Well we are back home already and wi fi was a bit hit and miss so here is the final instalment of the trip – yes London! After a night in Leicester with our good friends Ann and Denis it was off to London to finish our holiday. After a fairly good drive, a fixed puncture and a relentless to-ing and fro-ing trying to find the car hire place we were finally on the Heathrow – Paddington Express to get to our digs for 3 nights. We stayed at the Tudor Court Hotel which was located only a few minutes walk from Paddington station so we had a great location. The first room we were put in was in the basement, very claustrophobic and a bit smelly so it was off upstairs for Alan to see what could be done. Without any hassle we were upgraded to another room on the top floor, much more spacious and not smelly! Great outcome only downside was no lift, so backpack on the back and day pack on the front we trudged up five floors from basement to roof! I’ve always wondered what those huge terraced houses were like inside now I know – BIG! On he last flight of stairs I had to rest, with only about 6 steps to go I just could not keep going at which point the guy showing us to the room asked if I needed help – of course I declined with a gentle reminder that I was nearly there now! I point that out because only 20 minutes previously a woman and her husband who sported matching cases with wheels were immediately asked “can I carry your bag?” Meanwhile I almost die with a 16kg backpack up 5 floors – no I am not a drama queen!
We spent the first afternoon exploring Oxford Street and Covent Garden and as with most british cities the advantage of a wander means you can just drop into a pub for a swift pint and a rest. The wandering around was great for getting our bearings which we needed because the next full day was shopping! Gifts to buy and shops to see, so again it was Oxford Street, Covent Garden, Carnaby Street, Regent Street, Picadilly Circus topped off with the booking office at the Queens Theatre to book our tickets for Les Miserables before heading home, via goodness knows where, we meandered for what seemed like forever before once home it was time to collapse – yes we walked everywhere our poor little legs had no idea what hit them!
After a good sleep and missing breakfast it was time to go again this time sights to see! We used the hop-on hop-off but the traffic was shocking so in the end we hopped off and walked to the London Eye. Personally why people feel a need to build things quite so high is beyond me, but that said I went on, albeit a little nervous. The sun was shining, at last, we had left our sunnies at the hotel so sporting our union jack back ups we headed off to the pods and hopped in. The view was rather breathtaking, I was really glad I managed to get over the fear of being confined in a glass pod and being up so high! After the Eye it was a walk along the river, pop in at The Anchor, apparently a historical pub, for a light refreshment – well glass of red, same thing, before heading off to the Tower Bridge and yet again another climb up the tower to walk across the thing’s at the top. The view was a bit obscured with glass and steel but the information that lined the walkways about the building of the bridge was actually very interesting. We then hopped on a boat courtesy of the hop-on hop-off ticket and sat back as we cruised back to Westminster along the Thames. Now sights we didn’t actually get to go into but still had a bit of a nosey around and about included of course the houses of Parliament and Big Ben but not really big Ben, because Big Ben is actually the bell inside St Stephen’s Tower (The Clock Tower), Westminister Abbey, Tower of London, London Bridge, Buckingham Palace and all the touristy places.
The evening was very civilised, yes finally I got to see Les Miserables on stage – ah amazing and yes I cried a couple of times, so many stage shows to choose from but this had to be the one!
The final day had come, backpacks packed, tickets and passports ready we had a few hours before it was off to Heathrow. We hung about close by and we met up with David and Michael for lunch which was really good, after which it was time to start thinking about the haul back to Australia, so bags ready off the the train station to catch the baby bird, or actually the huge A380, to take us home!