Days One and Two started innocently enough. We had a nice JetBlue flight from DC to New York. It was QT’s first JetBlue flight (and my second); we were both impressed. Our next flight, 7 hours to Gatwick, was booked on Zoom!, which has been in business in Canada for 3-4 years and recently expanded into the US. Alas, there’s hardly any Zooming going on. To make a very long and disappointing story short, we took off sometime after 0100 the next morning. QT got a few hours sleep but I didn’t get a wink. I watched Wild Hogs, though, which was pretty good.
We landed in the UK a little after 1300 local time and made our way to London via the Gatwick Express. It was a very cool train ride, and we both agreed it was nice to see some countryside before we get thrown into London’s urban sprawl. We checked into the hotel around 1700, took a nap, cleaned up, and tried to catch the end of the Notting Hill Carnival. We were too late to catch any of it, but we were thankful for our short nap, so it all worked out. We walked around in the area outside the hotel for a bit, got some snacks and things at a local market, then ate a late supper at the hotel before we crashed for the night. Here are the
photos from Days 1 and 2 (I recommend clicking “View Slideshow” in the left-hand menu).
Day Three started out with QT’s first tube ride; we got off at Charing Cross station and checked out Trafalgar Square. First we laughed at the kids that were warily feeding the pigeons from their hands; then we were those kids, and plenty of people laughed at us. 🙂 Needless to say, the next thing we did was wash up. After Trafalgar Square we walked along the Thames, then across the footbridge over the Thames to the London Eye. The line was crazy long, so we checked out the street performers and walked back to Trafalgar Square, passing 10 Downing St. We had lunch at the Texas Embassy, a favorite old haunt, and then hopped an open-top sightseeing bus and rode around for about an hour.
We hopped off the bus when it got back to Trafalgar Square and walked to Green Park. It was really cool to see hundreds of people just hanging out, sleeping on the grass under trees or getting sun in the deck chairs. And it was surprisingly quiet for the middle of the city. We sat for awhile, then headed back to the hotel to rest up. In the evening we tubed back into the city to Leicester Square. It’s quite a bit different than I remember it; it has a bunch of casinos now, and I didn’t see any of the clubs I remember (including the Hippodrome). We had a light supper at a French/Italian bistro and then walked up to Piccadilly to check out the lights at night, and then took a short shopping excursion into the Trocadero before heading back to the hotel for the night.
It was a good First Day in London. It still chaps my hide a bit that it should have been our Second Day, but I guess there’s really no such thing as a “short delay” when it comes to transatlantic flights. We were a little tired today, but not too bad, so I think we managed to dodge the jetlag. I’ll be posting Journal articles and photos every few days, so check back on Thursday or Friday and there should be more. Here are the photos from Day Three (I recommend clicking “View Slideshow” in the left-hand menu). Cheers. 🙂
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