So the red eye was ok, although 8 hours in a plane is a bit too much for our bodies. The plane was amazing, brand new with mood lighting to support jet lag! However following that with the craziness of having our passports verified at the London airport, getting to London, and determine where we would be laying our heads was a bit exhausting.
Once the above tasks were completed we waved at the London Bridge from a distance and set off to figure out the underground transit. We could not get out of the London Bridge area of town fast enough. So many working men and women who all seem in the greatest hurry of a lifetime set a bit of a stressful tone. I guess I could identify a plus in the fact that all the men are so fit with the best tailored suits, enough said…
Once the train was comprehensible we headed to Harrod’s, hit up a pub, then walked through Hyde park. We fell in love with the Prince Albert monument and noticed the amazing Royal Albert Hall! Oh, who is playing in 20 minutes – ERIC CLAPTON!!!! Damnit!!! Oh well, opportunity missed…guess we will just have to go to a wine bar called Bumpkin (not as country as you might think 😉
Loved our hotel, the Garden View Inn. The keys were kinda crazy, a flat bar with holes that you stuck into the lock. An elevator too small for me Michelle and our packs. Oh, and no one warned me about the electrical sockets being completely different. But it was great!
ActionPacked.com – woke up and headed straight for Buckingham Palace for the changing of the guards! There were a million people, so we left early and walked all over the city to the multiple squares (including Trafalgar Square, which has become our frequent hub). Headed to Big Ben, Parliament, and the Westminster Abby to see the boy’s choir perform. The Cathedral and the service were amazing and our favorite part of the city.
Well…the story doesn’t end. A discussion sparks at the Indian restaurant about how it’s our last night in town and it would be great to check out the gay hood, better known as SoHo. Maybe getting home should have been the priority here…
We head to SoHo and go to the G-A-Y Bar (that’s the name, no lie). Michelle and I had fun dancing, but these gay boys would not engage a bit. Well except for one that swore Michelle was Swedish and that I was, who knows – but not American. We were pumped!!! A Brit likes us, they really do!!! The G-A-Y Bar was closing (FYI: in London it seems most gay bars close at 11pm and that’s when all the gay clubs open – I chalk it up to the community supporting each other). Anyway he asked if we would be at Heaven. What’s Heaven??? He describes it as one of the most mystical gay clubs one could ever grace. We are in!!!
He disappeared, but Michelle and I are on a mission. We head to the streets and meet a drunk fellow from Amsterdam that’s proposing to his girlfriend next month. He insits that he would love us to be his guests when we visit (score!). Now we are off, but where in the hell are we going? Luckily a pedi-cab pops up and knows the place. Directions and a ride! (score 2 – this is so the best day ever).
Hello Heaven! Wait, first we will need to pass through a medal detector, get frisked like an inmate and then every pocket of our belongings probed. Should we be scared??? No it was fine inside…loud music, tons of people – but Michelle and I still get no love. What’s a girl to do – DANCE! So much fun till we got tired of the scene and left.
The train is not running, no clue how the bus system works and the cabs need cash. Whoopsie! So a 5 mile walk follows with many exciting sights along the way (good trail prep right?). We were beyond excited to make it to our inn and call it a night!!
What happened, why do I feel this way, are my feet there, is Michelle here, what time is it…
Note taken, should have went home after dinner, but now we can say we tore the gay scene up in London and walked home 5 miles. Is that something to be proud of??? Let’s just say it is, because the story of day 3 is one hell of a tale…
We woke up too late to catch the ferry to France. We would have to be up at 6 and got home at 4, so obviously we were not being forward thinkers when we decided to descend into Heaven. Well we will just get on the next one, but it’s not till 10pm. Our current focus is getting packed and out of this room on time!
Done! Now let’s brunch it up to ease our woes. While we still have wifi at our Inn we determine a great spot and head off. No maps app for us, we just have paper maps these days. Well, I got us lost. Completely own it, I blame the Vodka from the night before. Anyway, Michelle is like we are in a locals only area looking like tourist hikers we gotta get outta here!!! We hop on a train (after walking 2 miles) and head to our trusted Trafalgar Square!
Now we can finally have lunch after a bit of a stressful morning. We both have the same idea to see what a flight would be from London to start the trail and skip Paris. Enough big city life for us! Michelle finds a great deal and grabs the tix! Perfect! The process to get them was insane, but we are booked!
We run by an outdoor store to grab a couple more items and then stop by a Starbucks to grab coffee and wifi. The airport we fly out of is an hour away so I am looking up hotels and we will just head there, sleep and then board our plane to the trail!
Me: “Michelle! I found an amazing one that is so cheap! Ok, so check in May 22nd…”
Michelle: “Babe, it’s the 29th”
Me: checking my phone “nope, it’s the 22nd”
Michelle: eyes bulging “What Have I Done!!!!”
Yep folks, our flight leaves in a week and not tomorrow. After consoling each other and fancying a UK backpack adventure we get in touch with the airline. It took multiple calls and guess what, more walking. But we got the flight moved to this Monday.
Well now we have a weekend in London where we are over city life. I grab a cheap place just to have something and we head there…
It’s in Camden, north of the city. Complete Oasis (oh wait, we got our train exit wrong and walked another two miles, mark it up to more trail training). But we love it here and plan to spend the next two days in the burbs before we board that plane!
Love to all and stay tuned…