Wednesday, June 21, 2017
It is not as easy to wake up this morning as it has been. Guesthouse 1X6 has actual “black-out” shades. What a difference to sleep in darkness. We are up and out by 7:00am for our 10:00am flight to London. I used to scoff at the “be at the airport 2 hours early” B.S., but I am now a believer and we even try to be there with more time than that. It seems lately that lines are longer and proceures take forever at the airport. It is always better to have extra time and be able to relax in the lounge than to be stressed thinking you may miss your flight. (We found out that there is no lounge at this airport – bummer).
It is not so difficult to end our Iceland vacation on a day like today. Once again it is very windy, rainy and cold. I would not want to be starting our trip on a day like today.
We return our rental car with ease. Have to give a shout out to Blue Car Rental The entire car rental experience here was super easy. These guys know how to do it. They have enough agents working and are very efficient. Thanks!
Upon our arrival in London we are met with a long, long line at Border Control. Since we flew Business Clas we are given Fast Track passes, but the agent correctly tells us that she things the regular line might be faster. We snake through the mouse maze for about 45-60 minutes. Good thing we don’t have to connect to another flight.
Transportation to our hotel is easy once we figure out how to purchase tickets for the Underground. There is only one line – Picadilly – and 12 stops before Earl’s Court in Kensington where our hotel is. When we step out of the Underground we are hit with the record HEAT than London is having today. It is over 90 degrees F – quite a shock to us after swimming in 2 degree water yesterday! Oh well – should be a good introduction to what we will face when we return home. We hear Phoenix is having an intense heat wave…
After a couple blocks of walking we arrive at the Premier Inn Earl’s Court. This hotel is nothing to write home about – just a clean place to stay convenient to the airport. We are met with a less than warm reception at RECEPTION (what part of “reception” don’t they understand?)
(On a good note, I am happy to see that this hotel is housing residents from the recent tragic Grenell fire which is only several blocks from here.)
All we want is a nice pub where we can sit and have a beer before our dinner reservation at the Blackbird Pub. Rich chooses the Courtfield – about a 2 minute walk away. The Courtfield is a typical British pub and we enjoy the atmosphere. Rich orders a couple of beers – a draft IPA for me. The IPA is horrible. Seriously nasty. I must leave it. I go up to the bar and order a Speckled Hen. Much better.
We sit and rehash some of our escapades.
Our reservation is at 7:30 and we are hungry. The Blackbird is heavily reviews and supposed to be really good. I am eager to check it out. After walking for about a minute we are there. The hostess greets us and informs us that they are not serving ANY food tonight! Seems there is a problem(?) in the kitchen. Damn. We really don’t want to speculate too much on what that problem might be… She directs us to their sister pub – The King’s Head.
King’s Head is down a quiet side street and Rich easily finds it. We get a table in the dining area beside an Aussie couple. As soon as I order a special Gin and Tonic, the Aussie woman starts chatting us up. They have been traveling for 9 weeks and have been loving their time in the UK. We have a great time swapping stories. They tell us all about where we should visit in Australia. We put it on the list.
Dinner is fine – not great, but fine. Pub food. Comforting.
I am glad we had to make this stop in London. It has provided a nice buffer before we take off for home tomorrow. Back at the Premier Inn with the alarm set for 6:00am Rich blogs, I sleep.