Tuesday, 9 September 2014

London, Day One

We had heard that Heathrow was a huge airport, and easy to get lost in, but although it was a very long walk, there were lots of moving sidewalks, and the signs to immigration and baggage were well marked. As soon as we exited baggage, there were kiosks selling tickets for the express train into London. We bought two tickets for 21 pounds each, which is 38 Canadian dollars. After another very long walk, we arrived at the train platform, and asked the attendant if we were in the right place for the express train into the city. Yes, he said, just have a seat, it will be along in 15 minutes.

5 minutes later, a train that was marked, "Train to London" pulled up, and we jumped up, eager to get on. I stood close to the door, but received lots of dirty looks from the disembarking passengers. I glanced back to see that all the other passengers were in a very polite line (queu, as they call it here!) well back in order to allow the disembarking passengers to get off. "Oops", I said to Bryce, "I forgot that this isn't China, where if you don't push into the train, you don't get on," as I realized that I had just received my first lesson in very polite British behaviour.

Once we were sure that everyone was off, we got on the train, but once seated, noticed that only a few others had gotten on the train, asked a couple of women seated across from us if we were on the fast train onto the city. "No," they said, "this is the train that stops along the way, but it really isn't much slower, and it's only 9 pounds." We jumped up to try to get off, but just then they closed and the train strated to move.

The ride was lovely, giving us a chance to see the outlying parts of the city. It might have taken us 5 minutes longer to get into the city, so in my opinion, the extra 12 pounds each ($22 X2) for the express train is a big waste of money.

Getting off the train, we immediately got into the queu for the taxis. I love the taxis here, the back seat is at the very back of the car, with no trunk, as the passenger compartment is large enough to bring your suitcases in with you. It is also big enough to wheel a baby stroller right in, complete with baby, or to flips seats down for extra passengers. Our driver was highly entertaining, giving us a commentary about the different parts of town that we drove through. We are staying in Kensington, which is a charming part of town, nice and quiet, right on the subway (underground in British speak), which will allow us to go where we want to go!)


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