Starting in London
After a two hour delay due to thunderstorms in Toronto, we flew into Heathrow only to discover that our bags had not made the transfer with us. Fortunately, after the German adventure of 1997, I always carry the essentials with me: mascara and clean underwear.
We took the tube to Canary Wharf and attempted to call our friend T. Sadly, T was having cell phone issues and we couldn't get hold of him. Fortunately, I remembered the name of the back where he works, and we walked over to his building. This was probably easier without our luggage, so the delay wasn't all bad. The security guards outside the building probably thought we were nuts, but they allowed us to sign in and enter the lobby to see reception. T was quickly located, and came down to walk us to his flat. Yay!
We crashed right after he left - dead unconscious for about three hours. The airline claimed that our bags would arrive in the early afternoon, so we waited around. They told us that if we weren't there when they did arrive, the bags would not be delivered. I guess that was the one bad part about staying with friends instead of in a hotel. Alas.
We had intended to get in a bit of touristy stuff that afternoon, but five, six, seven o'clock and the bags still hadn't arrived. Eight o'clock, T came home from work, and we went out to dinner. Still no bags. But T's lovely girlfriend I got home jut as we were going out, and apparently, the bags were delivered five minutes later. Fricking airlines.
The next day, we hit the London streets.
Narrowly escaping exhaust fumes and other excreta, we made our way through Hyde Park to the Natural Science Museum.
Then over to Buckingham Palace
and through Green Park.
Then we hopped on the tube
and headed over to the Tower of London
where we declined to pay the $60 to go inside to look at old stuff. Instead, we walked over to the Tower Bridge.
Jay insisted that we needed to walk across the bridge completely before going back for the tour. I resisted trying to explain that the tour would require us to walk across anyway, mostly because of the greater pay off of watching Jay realize his silliness later. Heh. Love you, hon.
After that, we foolishly believed the map, and decided to find the tube station that was closer to T's place instead of the one that was closer to the Bridge. Much farther than we thought. This was also the point where it became clear that Jay's usually excellent direction is completely foiled by the presence of steel and concrete. Put the man in the woods, he's amazing. Put him in the city, and he will guide you in the wrong direction for days.
And that pretty much sums up day two. Days 3-5 coming soon.