Sunday, 21 August 2016

Off to London

Trevor has really put me to shame with his daily posts of his Indochina trip so I figured that I needed to pull my finger out and get blogging.

The first week of the trip has been very busy with swimming, catching up with people, some research activites and a bit of playing the tourist.

Nic and Soren collected me just before 2pm and delivered me to a very unbusy airport. It took not much more than 5 minutes to check in and pass through security. Then came the wait for my flight to Sydney and promised felays due to industrial action being taken by the folk from Border Protection.

A very quiet Canberra Airport

While my luggage had been checked through to Heathrow from Canberra I had to pick up my boarding passes in Sydney for the Qatar sections of the trip. This was actually the slowest bit of the outbound trip.

I caught up with big sister Jen in Doha where we had a quick cup of coffee before she headed for her gate and her flight on to Athens.

Oh, so this is a walking blog? There is a lot of walking through airports when you fly!

On to London. As we were approaching Heathrow we banked to the right and had a great view of the meandering Thames. Unfortunately it took a bit of time grabbing the camera so I missed the best view.

Once through immigration at Heathrow, a think that I managed to walking about a k through the area as I snaked my way towards the entrance, the rest of the entry was quickly completed and I was on my way into central London on the tube. Alighting at Calendonian Road it was a short walk to my hotel.

After checking in it was off to Leicester Square to pick up my London Pass.

I though that I should throw in a food photo. I stopped for dinner at a restaurant opposite Kings Cross station - paasta and a garlic bread.

Kings Cross Station was a mere 2km from where I was staying and I did this walk a number of times during my stay. It passes over the Regents Canal which is dotted with gardens alongside it, has good walk and cycle paths and loads of canal boats.

On Sunday I headed out to do at least one touristy thing before meeting Margaret and David Brangwyn for lunch.

Meandering along the Thames in the quiet of the morning was very pleasant. It provided a great opportunity to look at the architecure with a staggering area of strange looking modern buildings. I'll include photos of some of these later.

My tousity thing for the day was a visit to the Globe Theatre. This has been constructed as close as possible to the specifications of the original complex in which William Shakespear plied his trade.

The Globe Theatre
I had booked a train to Chelmsford which was leaving from Victoria station just after 11 o'clock. I should have had plenty of time to get there from the Globe. Firstly, i crossed the Thames and proceded to a tube station. No problem. It should have been straightforward except that it was not obvious that a section of the Cicle Line was closed. The board listing next trains kept on showing a training arriving shortly. By the time I, and a number of other frustrated travellers working out that there was no Circle Line train heading where we wanted to go I have managed to miss my train to Chelmsford. Even more frustrating was that I could have probably made the train if I had walked from the Globe to the station rather than using teh tube!

I managed to get the train leaving just on 11:30 and only arrive half an hour late.

It was great catching up with Margaret and David and the afternoon flew. Before I knew it I was on my way back into London feeling a little weary.

On Monday I had planned to spend some time at the London Metropolitan Archives. I wanted to get information about my 5xgreat grandfather who appeared to have  been apprenticed as as Thames Waterman. It was a pleasant walk across to the archives and a frustrating time there as I didn't manage to find out anything additional to what I already had.

Leaving the LMA I headed back to my hotel to collect my bags before heading out to Reading. Crossing the canal I figured that I would take the opportunity to walk back along the canal side path. It was a lovely warm, sunny day and a very pleasant walk.

Londones enjoying the sunshine on a grassed terrace beside the canal
london is seeing a huge amount of urban renewal. Old buildings and structures are getting makeovers and being turned into modern buildings. Below is an example of the reuse of gas storage facilities. They now are very attractive looking apartment blocks next to the canal. Certainly a case of the ugly duckling turning into a swan.

Leaving london behind for my sojourn in Reading was relatively straightforward.

In my next post I will cover the four days I spent in Reading.


  1. Finally a post! Was wondering what you had been up to :) Had noticed a bit of walking :) It looks like lovely weather (for London).

  2. At least the weather was goo for the first part of my stay