We arrived in London a little after 7pm on Wednesday evening January 13th. We went through customs and got our luggage in the new terminal 5 at Heathrow, what a huge terminal that was. It is very open but distances are long and you now need to take transportation within the terminal to get to your bags, it reminded me of Atlanta’s airport. As we looked for an ATM I realized just how tired I really was. I tried to withdraw some cash and was rejected. You can imagine the gut wrench that this caused. Luckily I was able to purchase a tube ticket with my credit card.
Soon we were heading into London. It is a longish trip on the tube but we had seats so it went well. We were staying at the Best Western Burns Hotel which is very near the Earls Court station. The walk from the station is about 3 full blocks. My knee was very sore but I was trying to hang on. In the meantime we stopped at an ATM and my card works, dah, I had put in the wrong pin.
The Burns is a very nice little hotel. The staff was all very friendly and accommodating. The elevator is small as only European elevators can be. This is not the place for bringing your steamer trunk! It is also made up of several townhouses which means that you are going to have to carry your luggage up some stairs or down some stairs once you get to your floor. We had a full staircase up to our room.
The room is tiny, there is no other way to describe it. Not small, tiny. It had two twin beds, I chose twin because you get the little extra space between the beds. Al whacked his head on the TV every time he got out of bed, it is a flat screen attached to the wall and finally we had to keep it pushed against the wall. We had room for only one suitcase and of course we had two. It does have a small desk and tea making set up. The bathroom on the other hand was quite large. Joe had a single room and he had much more space than us. So while it was tight, we were comfortable.
My only real complaint was that the WiFi was iffy. It came and went and when it went I would call the desk and they would reboot the system and sometimes it worked and other times not.
We had breakfast included in our rate, if you decide to stay here be sure to include it, it is expensive to buy. If you have the full breakfast there is a buffet with fresh fruit and breads, yogurt and cereal. You can have a big bowl of delicious porridge if you want. The cooked breakfast is typical English but unless you like tomatoey baked beans for breakfast opt out of those. They serve breakfast until 10am so you can sleep in a bit, we did.
Joe had given us tickets to the V&A for Christmas so we went off to see the Raj Exhibit which had some really outstanding jewels. Joe then headed off to visit every art museum in London and Al and I went to Victoria Station to do a little shopping. I was still tired and not in the mood for any long walks. We headed back to the room early after I spent 40 minutes waiting in line at the Post Office to get stamps.
There is a Cornish Pastie Shop nearby and I picked up three pasties so that we could have dinner in the room before we went to the theater. Billy Elliott is a great show, the seats at that theater however in the balcony are painfully close. My legs were right up against the seat in front of me, no crossing your legs here. No one was sitting in front of us in the front row of the balcony so at intermission I hopped over the seat and enjoyed the extra leg room.
The hotel arranged for a driver to take us to the car rental office near Heathrow. It was pricey but so worth it. Soon we were in our car, a cute little KIA and headed north looking for a new adventure.