque performance at St. Martin-in-the-Fields, without realising how famous they were! We also caught We Will Rock You at the Dominion Theatre, just a few steps from the hotel. The show was amazingly entertaining and ended with a thunderous applause from the packed theatre. Everyone walked out smiling and laughing, having had a great time.

Since we were there, we extended our stay and took the opportunity to hop onto the EuroStar to Paris and spent 4 nights there, also covering museums, palaces and other famous structures. Besides the usual suspects like Lourve, Notre Dame, Sacre Coeur, Eiffle Tower, Arc de Triomphe, don’t miss the Chateau de Versailles! We fell in love with the incredibly humongous gardens! If you’re planning to visit museums, do consider the Museum Pass as we cut long queues at some places.

If we had more time and money, we would have gone more places as Europe is well connected.

More of photos and stories on London, Paris and U2 on my personal blog.

All in all, we had a blast and really are very grateful that we had this chance to visit London and Paris, thanks to AirAsia!


  • Abdullah Thaidi