Kathryn and Ken's European Vacation

All photos are the property of Ken Runquist and have been reduced in size for faster downloading.  The originals are 1280 x 960.  Contact me by email if you would like a larger size copy of any photo.
Day 1: London
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Day 1: London
Day 2: London
Day 3: London
Day 4: London
Day 5: Cambridge
Day 6: Chippenham
Day 7: Chippenham


Country

United Kingdom


Hotel

Travelodge Covent Gardens, London


 
Temperature

Sunny with a high of 27C


Day 1: Tuesday, September 5, 2006     London England

Hello Jet Lag

We landed at Heathrow Airport at 1:25 pm London time.  By 3:00 pm we had retrieved our luggage and cleared customs.  There was a huge lineup as planes from all over the world seemed to land close to the same time we did.

We hopped on the Piccadilly Underground Line which was very convenient as it took us directly to our hotel without having to change trains.  I could not believe how fast the underground trains travel.  Still it took us an hour to get to our stop which gives you some idea how far out Heathrow Airport is.  Our hotel was halfway between the Covent Garden and High Holborn stops.  We decided to get off at High Holborn and walk back.  This turned out to be a good decision because we found out just as we were getting off that they were doing renovations to the Covent Garden station. 

Holborn Station

 

Getting to the hotel was a bit of a struggle as we each had 3 pieces of luggage to haul up and down escalators and stairs.  The escalators are long and incredibly steep as the Tube is "really underground" (see photo at right).  We were also grossly overdressed for the unexpected hot weather.  Once outside the station it was about a 3 block walk dragging luggage and we were at our home for the next 4 days.  Kathryn had done an incredible amount of work on the Internet to find hotel rooms.  She found us a Travelodge within walking to the Theatre District, Covent Garden, Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus (see map below). 

Looking up one of two escalators needed to get to the top in Holborn Station

Hotels in London are really expensive and our Travelodge, although pretty basic, was brand new and only cost us 26 per night (about $52).  For the rest of our stay in England she found us Travelodges on motorways that only cost 10 per night (about $20) which is unbelievably cheap.

You could tell we were staying in the tourist zone.  Because  traffic flows on the "wrong" side of the street, the Brits are kind enough to give you reminders on the road.  I even saw one that said "Look Both Ways".
After changing into shorts and T-shirts, we strolled down to Covent Gardens, checked out all the restaurants and shops and went to the Lyceum Theatre to buy tickets for The Lion King for Thursday night.  Then it was back to the hotel for a much needed sleep.

  West End Theatre Map - click to enlarge.

Day 2

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