Europe Forums

Start a new topic Change Forum
Advanced search

Trip Report My favourite places in London

Jump to last reply

LONDON DAY1
We caught the red eye from Dubai, a nicely uneventful flight with BA. Landed at Heathrow at 6.10am, then waited 40 minutes for a parking space for our plane (I am serious). I have booked a car with greentomatocars, and the driver was waiting for us. £50 from airport to Baker Street. The drive took just over an hour. Glad I booked the car, was an easy first step into the city. Because we were late, £10 extra for 'waiting time'. Next time - if I book a car - I will allow more time between landing and meeting the driver. The driver was an Irish chap who had us giggling with his accent and his remarks. He recommended the Tower with the Crown Jewels 'if you like a bit of bling'. He says the queen is 'still quite sprightly', but old Charles is 'a bit of a wet rag'. We drive past a monument with a golden man under a type of canopy. I ask: "what on earth is that?" He says: "oh that's Albert! He died and broke her heart." I remember the story of Victoria and Albert, and DD asks: "Why did he die?" The driver's answer: "I don't know - he just went off and died" In the moment it was really really funny.
The Park Plaza Sherlock Holmes Hotel in Baker Street is a nice place to stay. They had mercy on us, found us a room just after 8am, offered coffee, upgraded us to an executive room. The staff is helpful, friendly, kind, knowledgeable. The beds are comfy, the bath deep and wide, the lift veeeery slow. I am glad we are staying here. Found the hotel through Hotwire, and it is a good stay at an affordable price.
By the time we have booked in, had a shower, had breakfast, sorted out cell phones, and bought travel cards it was almost 12noon. DD and I decided to go off in different directions. I kind of wandered, started to figure out the tube system, ended up on Trafalgar Square.
Had a moment of frission when I saw the South African flag above the trees and fountains of Trafalgar Square. Had Potato and Leek soup in the crypt of St Martin's in the Fields for £3.50. Not great, not bad. Interesting busy place. The afternoon was grey, it rained, I was feeling a bit fragile.
What better to do than to get drunk ... on art. So off I went to the National Galery. OOOOH WHAT A JOY. Van Gogh just blew me away. To stand in front of a Rembrandt. To see the Impressionists. What a wonderful first thing to do in this new city.
Took the bus back to Baker Street through the late afternoon traffic. Found the hotel (!).
DD came in soon after me. She had a great time in Camden Market. She cannot stop talking about all the interesting vintage clothes, retro style, Goths with everything in black, a man in a cape had flirted with her, she had bought 4 T-shirst for £10!
We walk to an Italian restaurant near Baker street. It is Haloween, and the streets are full of pointed hats, witches, children with masks - the restaurant decorated with cut-out pumpkins. We do not do Halloween in South Africa, so all this was new for us. It was now almost 8pm, and I could feel I was crashing after a long day. Asked for our lasagne as take-aways, ate in bed with half a bottle of very nice Californian wine I had picked up near Trafalgar Square, then just keeled over and died to the world!

136 Replies |Back to top

| Add a Reply

Sign in to comment.

Recent Activity

  • Announcement:
  • Writers Needed for Mexico
    by Emily_D Fodor's Editor | Posted on Jul 24, 14 at 12:19 PM
View all Europe activity »
  1. 1 Akrotiri Tours
  2. 2 London hotel tax is 20%
  3. 3 Blackpool Lights 2014: Tripping the Lights Fantastic in Northern England!
  4. 4 Itinerary Check: Zurich, Munich, Prague, VIenna and Berlin in 20 Days
  5. 5 Trip Report Jamikins and Bikerscott Head Back to Le Marche
  6. 6 Best location for Prague hotel?
  7. 7 Americans travel to Russia. Is it safe?
  8. 8 Looking for a month long vacation rental in France
  9. 9 Which to fly into....Milan or Rome?
  10. 10 Trip Report Our Adventure to the Southeast of England and London
  11. 11 Regensburg or Cesky Krumlov for Two Nights
  12. 12 Paul Bocuse restaurant in Lyon
  13. 13 Prague Tour Guides and Castle Tickets
  14. 14 Amsterdam: arriving 8/25 to depart on 8/30 Rhine river cruise
  15. 15 Frankfurt Airport: 2 hours from touchdown to train. Go for it???
  16. 16 How do you organize yourself on vacation?
  17. 17 Trip Report May in southern Italy--Sorrento/Capri and Puglia
  18. 18 Venice - boats on canals
  19. 19 ITALY
  20. 20 Paris first then where?
  21. 21 Forma Urbis Fragments in Capitoline Museum?
  22. 22 Maitaitom & Tracy's Romantic 20th Anniversary Paris 2014 Trip In September
  23. 23 Recommendation for a wine tour departing from Strasbourg.
  24. 24 Turkey 2015-Happy B-day to Me
  25. 25 Finalizing plans for September trip - is this doable
View next 25 » Back to the top