Today was a looooonnnnggg haul. We started in Melbourne, leaving home at 9.45am, caught the train into the city, the Skybus to the airport, and then three flights: Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur to Amsterdam, and Amsterdam to London. Kuala Lumpur airport’s layover was enough time for me to do some work. Amsterdam airport was fogged over, so we really couldn’t see the beauty of the city (and it was 5am local time, so not much happening at that time anyway). And then London… after an hour waiting in line with possibly another 6 airlines worth of passengers that just happened to have land at the same time, we were actually surprised that our luggage was there ready and waiting for us and we could just exit the airport. No extra scanning of the luggage, no sniffer dog attacks… just leave… and wish that one of the names written in black felt tip pen on white cardboard being flashed around by chauffeurs waiting in the arrivals lounge, was yours… But no, we opted for the Tube instead.
We caught the Tube from Heathrow Terminal 4 on the Piccadilly line, and of course, my 11 year old laughed that the final destination of the train was Cockfosters! We got off at Turnham Green (via the District Line) and used the $65 Tom Tom app I bought to bring us to our hotel. We had to dump our luggage and were to come back in an hour while they made up our room, so we tried the lovely Parisenne Crepe cafe for breakfast. We then had a little walk through the streets and found a fruit vending stall and checked out the prices versus the prices back home. Strawberries: one pound a punnet (AUD$1.40), granny smith apples: 30p each (AUD47c each). And the boys found a glorious park with a circular seat around a tree.
We are in majestic looking Best Western hotel, but somehow we’ve been given a cute little basement room that’s completely decked out with beautiful white linen, flat screen TV, air conditioning and an ensuite, but it’s tiny. It has adorable common gardens, and plenty of free tea and coffee (and hot chocolates for me and my boys) at the reception, so we’re not complaining.
After a much needed shower and freshen up, we caught the No 94 bus up to Piccadilly Circus. We sat at the front up the top of a double decker bus and rode through Notting Hill, Oxford Street to Oxford Circus and Piccadilly Circus.
After a few photo opportunities, we checked out Hamleys – the biggest toy store in London, and the boys bought a couple of toys for home. The boys even got to pose with royalty!
I also wanted to take them to Next, but unfortunately, their range wasn’t as good as it was when I was here 5 years ago, and their sizes only go up to 12 year olds… which makes it hard for my boys who are on that borderline sizing that takes them into mens.
We then decided to catch the bus back to our hotel, which with all it’s stops and starts and dealing with the London traffic, wasn’t worth the hour long drive it took as the novelty ride there, as it did on the way back.
We went home via the fruit stall and grabbed 4 bananas, 2 punnets of strawberries & 3 granny smith apples for 3 pounds 50c. An absolute bargain in Melbourne books.
Think we might be up for an early night tonight so we can get ourselves into London time, but before that, it might be a meal at the pub!
(oh by the way, we are cruising around the UK and Western Europe for the next 6.5 weeks… hope you enjoy the journey as much as us!)