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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

England, Day 1

Local time: 11:00 am, London, Thursday, 17 September 2009.

Day 1.

(1:40 am 17 Sept. 2009 after waking at 6:00 am on the 15th, working a full day, and then getting picked up by the folks, we have arrived at our hostel in London, a short walk from Paddington Station. I am somewhat tired here. I've been up since the 15th, ADT, with no sleep on any of the planes.

The trip was highly tolerable once we got about the Boeing 777 at Houston. The 757 in Economy class is an exercise in sardining and spamming together passengers until nobody can move or breathe. Economy on a 777 was eminently survivable. I speculate upgrading to first class on the 757 trips is desirable if it proves cost-feasible. We'll see. Raven found upgrading to first class on the 777 was a $4,000 proposition.

Our first item of business on arrival was to buy train tickets (£16.50 each for the express as opposed to first class) and tide to Paddington Station, a lovely if baroque structure of wrought iron and lots of space.

So the pub is called the Green Man (the hostel is called Best Place, located directly upstairs above it), and I believe Raven did us both proud in finding this place. We arrived at 10:10 am, but since check in isn't until 2 pm, we have yet to see our room (#3, two twin beds in a single bunk bed configuration, and no private bathroom as I assume is typical with these things.) The site includes laundry and magnetic keycards were issued for room access for £1 deposit each.

We checked out bags in the cellar below the pub and went on a walk, exploring our surroundings until check in time.

We found close access to grocery stores, an Indian restaurant (which we attended a few days later), and some other pubs we snagged photos of because of the appealing architecture (though there was greater still yet to come in the days ahead).

Raven slept at not much after 2:30 pm, and I spent time needlessly worrying about obtaining more cash for the trip via ATM (I'd brought rather little), Carrying my broken laptop up and down the way between McDonald's (free wifi access there) and the hostel trying to find a means of working through the money issue, I did manage to snag an appropriate cord for the laptop here, the device I brought having had no applicability to English electrical outlets. Frustrated, I returned and crashed.

Nothing much else is notable, save in spite of over 24 hours of travel, not once did I actually get motion sick. This is an achievement.

I set the alarm for 6:00 am, and we kept to that every morning while we were in England.