06 May 2008

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

Hi Happy Readers!
Here I am again, with news from London. We arrived yesterday after a brilliant flight from Tokyo with JAL. After we were all settled in to our seats, I noted that there were 3 bulkhead seats empty so asked the flight attendant if we could move there & we ended up with loads of leg room & comfort +++. Why pay extra for business class? This was DELUXE!
Unfortunately, Heathrow was a complete dump. All dirty, grimy & grey & everyone working there seemed totally miserable. The only (brief) highlight was a Ben & Jerry's ice-cream vending machine where I made my first UK purchase of a tub of "Cherry Garcia". Well, it was delicious ... until I dropped my little wooden spoon onto the filthy, grimy, sticky Heathrow carpet & that was the end of my ice-cream bliss :o( We managed to find our hotel & while we agree that we are the King & Queen of Budget Hotel accommodation (!), this place was too horrid. It was worse than any backpackers for grown-ups. The bed was all hard with springs poking out, the wallpaper was torn off the walls, the tiles in the bathroom had lifted... It was Supreme Grottiness. We had a big think about L.I.F.E & the meaning of it & walked further down Cromwell Road to the Best Western where we got a fantastic room with a little deck & a view over a private garden for about the same price as room in a Sydney hotel. It is so much more comfortable. Tiny, but clean & no fear of finding someone's undies under the bed... So, this morning I took myself off for a run around Kensington Gardens. Oh boy! The Brits may have grotty airports but they sure know how to make a beautiful garden. The flowers were so colourful & aromatic & there were swans, squirrels & all sorts of birds - and grass! You should see the grass!! It was so, so, so beautiful! Then Steve & I got one of those 'jump on, jump off' day bus passes & spent the day on the open deck of a double-decker, freezing ourselves as we drove all around London listening to a commentary. It was really a fantastic way to see everything briefly so we can go back & see what we want. We stopped off for the Changing of the Guard @ Buckingham Palace.
It was ok... It took a long time & there were thousands of people (it was Bank Holiday today). However, there is nothing better to see than a well-behaved horse & a man in tight pants riding it. We also went to the Tower of London, which was surprisingly good though absolutely packed with people - mainly slightly obnoxious French schoolchildren by the busload. I tell you (not that you care) that fighting your way through hordes of tourists is exhausting. We got our fill of decapitation & armour before utilising our free Thames boat ride down to Westminster. There are so many fantastic looking gardens & statues & little alleyways.... We are going to run out of time in a BIG way. Tomorrow, we are going to take in a few galleries. There are so many people that you don't realise how long it takes to see different things. There is some serious money in this town. There are many, many fancy cars. We have seen Maseratis, Bentleys, Ferraris, BMWs, Audis & Rolls Royces by the caryardfull already. Of course, everything is very expensive. You see that a coffee is two pounds but you think, "oh, $2" but of course, that is only half the story (literally). And there are so many Russians here! Seriously... of every 5 people we have seen today, at least two are Russian or eastern European. I have obviously watched far too many silly movies because all I can think about is KGB spies & poison umbrellas.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Jen
Didn't realise you were sightseeing! Hope you have a wonderful time. Isn't London fantastic?
Miss you