Sunday, October 30, 2016

London for the Day

Our friends Jo and Julia had arranged to head into London for the day so we could meet up.  What great friends!

Prior to arriving I found this website to be very helpful in all the options we had to get from Gatwick to London.  

We opted to not buy our tickets ahead of time as we just were not sure exactly what time we would be there.  Plus it is very easy to buy the tickets upon arrival.

First we had to take a sleek shuttle from the airport to the train station.  Not far and very easy to get to.

At the station we easily figured out the kiosk to buy tickets to London return and paid with our credit card. Note we did not buy the Gatwick Express tickets as the next train was a regular one and although it made stops along the way it was considerably cheaper.

The ride into the city was fast and comfortable but both of us fought hard to stay awake.

Once we arrived at Victoria Station I pulled out my phone and used my great MapsMe App .  I had installed offline maps ahead of time on my phone for many of the places we would be visiting.

We walked to Buckingham Palace.  Note the weather was very similar to home, a light jacket was all we required.

For some reason I thought Buckingham Palace would be much grander, opulent -- More like a Trump Palace -- Pun intended.

But I guess most things in our minds are bigger, better and blown out of proportion.  

We work hard at getting a selfie.  Now take note I really was tired, patience was minimal on both our parts, but we knew we had to document the trip.

After leaving the Palace we walked and walked and walked. We had arranged to meet up with our friends around Covent Garden Market.  We checked out a Marks and Spencer store. we use to have a lot of these in Canada but don't see them as much.  It was nice to walk around and even attempted to buy something but when we saw the check out were all self serve check outs we opted out of buying anything.  We later noticed that most of the stores here in England (including the airport) have self serve check outs.  Again my policy is I support workers and I pay enough for the product I shouldn't have to check myself out and bag my own items.  Gee next they will want me to stock the shelves.  Okay rant over.

We loved strolling thru the Covent Garden Market and sat down and enjoyed a coffee and pastry. But boy is it busy.

Met up with Jo and Julia at the White Lion Pub.  A perfect location with a quiet upstairs where we could sit and catch up and enjoy a great meal.  They are a lovely couple.  I just we had more time to visit with them.

It is now around 8 pm and we are hitting the wall of exhaustion.  We are back at Victoria Station where we check the board for which train is going to Gatwick next.

Hmmm seems there is something wrong on the South Bound train tracks. We check with information and they tell us there is an issue but there is a train leaving shortly that we can take.  Even though it is a Gatwick Express train they tell us due to the delay we are allowed to take it.  

But because of the delay the train is packed!  But at least we are off and I can visualize our bed.  Patience Vickie.

Again the short ride to the airport from the train station and up to our room and I don't even think I was awake ten minutes.  Bam we are both out for the night at around 9 pm.

This is my very first visit to London.  I really enjoyed it and really want to come back for a few days.  It is crazy busy and would hate to be here during the summer with those crowds.  Like most places we visit we enjoy the non touristy places and I know I need to explore those here in London one day.

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