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Farewell Venice, off to London

Tues, Oct 1, 2019

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We got up early - had a quick breakfast then hightailed it for the bus station, to catch the bus for the airport. I'm one of those people who needs a good buffer or I get nervous. We got tix to the airport and JUST missed a bus, so we had about a 10-15 min wait for the next. When we got to the airport we had some confusion as to where to get our boarding passes printed. (I really should have just sent them to my ipad and did a screenshot). I didn't even know which level we were supposed to be at for British Airways. The airport seemed so much more confusing than the last time we flew out. I asked at the help desk and they sent me to the right area. Had a mini panic attack when I couldn't find the proper computers/machines for printing out the passes and thought we were going to have to wait in a huge line (I think we had about 75 min by now for our flight). Finally spotted the area we were supposed to be in and once we did that, we were good to go. We grabbed a few snacks to use up the last of our Euros.

We were very lucky with our flight to Gatwick. You could see out the windows of the plane as we approached London that there was a big rainstorm heading our way. The flight was quick and we arrived 20 min or so before our scheduled landing. The pilot thought we might be put in a holding pattern because of the advancing storm, but luckily we were able to land. One of my ears popped on the flight so everything was very muffled!

Out the window it was a combination of sun and rain. We stopped at (I believe it was) Pret a Manger or Costa in the airport to have some toasted sandwiches, pop and chips to hold us out. Our airbnb host wasn't especting us for a few hours, so we weren't in a rush. I was able to contact her and give her an estimated time of arrival. After our quick lunch, we topped up our oyster cards and got some train tickets from Gatwick to London Victoria. We found the correct platform for the train, but then they changed it and there was a bit of a mad scramble to get to the proper platform - of course we had to go up and down stairs. I almost got caught in the doors - not a happy camper.

As we were taking the train in the skies were getting darker and darker. We got off at London Victoria and after waiting for a few tube cars to go by were finally able to get on the tube to Hammersmith. Luckily we'd been to the same airbnb the year before, and after slight confusion as to which of the identical looking buildings it was, we remembered which (well, I had to check again - was it Caroline House or Elizabeth?). The sky was getting really dark now and we felt a few raindrops starting to fall. The airbnb is about a 5 min walk (dragging suitcases) from the tube station - oh - we did stop and grab some Krispy Kreme (there's a KK booth at the train station!). Three minutes after we made it to the room, the skies opened up, the thunder was crashing and a big bolt of lightning (with accompanying BOOM) went off right above the room. We were never so happy to have made it to our room!

We decided to relax for an hour or so...unpack, eat our Krispy Kreme's. The rain stopped and started, so we just decided to head to Piccadilly Circus to go to the Waterstones bookstore where hubs got a book and I picked up a Christmas card(!) for a friend, then hit Five Guys for burgers...first time I’ve had them and pretty good. I recall someone saying they give you lots of fries so we just ordered a small..the cup was filled and then there was just as many in the bottom of the bag, so thank goodness we didn’t do large.

Then we went to Fortnum and Mason...I don't know how we've been to London so many times and never went there! I was so tickled by the Xmas ornaments and the huge variety of teas and food, I knew we'd be back. Rain was starting to pick up again so we popped into a few shops at Piccadilly, including the M&M Store. Then time to head back to the room and decide what to do the next day. We picked up some snacks and breakfast goodies at the Tesco Express at the Hammersmith station.

Posted by u2traveller 06:16 Archived in United Kingdom

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