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Vacation Reflections (June / 18 / 2000)

We flew into London from the U.S. with minimal travel problems, and arrived at around 7:30AM local time. With no concrete plan, and no exact idea of where our hotel was in relation to Heathrow airport, we were happy to see signs claiming that you could get to downtown London via the new Express Train, in 15 minutes. I knew we were near Hyde Park and with one transfer, we could get very close to our hotel.

We already had our baggage, because we packed everything for our 3 week trip in 2 carry-on backpacks. Once we got off the 2nd train, we walked around for ten minutes or so, and found our hotel - the Park International. It was already getting hot in London and was around 9:00AM at this point. We were told we could check in at 1:00 that afternoon and our room would be ready then. The hotel lobby was very warm, and we were shown to a side room where we could change into shorts. We were a bit rushed, as a man waited outside to take our bags to a safe place. We had a quick bite to eat after checking in, using some Pounds we had exchanged at DIA in Denver.

Then I tried to take us to Hyde Park. Unfortunately, I took us in the wrong direction, and we ended up at the River Thames instead. We walked back and picked up a tour bus very near where we started. It took us all over the city, and we saw many great tourist sites, including the changing of the Queen's guard. We finally got tired and hungry mid-afternoon and we were tired of the hot sun too. To bad there were two streets with the same name, and I had us head off the bus at the wrong end of town. We eventually hailed a taxi and made it back to our hotel to check-in, but it wasn't easy.

It was a nice room, with air-conditioning, which was a relief in the mid 90 degree heat. We went back out for a bite to eat. We were really tired at this point from jet-lag, and it was mid afternoon at this point. We had some beverages and local food - Carrie had something that was supposed to be a BLT, but didn't resemble the american version at all. Then we went back to the room and collapsed - sleeping all the way until the next morning - nearly 14 hours. We had a quick continental breakfast when we woke up and used a coin operated internet connection to send our first email back home. Then, we headed to the train station to catch the Eurostar Chunnel service to Paris.

More journal entries to follow...

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