A Travellerspoint blog

This blog is published chronologically. Go straight to the most recent post.

Day one - Sunday 5th April

Flying to Singapore / London

sunny 15 °C

Sunday 5th April

We left Melbourne for Singapore at 1.00 am. Plane was full and getting to the toilet was an issue at times. The service on Singapore Airlines was, as usual, very professional from the crew with pretty good food.

Arriving in Singapore, we walked to the sky train, enjoying the massive displays of orchids which were all through the terminals. Such beautiful displays made for a really pleasant stroll to the sky train.

We stopped at a toilet and I guided mum to the end toilet and watched as she realised that the toilet was a squat loo. Very funny.

After a three hour stopover we boarded the big air bus and prepared for the long 14 hour haul to London. We had booked seats in the middle on a short row of three seats rather than the rows of four. A very nice man offered to move to provide us with more room. Singapore airlines offer nice wide seats and plenty of leg room (for a shorty like me). The seats also have foot stools which make sleeping much more comfortable.

Mum finally mastered the video system and enjoyed a lot of music as we travelled. The only problem of the flight was the toddler from hell three seats up from us. This child cried, in the loudest voice I have heard a toddler make (at least it felt like it). I have a very short tolerance of children, but mum is very tolerant. However, even her tolerance worn thin. The only thing I found amusing about the situation was that the mother walked the baby up and down the aisles to settle it, and most of the walking was up through business class. At least she shared the misery. The child finally settled and nearly everyone on the plane also slept. The toddler was still crying when the parents collected their luggage and you could hear it all over Heathrow.

We arrived in London and fast tracked through customs at our request. I just explained that mum couldn't stand for very long and they let us straight through. Getting the luggage was another experience. more than half an hour wait for the luggage to finally appear. Arriving at Heathrow at 3.40 pm. We jumped onto the underground train from the airport to Earls Court at 5.00 pm.

Our luck was in as we came out of the station. A taxi was just dropping off a fare so we grabbed him and he dropped us off at the Ibis Hotel.
Our room is on the tenth floor, looking up towards Earls Court and with a fantastic view of the city,including the London Eye.

We ate in the Hotel restaurant and then got an early night, happy to be able to lay down and not sit up to rest. It's a very long way on the plane. The first leg to Singapore offered a smaller plane, with nine seats across with two aisles. The bigger plane had heaps more room to sit and to move around.
Mum was excited to be in England, which was great.

Posted by kerry needs 09:06 Archived in England Comments (0)

England - Day 1 - Monday 6th April

On and off bus - Thames river cruise - London Eye

sunny 20 °C

Monday 6th April
Marble Arch

Marble Arch


We got up early and ate breakfast in the restaurant. The things we learned are to stay away from the scrambled eggs (they tasted really funky and not like eggs at all) and the tomatoes were really hard to cut as they had very thick skins. The choices were a full English or continental, with baked beans, bacon, eggs (boiled, fried, scrambled) sausages, vegetarian sausages, tomatoes, hash browns, yoghurt and fruit, croissants, muffins, cereals, toast, muffins etc etc etc. Great choices. The coffee has not improved since my last visit two years ago. I keep trying, but so far it's undrinkable to just tolerable. Can't wait to get to Scotland to have some lovely brewed coffee.
Big Ben & London Eye

Big Ben & London Eye


Last night I said in jest to mum, ' What would be the chances of that crying toddler's parents staying in the same hotel?' We laughed as this type of thing had happened before when we were staying in Hahndorf. After breakfast we got into the lift and held the door whilst another couple came in. Yes. Yes. It was the crying toddler and it's mum and dad. I somehow had the grace to not look surprised, but mum and I exchanged looks that said 'it's Hahndorf all over again.'
London Eye trip

London Eye trip


The couple were from Australia and staying for a few days in London and then travelling around before going to Wales for a wedding. Oh no! We will be in Wales later in the month. God couldn't be so cruel as to let us come together a third time. At least we only heard the child at breakfast and they were staying on a different floor.
London Eye and County Hall

London Eye and County Hall


We caught a local bus up to Gloucester Road. Mum was excited about seeing a London double decker bus. I told her that will wear off in two minutes once we get into the city as they are like a big red caterpillar moving around the city.
Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

Shakespeare's Globe Theatre


A short walk down Gloucester Road and we caught the on and off, Big Bus Tour. I was disappointed in the commentary. It was not as good as the commentary offered on the Original Bus Tour. However, it was still good enough to show the sights. Mum was suitably awed by the city. The stairs up to the top of the bus were too steep for her but we got a pretty good view from downstairs.

As part of our on and off tickets, we had a free boat trip up the Thames. We decided to take advantage of this, not because it was free, but because it was so BLOODY HOT! Yes, London! Temperature was over 20 degrees and I wore a shirt from the moment we got out the door in the morning. We decided that the weather may not hold and taking the boat trip was a great idea. The trip started at Westminster, right beside the houses of Parliament. Big open boat with commentary that took us up under London Bridge before heading back to the London Eye.

We got great photos from the boat and enjoyed some funny commentary from the guide. One of the things he told us about were the lions heads, which were big metal heads with rings in their mouths, that were embedded in the wooden panels along the riverside. He told us that there was a saying about the heads. 'If the Lions are drinking, then London is sinking. If the Lions are ducked, then London is ......... flooding.'

Docking at the bank opposite the London Eye, we walked across the bridge and made out way to the London Eye. I was surprised at the lack of crowds. Last time I was at the London Eye it was shoulder to shoulder people. This time, it was crowded, but there was space to walk. Apparently one of the bus guys said it was very quiet in the city.

We had purchased fast track tickets when we got the on and off bus tickets. This allowed us to go to the head of the line and not wait. The London Eye is a great way to see the enormity of the city and to put the landmarks that are seen from the on and off bus, into perspective as to where they are in the city.

It was five o'clock by the time we got off the Eye and we headed back to the on and off bus to finish the circuit to Gloucester Road. A short underground train ride to Earl's Court and we set out to the nearest pub as mum had a hankering for English fish and chips for tea. The first pub had just changed menus and didn't have fish and chips on the menu. We moved onto the next pub and they had them on the menu but apparently we were not sitting in the right area to have this menu. Hard decision to make whether to move on to another pub? No! We finally ended up at The Blackbird pub and mum finally had her fish and chips, with peas, of course.

We walked back to the hotel about 8 o'clock. I was still only in a light shirt and enjoying the cool of the evening after such a hot day. Can't believe how hot it was in London!

Posted by kerry needs 10:32 Archived in England Comments (0)

England - Day two - Tuesday 7th April

More On and Off Bus and the British Museum

sunny 18 °C

Tuesday 7th April
Sarcophagus - Egyptian room British Museum

Sarcophagus - Egyptian room British Museum


Mummy - British Museum

Mummy - British Museum

We had breakfast and watched lots of people walking to work. People watching is a great pastime in London. We tarried over breakfast, watching the comings and goings from the first floor restaurant.
Gebelein Man 3500 BC

Gebelein Man 3500 BC


Gebelein Man

Gebelein Man

On the bus again to Gloucester Road and we set off on the on and off bus to go to the British Museum. We had decided that the Museum would be too much to see in one day but we'd go for a little look. Nothing could prepare us for the enormity of the museum. It is huge. We were at the museum for over four hours and only just touched on under half of one of the floors. We started with the Assyrian section and then moved to the Viking, Celtic, Egyption and lots of other periods in between. The artifacts were amazing, with so many of them that you just couldn't read everything. It would take a couple of months to go through the exhibitions and read the artifacts. An amazing place. The Great Court is such a large area that the only way to get an appreciation is to go to the third level and look down at it. I would thoroughly recommend a visit to this amazing place.
Lindow Man - died between 2BC-119AD

Lindow Man - died between 2BC-119AD


Lycurgus Cup - Roman circa 300AD

Lycurgus Cup - Roman circa 300AD


Lycurgus Cup with light infusion

Lycurgus Cup with light infusion


We were tired and footsore after shuffling through the displays, amidst crowds that waxed and waned. We headed to the Museum Tavern across the road where mum had a Pims and Lemonade, which she said she hadn't had for years, and I had a baileys. The pub had a nice atmosphere so we stayed and played some scrabble, despite having some letters missing.
The Great Court - British Museum

The Great Court - British Museum


Egyptian Display - British Museum

Egyptian Display - British Museum


We finally headed home arriving back at the hotel about 7.00 pm. Instead of eating in the restaurant, we chose the George and Dragon, which was a pub opposite the restaurant on the first floor. The food was good and we met a couple that were very nice. She was from America and he was from Cornwall. They had met on the internet and she had sold up everything and they were married, living in Cornwall. They gave us some good info on Wales as the man had lived in Tenby in Wales. We are going to Tenby so he told us to go over to the island and visit the monastery there. We had a nice time with these people, discussing the differences between our three countries and laughing at a lot of things.
winged, human headed lion - Assyrian 860-865 BC

winged, human headed lion - Assyrian 860-865 BC


Greek statue - Britsh Museum

Greek statue - Britsh Museum


Minoan Jewellery - British Museum

Minoan Jewellery - British Museum


Minoan jewellery

Minoan jewellery

Posted by kerry needs 13:33 Archived in England Comments (0)

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