London Calling

London Travel Blog

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The Clash - London Calling

London calling, yes, I was there, too
An' you know what they said? Well, some of it was true!
London calling at the top of the dial
After all this, won't you give me a smile?
London calling

We flew out to London on Tuesday, flying British Airways. Just wanted to comment that the BA JFK CluWorld Lounge was excellent. We got there early(ish) sat down had some wine, before some supper and then catching our flight to London. I must say, BA ClubWorld (Business) was not a scratch on QANTAS. QANTAS was a step above BA in all areas, service, quality of food, presentation of food, entertainment options. The ClubWorld (front to back) seats were very comfortable went completely flat (though I didn't try) and did provide more personal space than the typical front facing configuration. I spent the flight over drinking red wine (7 solid hours is that a Boony'esq effort?) writing my Annual Review From (ARF) and Kath rested up. Now some funny things from the flight - my ARF, without doubt needs to be reviewed after that much drinking I may have better off playing Command and Conquer Mammoth Tank! Kath on the other hand tried to rest up, but the woman next to her had the worst case of flatulence ever, and due to the seating configuration it was pretty well contained, now I laughed alot when she told me the next morning because throughout the night I smelt a few things but thought it was the guy sitting across from me :) The poor girl :)

We landed in London on Wednesday morning, I was feeling very hungover and had at that stage been awake for 22 hours. Walking off the plane I figured it would be like LAX and (at 6:30am) and we would walk straight through customs without much delay - NOOOO, it was chaos! The amount of people was astounding, all lines EU Passport Holders, Non-EU, All Others and even the priority lines were over flowing. Not being able to find the Flight Crew lines, we lined up in the priority line and waited 20minutes and didn't move anywhere. I went for a walk, found the flight crew line, whipped out the trusty APEC Business Traveller Card and within 10 minutes we were through! Thank you Ken (again)! We has pre-organised a driver to London and after finding him (hint a bigger sign would help!) and we began the trip into London.

7:15am I thought it would be an easy trip in, not the case - it was peak hour already :) Hint - Apparently you need to be on the road at 6am to have a clear run. The driver was aggressive (most polite way to describe him) and drove in a very stop/start manner into London City. (hour trip). We got to the hotel and unfortunately we couldn't checkin early (2PM only), thankfully they gave us passes to the showers downstairs and we were able to freshen up.

We took the opportunity to walk around London checking out some sites; Millenium Bridge, St Pauls Cathedral, and generally finiding our way around, but I must say by 11:30 we were buggered (I'm trying to use the local vernacular as much as possible, work with me) We went back to the hotel at 1:30 and they let us in early to the room and we went straight to sleep, now I set the alarm wrong and didnt wake up in the planned 2 hours - so 5 hours later we woke up, feeling very fresh.

Went to dinner with the Avanade people attending POAII, had a good night (not talking shop) getting plenty of travel tips, where to go, what to see, I offended some Belgium guy by calling him French (he spoke it - so I assumed it!) We finished up at about 11, Katherine walked us through how to travel on the Tube, we bought our Octopus cards, she took us back to the hotel via the Tube (500m but hey we did it without issue) :)

The weather was overcast but quite pleasant, so that was the end of our first day in London :)

EDIT: Thanks for pointing out Heardy that it is infact an Oyster card, not an Octopus; and I'm glad that I provided you plenty of entertainment :)

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photo by: ulysses