Saturday, October 19, 2013

London Layover

I arrived in London around 1 pm and got the discount day ticket £8.90 for the Underground. Sooo much cheaper than a cab, and provides flexibility and convenience. I later realized that my flight out requires me to be on one of the first trains, as the trains start running later on Sundays. But I still might get to eat the included hotel breakfast and still get there with plenty of time. So, interestingly, if you have a layover longer than 12 hours in LHR, you have to claim your bags. Which totally makes sense, but I'd packed what I needed in my backpack, just in case I could leave it there.

After checking into the hotel, I made contact with an old friend and subsequent dinner plans with her, her new husband, and a family friend of hers.  In the meantime,  I went to Harrods, looking for some Galler chocolate. A few other Belgian brands, but no Galler. Followed that up with a walk around Green Park until dinner. Saw the Canadian WWII monument and the British airmen memorials.
Canadian WWII monument in Green Park, London

British Airmen Memorial, Green Park, London 

Fighters vs. Bombers
When our dinner party had assembled, we walked thru Picadilly Circus, grabbing a pint at what appeared to be a metal bar, then on our way to the Imli Street restaurant for some Indian food served tapas style. Which worked really well, lots of good stuff but not too much of anything. Try it if you're in town. Followed that up with some gelato at Snowflake Gelato? Also good. Walked back to hotel after a good night of catching up.

Finally slept somewhat well. Made it to breakfast around 0635. Grabbed a table by the window, only to notice that two iconic British cars (a Mini and black cab) were parked across the street. English breakfast, of course. Checked out of hotel and walked to the underground. The off-peak fare to the airport from downtown is ~£5.50, and it appears that I might have missed the first train to Heathrow, but the next one follows about 15 minutes behind this time of day. Otherwise, pretty much uneventful travels home.
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