Welcome to friendly UK, hope you dont enjoy yourselves.
Aug 26, 2012
|Sun 26 London
Arrived 5:30 after an uneventful flight.Weather fine and cool.
Queued in the alians section and answered a whole lot of pretty dumb questions(why are you here, where are you staying, when are you leaving, how are you paying for things?). Roll on the revolution - can't see what benefits we get from being amonarchy - off with their heads I say!! Singapore seemed a much more relaxed place - certainly they were all very friendly and helpful (eg we asked a young airport staff man directions to a pharmacy - some hours later as we walked by he rushed over to see if we had found it OK!)
No Airport transfer person waiting so we wandered out and got a cab (76 pounds vs the 49.50 quoted.) Not happy Jan, but the driver was chatty and helpful with commentary when asked. Cabbies werent happy with the Olympics - apparently organisers convinced business to shut down, send staff on leave or work from home. Other changes led to visitor numbers being 350000 less than the same time the previous year, plus olympic family had free cars and dedicated traffic lanes, so Taxis got little business.
We were dropped at the docks and trundled in about 7.30. It was too early to call the caretaker so we found a Turkish Cafe just opening for the day, and we sat and drank 1/2 litre sized coffees. We wandered over to a phone box to call the caretaker - first problem, no change, second problem, phone box sealed shut for the olympics! I guess they wanted to ensure telcos maximised their revenue during the games by forcing people to use mobiles.
Eventually got through to David who took us the short distance to our 6th floor apartment - good size, well appointed, perfect position with fantastic views. Needs some TLC - more on that later.
First thing - showers and fresh clothes - then short srtoll to Waitrose nearby for essential groceries etc and some stuff for lunch.
After a baguette and coffee (found some fresh ground coffee in the cupboard, so made a brew)
Then we went strolling - spent 5 hrs or so wandering across Tower bridge, down the river around Butlers wharf and beyond , and then up the other way as far as Hays Galleria which was an old clipper ship wharf. It was busy - Sunday afternoon for locals and tourists of all backgrounds enjoying the fine weather and food and drink on offer.
Wandering is a good way to see a place - you never know whats around the next corner - an old pub, derelict barges and other wooden boats, old wharf areas straight out of Oliver Twist. We spent a while near the modern buildings - London Move - spectacular steel and glass of various shapes- with the new and perhaps infamous "Shard" piercing the skyline. Chidren getting wet in the fountain, people taking pictures of each other in front of everything (including the ugly and frightening Olympic mascots) and the smell of Haddock and Chips wafting on the breeze.
We staggered back to our apartment after a quick burger meal at Dickens Inn (a converted mill from 17??) and had an early night. No rain yet!!