Thursday, May 15, 2008

Arrival in London

Arrival in London was something else! There had been an incident on the Piccadilly line from Heathrow to South Ealing. This is the least expensive way of getting into the city; the alternative is to use the Heathrow to Paddington Express. The incident had caused a massive backlog of people wanting, or should I say demanding, to get into the city. In times of crisis you see the best and worst of people. The Heathrow to Paddington Connect service was doing its best to help relieve the pressure but that didn’t do much to appease the angry and frustrated travellers.

I have to admire the way the staff handled the anger, frustration and rudeness of the public, many of whom were looking for some-one to ‘blame’.

When we eventually arrived in the city and deposited our bags at the Paddington left luggage room, we took a nostalgic trip on a Big Bus tour of the city, including a boat trip on the Thames. We had done this tour 20 years ago and it was a good way to make a quick trip to remind us what London was all about. Spring is well advanced – 23 degrees - so it was great to see the greenery and spring colours.

Later in the day we spent time familiarising ourselves with the underground, visited Camden town, took in the New Zealand memorial sculpture in Hyde Park, sat on the grass and had an ice-cream and checked into our hotel near Marble Arch.

Reflecting on the trip so far – I’m glad we are travelling light (about 12 kg each) although there is room for more pruning of luggage yet!

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