Going backwards to go forwardsOctober 14 in the United Kingdom
Yesterday we bid a reluctant farewell to the grandeur and luxury of Disney's Wilderness Lodge and rode the 45 minutes to Orlando International airport. We checked in, cleared customs in mere minutes compared to the chaotic 90 minute clearance on arrival and departed the States on time with Norwegian Airlines just after 4pm. The trip out here was 9 hours, but due to the vagaries of the jetstream our return journey was only 7 hours. Normally this would be cause to celebrate, but in this case it meant that we arrived into London Gatwick at 4.30am. We had booked a hotel room inside the terminal itself, but seeing as standard check-in times are 3pm, we would normally be wandering the streets for hours like beggars. Not this time however, I plucked the gorse out of my pockets and ponied up the 39 pounds extra for an early check-in. This saw us in the room by 5am and zonked out to help reset our internal clocks to GMT. After a few hours rest my mission awoke me and I felt an irresistible force pulling me towards north London. This meant it was back on the train into central London and then a seven stop tube ride on the Victorian line, before a final short ride on a bus to pull up outside hallowed ground in Haringey. There I beheld a glorious vision, the gleaming new stadium of the glory boys themselves, Tottenham Hotspur. A little shine was taken off this spiritual moment by the fact that the stadium was meant to have been finished and in use over a month ago. No matter, this was still a powerful moment garnished with the obligatory London drizzle. After staring adoringly at the stadium for a while we went searching for the temporary Spurs club shop. Once the new stadium opens it will have the largest club football shop in Europe. For now there is a pokey little store tucked away on Seven Sisters road. This proved elusive and after asking three separate locals we finally located the store, right behind the bus stop where we got off. I put my temporary blindness down to the dazzling effect of the new stadium and the ever present London drizzle. After perusing the limited selection at the temporary club shop we headed for Oxford Circus, via bus and tube. Jean couldn't believe how busy this area was on a rainy Sunday, but London is a powerful magnet for tourists. After battling hordes of tourists and the damp we rode the trains back to Gatwick, had a feed and packed our bags ready for a mid-morning departure tomorrow. Turkey is calling. Gobble gobble.
Click the link to join my video tour of Disneys Wilderness Lodge.