Landed in London on time at 8:30 am Friday. Donâ€™t plan on sleeping much on the plane!!!Â MyÂ plan was to eat supper and then drift off to sleep for the 9 Â½ hour flight but “best laid plans of mice and men…”.Â Just like a stay in the hospital there was way too much activity on board.
First, a drink and snack service followed by the dinner service.Â TIP: Try not to sit in the final 5 rows of the airplane. If you do, you run the risk of the most popular dinner choice running out before they serve you.
I missed the chicken dinner by one person!Â The pasta wasn’t bad though. Dinner was followed by tea and coffee service.Â Sleep at that moment was impossible so, a movie and a short read and I was ready to sleepâ€¦well, at least I kept my eyes closed.
Customs went surprisingly fastÂ and the tube (that’s what they call their subway) entrances are connected to the airport.Â There is no one to help lift your luggage on to the trainÂ so, TIP:Â if you have a lot or it is heavy, consider a taxi. TheÂ tube into London can become quite packed.Â Be prepared to stand and put up with some disparaging remarks and looks from busy commuters about your luggage.
First nights stay in London was at the Grange White HallÂ Hotel in the West End.Â Â The hotel is near a park and the tube line.Â My room faced the back garden and had 20 foot ceilings which were beautiful.Â The bathroom was the size of a London telephone booth!
TIP:Â There are some hotels here do not provide wash cloths or hair conditioner.Â If you use them, pack them and bring it with you.
London is an international city with people from all over the world.Â The service industry is dominated by Eastern European and Pakistani employees.Â Imagine my American ears already straining to understand the fast talking and varied British accents trying to make sense of it mixed with other foreign accents!!!Â You can tell, I don’t travel internationally enough.
Europe counts their floors from Ground Floor up making the second floor to us their first floor.Â There I was, wandering the halls looking for my room and asking an employee where room 113 was, and him checking his watch saying “no000… not the time!”
Dinner was at the Hotel Russell (I’ll be staying here on my return trip to London in a few weeks).Â Service was friendly.Â I had my first Hard Cider of the trip!Â A seat by the window gave me a cool breeze (England doesn’t have much A/C in their older buildings).
Finished the night at the Queen’s Theatre enjoyingÂ â€œPhantom of the Opera“.Â Â Tomorrow… I’m off to the Lake District in Northern England, one of nation’s prettiest locations with amazing scenery and beautiful, natural vistas.Â Ah, the hills and dales, and Yorkshire tales!
The Grange White Hall Hotel
2-5 Montague Street
London WC1B 5BU
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7580 2224
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7580 5554