Thursday, May 24, 2012

Day 0 and 1 – May 18-19 (Friday/Saturday) – Travel Day and Day in London

We left Salt Lake at 9:35am on a flight bound for Boston.  In Boston we met up with our son Alex and his fiancé Brenda.  We then flew from Boston to London Heathrow airport.  We landed at terminal 4 (at about 6:15am on the 19th) and had to get to the bus station so we could catch a National Express bus to Victoria Coach station in downtown London.  We asked the bus people and they told us to board a bus that would take us to terminal 1.  That was about a 20-minute bus ride through the area around Heathrow.  It was all kind of strange.   Eventually we made it at about 7:35, and had to wait around for the 8:30 bus.  We made it to the Coach station and then hoofed it over to our hotel – The Doubletree by Hilton which was about 3 blocks away.  We checked in, but our room wasn’t ready yet, so we left our luggage with the concierge and went out to see the sights. 

Brenda and Alex had heard that the London Zoo was terrific, so we bought a Travelcard pass (inside Victoria train station which was just across the street from our hotel) for the tube that with some vouchers that Julie had downloaded ahead of time got us into the Zoo for 2 for the price of 1. (note – you had to buy the travel day pass in a rail station in order to get the deal).  The tube is amazingly efficient and a joy to ride (although very crowded on this Saturday).  We had to change trains once, but eventually made it to the stop near the Zoo.  We then wandered around the zoo.  It was ok, but nothing terribly special.  Not being parochial, but I think even Salt Lake’s zoo is better.

We left after several hours and on the way back to the tube station, we stopped in a pub for a beer and some lunch (at about 2pm).   We then boarded the subway and went to visit the British Museum (which is free admission).  This was an amazing museum that includes the Rosetta stone and other interesting artifacts.  The only problem was we were dogged tired, having slept very little on the plane.  We eventually left a bit before closing time, and took the tube back to Victoria Station and our hotel.  We grabbed our bags and went to the room.  The hotel was nice and clean.  At about 6pm, we wandered back downstairs and headed to the St. Georges Tavern just down the block from the hotel.  We had some truly excellent pub food (the entrees were: fish and chips, grilled vegetable tart, a pub burger, and sausage and mash).  The beer that we liked best was a Doombar red ale.  We then went back to the hotel and hit the sack.

Note - sorry, no pictures as we forgot and left the camera in bag that was checked at the hotel.

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