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  • Day8

    London calling

    July 31, 2017 in the United Kingdom ⋅ ☀️ 13 °C

    It's time to leave Stockholm. Today is the first test of our ability to get up early, pack and be on our way. We needed to be down to reception by 7:30am - not that early really. Well Mary and I worked like old professionals - handle things just once [don't put things down, put them away] and we cruised through the getting ready process. After paying for the room, we had only spent about $A160 for five days on snacks and drinks - well done I say.

    We used a taxi to get to the train station [$A24] and caught the express train to the airport. No problems with our bookings - thanks Samone - and in no time we were on board. Don't know about other airlines but SAS call you, board you, close the doors and take off, all in a few minutes.

    The flight to London was 2.5 hours and mainly cloudy.

    When we arrived in London we went down to the train station and had the "train for London" staff help us each get an Oyster card for the week. They explained everything and were very friendly and helpful. Nothing can stop us now.

    The hotel is right next door to the train station, great planning by me eh! Problem is, the devil is in the detail - to leave the train station there is a long flight of stairs, no lift and no escalator. So with hand luggage and 2 x 23kg suitcases - it was a struggle.

    We had an upgrade when I asked if we could have the best room available [based on the amount we had already prepaid]. We were moved to a king sized room - and no it's not king sized - very small indeed. By the way, the lift wasn't working, but staff carried our cases up the stairs.

    The hotel is in a good spot - next door to the Shepherds Bush market on one side and a huge Westfields shopping complex on the other.

    First to get some money - used a street ATM to get 200 pounds [$A340] and then to get a Sim card. We bought a "EE" card for 15 pounds, 10Gb and more than enough calls and SMS for a month - cheap as chips. Found a Cath Kidston store, so we can get Sara a new bag - great.

    Time for my first beer. Two corner pubs nearby both offering Sunday roasts. Had a London Pale Ale for me and a G&T for Mary only to be told all roasts had been sold. Skulled our drinks and moved to the next pub, same story - no roasts left. Had a Hell beer and Mary a Prosecco. Mary had Fish and chips and I had Cambridge Sausage and Mash.

    Took a little walk around Shepherds Bush to get the lay of the land ... more to explore tomorrow.

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