Dormitory life is a difficult beast, as soon as one is awake, pretty much everyone wakes up, with squeaky bunks and feet climbing down ladders. We took turns in the communal bathroom down the hall, and turns having our suitcase open. There was no room to have more than one case open at a time.
We were finally ready and hit the London streets. First stop, a patisserie on the Edgeware Rd. I felt very sorry for the staff here, it was quite busy, they seemed quite disorganised and under pressure. We finally got breakfast though and it was fine.
After a group effort of purchasing day passes for the tube, we were away. For the first time time riders amongst us, you could see the excitement as we travelled through a monopoly board…… Baker St, Marylebone and Piccadilly Circus, where we got off.
The streets still had flags hanging from the lampposts and across streets, after the Royal Wedding. It all looked really festive. After a photo shoot with Eros, we wandered further into the monopoly board toward Leicester Square. This area had changed a little since my last visit. The grass area was bigger, the ticket booth was a real shop, not just a kiosk and the whole place seemed cleaner. The Empire cinema, the venue for many red carpet film previews was still the focal point of the square.
From here, I took the girls down some historical alleyways towards Covent Garden instead of along the direct route. We passed pubs that were a couple hundred years old, that made you want to put on a crinoline dress and step inside, and theatres that have seen so many musicals, you have to respect the history and the stories, and the celebrity that would have performed there.
As we approached Covent Garden, I felt like it was 30 years ago and I was returning to my flat after a day out. This had been my stomping ground and I was excited to be back there. Memories flooded in…..my favourite bakery, no longer there, the Punch and Judy pub, still there, and the sights and sounds of the market days. We wandered the Jubilee Markets and I grabbed a cheese and onion pasty, and devoured it, could have gone a second 🙂
Toilet calls were needed and in the Covent Garden market area, we could only find one and that required a pound to go! When you gotta go, you gotta go, so a pound was spent. Didn’t it used to be a penny!!!!!
Leaving the markets, we passed the Royal Opera house, which I was surprised to see had stores at the street level now, and up to The Nags Head….home 🙂 I poked my head in the door and apart from a wallpaper change, it looked pretty much the same, strangely comforting.
This is where the group had to begin peeping off as the rest of the journey was not as 6. Two we’re off to Paris, myself and is off to San Diego and 2 staying in the UK.
The goodbyes were hard and tearful. We had experienced so much love and laughter over the the 8 days in Greece and did not want it to end. And there were 2……we headed back to the dorm, picked up bags and headed to Paddington, and jumped on the Heathrow Express. This train service is costly at 22 pounds, but really efficient and quick. It was a nice feeling to see the Air New Zealand counters and check in, get rid of the suitcases and relax airside. The time flew by and we were soon on board choosing movies and eating dinner while winging to LAX.
San Deigo here we come, more soon……..