Thursday, September 17, 2009

Trip Recap - Day 1 London

We flew to London nonstop from Seattle on British Airways. Our flight was on time and actually landed in London a bit ahead of schedule. Customs was a breeze and before we knew it we were at the counter to pick up our tickets for the Heathrow Connect to downtown London.

Sadly, the tickets we had ordered were not actually there, but we were able to purchase new ones easily enough. We also picked up our 7 day Oyster cards which are good for the bus, tube, tram, train (you name it!). If you ever visit London be sure to pick one of these up. Such a great system!

The trip to London was uneventful until we had to switch from the Heathrow Connect to the tube and I tried to leave my suitcase on the other side of the turnstile. Luckily a nice man in a nice suit brought it to me and pointed out the "luggage lane". Lesson learned.

Soon after we found ourselves at Gloucester Road tube stop, which we became very familiar with, and stepped outside from the underground to find a Starbucks right in front of us. Yes, our first stop in London was Starbucks, but we needed it! We had already been up for many many hours, and there were many more before nightfall.

We found our hotel easily enough. We stayed at the Marriott London Kensington. Nothing fancy but it was nice and clean and the staff was very friendly!

Once we'd dropped off our bags we headed out to explore the neighborhood. We took the tube over to Knightsbridge and wandered around for about an hour until we finally found the Nag's Head. Here we enjoyed our first pints in London!

Next we wandered around some more until we finally found The Grenadire and enjoyed a wonderful pub style meal.

We felt much better after eating so we decided to walk by Buckingham Palace Gardens to the gates of Buckingham Palace. Of course there were tourists everywhere, but we enjoyed the walk and viewing the Palace through the gates.

We saw the Queen Victoria Monument and even caught our first glimpse of Big Ben in the distance.

We then wandered our way back up towards Knightsbridge passing by the Duke of Wellington Arches and the Duke of Wellington House. We stopped in at the Rose & Crown for another pint before getting on the tube back to the Gloucester Road stop. We stopped in for one last pint before bed at the Stanhope Arms.

Then it was back to the Marriott for a wonderful night's sleep!

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