Day 1 - 17/06/07 - Melbourne - London
18th June 2007.
Well it's amazing but we did it. We slept all bar about 4hrs of our 26hr flight!!! Both horrified by how quickly time passed but glad also that we didn't have to suffer through a long flight awake.
We landed the magic seats on the plane where they served the food last, even though it was smack bang in the middle of the plane.... so they had run out of the decent stuff (eg. not fish!) each time they got to us. Bonus! I got business class food brought to me ~ fancy plate of cheeses and fruit. If it wasn't for the qantas club food in Singapore we would have starved though given the tiny portions and only 3 feeds and a snack pack in 26hrs. Paul was lucky we had an empty seat next to us so he had 3 snack packs to eat before he woke me up :)
Heathrow was not the high security you imagine ~ it was kind of a joke ~ there was no apparent security or customs screening to pass through at all. Paul and I were both shocked given what you hear about it on the news. London was surprisingly empty and it was a long time before we saw or heard anybody british - we figured it must have been a public holiday but it wasn't. Not what we expected at all. We traveled during peak hour also but it was nothing compared to Melbourne peak hour. The streets were populated more like main street Croydon rather than the Bourke street mall type busy you expect from such a big city. It was great though as we could move freely and we walked everywhere. No idea how far as i wasn't wearing my nike runners that tell me but it must have been at least 10km given we walked for 5+hrs at a reasonable pace.
First stop Borough Market @ London Bridge! We went to Neals Yard Dairy (from our cheese dvd) and they were super nice. We tried many yummy local cheeses then bought some to eat for lunch. Caught the tube from there (London Bridge) to Westminster Abbey and looked around that area, were going to go to the free live debate at the parliament house but started exploring further down south bank and missed it but discovered some other amazing things instead and had a blast. We didn't know what the parliment house buliding was at first as there was no sign and it looked like a church - the man with the machine gun out the front had us puzzeled as it seems sac-religous to man a church with a machine gun.... thankfully the tourist advisor told us what it was :)
Pistachio ice cream has been perfected over here, we shared a tiny cup which was delicious. All the food we tried in London was delicious, no idea what the Americans are always complaining about British food for... perhaps cause it's not all deep fried?? The bangers & mash everywhere smelled really nice but we didn't have any.
Public toilets don't seem to exist on this side of the planet - not even in hotel lobby's (i always go to strange hotel lobbies for clean loos!). We caught the tube to Westminster only because that was a station that had toilets ~ 1 pound! They weren't even kept up/maintained well but better than no loo at all.
We walked from Westminster around all the tourist attractions and then down southbank to Tower Bridge which was really beautiful. It was peak hour (5pm) but not very busy. Time for us to head back to the airport already, our day in London was sadly over. Thankfully we get to come back and see more in a month :)
The butt crack phenomenon has me amused - so I started taking photos. Seems to be the fashion to show your butt crack everywhere here. I though the super low rise went out of fashion years ago but apparently not...