London calling

London Travel Blog

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Canals outside London
The first day of my trip was very eventful! After flight delays in Hamilton and Glasgow airports, I finally arrived at London Gatwick in the late morning. I was greeted there by more delays, this time in the lineup for customs. It took a few hours of standing in line, and by the time I got through all the plane's bags had already been unloaded and were sitting in a pile on the ground, begging to be stolen. Luckily all my stuff (including my hugely awkward bike box) was there.

I headed to the train station located right next to the airport. I was able to use one of those airport buggies to carry my gear most of the way, but I was blocked at the entrance to the train station. I know they are tight on security in these places, but I thought it would be real quick for me to just quickly carry my bags downstairs to the train and then return for the bike box.
Houseboats on the canals
It took me less than a minute to bring the bags down, but by the time I had returned, the bike was gone! Uh oh.

I frantically ran around both the train station and back to the airport, making friends with the people at the help desk, the left luggage desk and the lost luggage desk (apparently the last two are completely different things). No one had any word about Rusty Jr. (the bike), and I got a sinking feeling in my stomach. When all my options had run out, a lady from the train station came running toward me and, to my relief, told me they had found Rusty Jr! Man was I relieved. Losing the bike would have seriously affected my plans for this trip!

I took a bunch of trains around London (not easy with a bike box) and found my way to the burough of Woking, where I would be spending the night. I convinced the dude at the train station to let me take the luggage cart through the city streets so that I could carry all my stuff in one load. I must have been quite a sight carting this huge box (larger than the sidewalk) through the city. After about 15 minutes I arrived at Arthur and Luisa's house. They were very nice to let me stay there and I'm grateful for the soft bed. I barely noticed the trains buzzing by all day because I was so tired from the flight.

Arthur and Luisa took me on a short tour around some nice canals near their house. Apparently you can boat in those suckers all the way to the Thames. I was happy to just walk along the trail beside them though. We snuck onto a fancy golf course and took a look around (actually, no sneaking was involved, as the UK has great public right of way laws). Arthur tells me that it is a very exclusive club and some pretty rich people play there (like the dreamy Hugh Grant).

I took the early, EARLY bus (5:30) from Woking to Heathrow airport on Sept. 12. My time in London was brief (actually, I didn't even really make it to the city itself), but I'm glad I stopped there before my next stop, Moscow!
casey says:
I suspect you have developed quite an attachment to Rusty Jr. already, especially after this close call. There sure wasn’t the same level of security at the Hamilton airport...
Glad to read your blog is up and running! I’ll be following it no matter how infrequent the posts are.
Posted on: Sep 22, 2007
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Canals outside London
Canals outside London
Houseboats on the canals
Houseboats on the canals
London
photo by: ulysses