Lets start this blog off right and go to the beginning of our journey to London. We flew Air Canada on standby from Saskatoon to Toronto, Toronto to London, and it got off to a bit of a rocky start. We made it onto our 1st choice flight, and were granted first class even, however once the plane was boarded we still couldnt leave. The lavatory system had froze on the way to Saskatoon and required extra time to thaw before being serviced. When the poop cube was finally thawed and gone, we were ready to de-ice the plane and takeoff. Once on the de-ice pad, we were informed that because of too much air traffic in the Toronto area, we would not be allowed to depart for another 45 minutes. We ended up being 2 hours delayed leaving Saskatoon. Due to this delay we missed our 1st choice Toronto to London flight and had to scramble to get listed on and checked into our plan B flight, we checked in with 1 minute to spare! We made it onto this flight too and were given first class again, and on this plane that meant pods! The pods were pretty awesome; they were comfy, had lots of room, and came with lots of perks, it was a tad overwhelming. The seat laid all the way flat, a pillow and blanket was provided, there was a big tv, a gaming/control system, and free meals, which were surprisingly tasty!
We made it into London Heathrwow Airport at 11:30am local time, which is 6 hours ahead of home. Our next task was to tackle the London Underground train system or the Tube. Surprisingly easy to figure out and follow, once we were aided in buying our first ticket, we were golden! We used the tube first to get to our Airbnb apartment, it brought us to within a short walk after an hour ride from the airport. Unlike the name states, this system is actually not all underground and we got too see our first glimpses of London.
We have never Airbnb'ed before, but it turned out well and we got a cute, clean, little room in an apartmnet that was perfect for our one night stay in London. Once we dropped our big backpack off, we ventured out to buy Sim cards, get some snacks, and learn the area. After doing some walking around, and going through the multitude of steps to set up our SIM cards, we went a few blocks away for supper. We ended up an at English pub which was very tasty; we tried a couple English beers, Quinn had a burger, and I had fish and chips. It was a delicious supper! The little bit that was left of the day was low key, as it had been a busy one; we planned the next day out and we went to bed early.
Our second day in London started with venturing down to the store, buying pastries and fruit, and eating breakfast outside in the courtyard of the apartment complexes we stayed in. We then loaded up our gear, Quinn carrying the most of it in our big backpack, and we sought out "The Original Tour". This is a hop-on-hop-off tour bus service that has multiple routes going all over London. We saw tons of London sites in the short amount of time we had there. We saw: Buckingham Palace, Grosvenor Gardens, Hyde Park, Marble Arch, Regent's Park, Telecom Tower, Oxford Circus, Trafalgar Square, Royal Courts of Justice, St. Paul's Cathedral, Picadilly Circus, The Tower of London, River Thames, London Eye, Westminster Abbey, Houses of Parliament, and Big Ben. Our bus tour ticket also gets upgraded at this time of year to include a river boat tour which takes you down River Thames from Westminster Bridge to Tower Bridge, with the option of continuing on to Greenwich. We decided to take the full river boat tour and it was very cool, we saw some new sites along the way and a different view of others. The view from the water for some of the sites we saw on the bus was incredible! From the boat, we also got to see and/or pass under the Millenium Foot Bridge, Shakespeare's Globe Theater replica, London Bridge, Tower Bridge, The Shard, and HMS Belfast. We then carried on to Greenwich which is longitudinal zero (the Prime Meridian) and we explored the university, Royal Museum, and other amazing buildings by the river. We also saw the ovservatory and Greenwich time ball.
It was a very full second day in London and a lot to take in, but we wanted to see lots in our short amount of time and we accomlished that! After our full day of touring, we had to make our way to London Euston station; we took the tube there which was packed because of delays due to signal issues. There was so many people in the train you couldnt move and Quinn had to squish me so he could get the backpack in far enough to let the doors close.
We made it to the station, ate, and played crib while we waited for our overnight train, we boarded at 11pm and that began our jouney to Scotland, but we'll save that for next time!
Quinn & Shelby