Thursday, October 8, 2009


Tuesday, November 27th, 2007 On our way home...using the London Underground….

I spent some time last night after dinner at the Starbucks using up the last of my Internet time; hooked up my Skype and was able to talk with daughter Jennifer for a while before calling it a day. The kids are busy finishing putting up our Christmas lights she said and also told me they had a great time in Big Bear over Thanksgiving and that it’s cold enough that they are making snow and have a few runs open. It was good to talk with her and for free since we were both on our computers over the Internet using Skype.

Restless night, Jim had a relapse with his cold. Got up about 4:30 am, finished packing and headed out to the street for our walk to the bus stop for the express bus to the airport in Athens.

We were the first ones on the bus and took four seats with our luggage. We continued to stop all along the way and soon it was standing room only. We cleared one seat but kept the extra one for all the backpacks. By the time we arrived at the airport there were at least twenty people standing; we felt like very guilty “tourists” but there was no way we could move the luggage to clear the seat. Arrived at the airport and checked in before 6:30 am. Our flight was scheduled to leave at 8:55. Since we were on British Air and flying into Heathrow our requirements were one carryon per person; no exceptions and size doesn’t really matter if it will fit in the overhead bin. I cheated a bit and hid my very small knapsack under my coat; that way I was able to keep the things we needed on the flight under my seat. We lost two hours between Athens and London; so it was really 6:55 am when we left and we arrived in London at 11:15 am.

Everyone was very helpful in giving us directions to the Tube/Metro System; but it still took a few wrong turns before we found the right tracks. At one point we had people arguing about who knew the directions best and the one that won was wrong! It was a long slow ride from Heathrow into town, but the price was right! About an hour after leaving we arrived at the Tottenham Station and then the fun of finding our hotel after we emerged from the Underground. We had some basic Internet Maps but had to stop several times for help before we located our home for two nights that is practically across the street from the British Museum. So glad we arrived in daylight!

It’s going to be an interesting two night; we got a great rate and perfect location. It’s on the fourth floor with no lift/elevator. The room is about seven feet wide (the width of a single bed and a door) and the length is about sixteen feet…just long enough to put two twin beds end to end along the wall. We do have a TV, our own sink and the toilet and shower are down the hall. Most importantly we have heat (it’s just on…no way to adjust it) and a window over the back of the building instead of over the noisy street. Jim is calling my bluff about all the inexpensive rooms that Jenny and I did last year in Italy!

After getting settled in we went back to the Tube and headed towards Westminster Abbey. Arrived at 3:30 and it was already dusk. Got some great Kodak moments as we walked around of Big Ben, Parliament buildings, the 2000 Farris Wheel and of course Westminster Abbey from the outside only as it had just closed as we arrived. If Jim feels better tomorrow and it’s not raining maybe we’ll head back to see the inside as it is open until 6 pm on Wednesday.

Thought about going to see something else but it started to rain so we headed for the Tube and home. Had a nice early dinner at a Fish n Chips place just around the corner before calling it a night. A funny thing happened at the restaurant; we were told that the medium size order was “cold”. I was somewhat surprised and said “cold”, she replied “yes, mum, cold”. So even though it was more than we wanted we ordered the large size portions so that it would be hot. We started talking to the two English ladies next to us and after we’d all received our food. Jim asked them what size they had, and they replied that they’d ordered the median portion. Jim asked if it was cold. They said “no”. When we talked a bit longer they said “oh it’s the pronunciation problem….she was saying “cod” not “cold”. We all laughed and finished our larger than usual meal. But, I did manage to eat every bit of the fish but not all of the chips. It’s been a very long day. We did get Jim some more medication at the Airport Pharmacy this morning so the additional antibiotics should help him feel better tomorrow.

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