Sunday, July 22, 2007

London - Days 1 & 2

Greetings from the Comfort Inn in London---

Steph and I are having an amazing time. We will give the full rundown here, so be prepared for a long post....
The trip started off a little flight got cancelled from Vienna to London Friday night, so I had to stay at a hotel across the street and take a flight at 7:40 a.m. the next AM. Even though every other airline was flying into London-Heathrow that night with a delay, our airline completely cancelled. Don't worry, we got back at British Airways with a nice bar tab on their hotel voucher.

Steph's flight went smoothly, and I actually got into London-Heathrow at 9:15 a.m., grabbed my luggage, and got to her terminal as she was picking up baggage. One slight snag...our plan to meet at baggage claim was derailed by international airports not allowing you to come to baggage claim. So, after a few minutes of panic, I paged her over the airport Intercom, and she was coming out just to meet me. I was very happy to see her pretty face.

We exchanged our U.S. dollars for the London Pound [which is destroying the US Dollar right now], got passes for the Tube [which is the London Underground train], and set-off for our hotel. While I was not exactly pumped about paying $160/nite for a Comfort Inn, our hotel is awesome. Not awesome in the sense that the room is overly sweet, but it is literally a 2-minute walk from the tube station, which is great for navigating the city.

Saturday run-down for sightseeing: We started off by heading to St. Paul's Cathedral, which was amazing. The skinny on the cathedral: it was built a long time ago but severely damaged in the London Fire, which burnt an amazing 4/5 of the city. So, they commissioned Sir Christopher Wren, who re-designed the whole thing. It was awesome. Unfortunately, no pic-taking in the church. But, we did climb the 457 steps to the top to get awesome views of the city.

Next, we shot over to Harrod's to check out their massive sale. It was cool to see, but we didn't buy anything. It is really the world's largest department store, and we can vouch for that. We then headed back to Earl's Court street by our hotel, grabbed some dinner at a local pub where I had a Guinness and Steph had a Strongbow, and went to bed.

Sunday run-down for sightseeing: A very busy day. First, we took the one hour train to Windsor to see Windsor Castle. It was absolutely amazing. For those that don't know, Windsor Castle is where the queen and her royal family lives. It also contains Queen Mary's dollhouse exhibition, which was given to her as a present, as well as the State apartments, where we got to see the king and queens rooms.

Next, we walked across the London Bridge, and then walked around the Tower of London [where the Crown Jewels are kept] and the Tower Bridge. We attempted to do a walking tour of Jack the Ripper, but the Tube station was closed and we couldn't find the guide. So, we decided to go to Hyde Park and we took a walk around the park. It was a lot of fun and there were a ton of people out. We then headed back for an authentic fish and chips London meal, but all of the places close early here on Sunday. So, we settled for the next best thing: Burger King, which we paid $16 for 2 Whopper Jr. meals.

On Saturday, the weather was a little overcast and some rain, but still nice and cool. Sunday, very sunny and around 70. Tomorrow, we are going to see Westminster Abbey, Buckingham Palace and the changing of the guard, Big Ben and the House of Parliament, and a tour of the English-soccer team Chelsea's soccer stadium. We then leave for Paris on the train that goes under the English Channel, the Eurostar, at around 5:45 p.m., and arrive in to Paris later that evening.

We are having a blast and have a bunch of pictures for people to see. We look forward to sharing some more stories soon.


Matt and Steph


Scott said...

You have more Euro than anybody in our age bracket.

Kenny said...

I bet there's a couple of your friends that would have more if they went over there.