R. Craig Collins > Web Page Design > Portfolio > London
Spring Break 2006, London © R. Craig Collins, 2005/6
[To see just pictures (all 150 someodd, click here)] Travelogue with select pictures below.
Saturday, March 11
07:00 am Wake up and pack (Diane had a track meet the night before that didn't end until late)
12:00 pm Burrito lunch at Papa Bear's
01:00 pm Head to Air Park Express near DFW
03:00 pm Check in Terminal C; camped near gate C32
05:00 pm Buy Turkey and swiss sandwiches at Au Bon Pain
05:05 pm Begin boarding 757 for flight to JFK
09:55 pm Arrive JFK, Terminal 9, gate 42... head to Terminal 8, Gate 10
10:55 pm Board 777 for flight to London Heathrow
10:55 pm Late dinner of Chicken or lasagna
10:55 pm Seatback movies include Aeon FLux, National Treasure, and Goal
Sunday, March 12
10:00 Crackers and cheese as we fly over Ireland
11:30 Land Heathrow; plane parked in the boonies, had to come down old stairs to bus to Terminal 3
11:30 No luggage to collect (all carry on, using space saver bags :), straight to Customs
12:15 Picked up by Totally Airports.com driver; off to SEAT Cordoba estate (minivan)
13:15 Arrived at City Hotel, East-end near Brick Lane; checked into room 302
Click thumbnail images below for larger images of the entry hall, 'adult's' room, 'kid's' room, and the view
14:15 Head to Westminster via District Line... East Aldgate 'tube' station just around the corner
Click thumbnail images below for larger image
14:45 Arrive Westminster Abbey; just behind Parliament, across the river from the London Eye Observation Wheel.
15:00 Evensong service at Westminster Abbey, and a quick visit in the Gift shop
16:00 Head across the river to County Hall, trade vouchers for tickets to the London Eye
Monday, March 13
07:00 Continental Breakfast in Hotel restaurant (cheese, ham, yogurt, juice, breads)
07:40 To Victoria Station, via the District Line
08:10 Walk to Golden Tours
08:25 Board the Bus, bound for Salisbury, Stonehenge, and Bath with Ruth (guide) and Keith (driver)
As we entered the Close (the walls that surround the
we saw a real camel, of all things. No one knew why.
The grown ups supped on 'bangers and mash'.
12:00 Head to Stonehenge.
The weather never got out of the 40s, but this day was windy and cold on
The it was off to Bath, with it's Cathedral, Georgian houses, Pulteney bridge, and of course, the Roman Bath.
16:30 After exploring the Bath, we had some of the mineral water in the Pump Room, had a cream tea, then headed back to London, driving through the Cotswolds.
18:30 Arrive Victoria Station, and head to Hotel.
19:30 Walked up and down Brick Lane, searching for dinner (lots of Curry places with young men competing for our business. We settled on Al Badar... the grown ups had Donor on Pita (lamb), the kids had chicken.
20:30 Stopped by a convenience store for snacks, the freshened up at the hotel.
21:00 Took the 'tube' one stop to Tower Hill, then walked to the Tower of London, near the Tower Bridge.
21:30 Watched the Ceremony of the Keys at the Tower.
22:00 Back to the Hotel...
Tuesday, March 14
07:00 Standard Breakfast
07:40 'Tube' to Victoria Station
08:15 Walk to Golden Tours
09:00 Boarded the bus for Leeds, Cream Tea, Dover, and Canterbury with Sandra and Michael.
10:45 Arrive at Leeds Castle
10:45 Cream Tea
10:45 Castle ground, park like, with geese, peacocks, and ducks
10:45 Toured the 'old castle' with its armour, then
10:45 Toured the 'new castle' with its wonderful library, and living quarters for Lady Baillie until the 1970's
12:00 To Dover, and a short walk on the beach beneath the White Cliffs and Dover Castle
13:30 Arrived Canterbury; stopped for fish and chips inside the walls, then on the the Cathedral
15:30 Headed back to London; got caught in a traffic jam, but wound our way through Greenwich to Westminster.
17:30 Went back to the hotel to freshen up, then took the District to the Northern Line to Charing Cross. We walked the Strand to Covent Garden, and had curry and jacket potatoes at Ponti's. From here we wandered to Leicester Square, then walked to the Embankment station, and took the 'tube' to the Aldgate East, stopped at the convenience store, then on to the hotel.
Wednesday, March 15
08:00 Standard Breakfast
08:40 District Line to Mansion House, then walked to St. Paul's.
09:00 St. Paul's has two levels off the Nave, and we explored both until the door to the dome opened.
09:30 Walked up the steps to the Whispering Gallery inside at the base of the dome, then up to the two outside galleries, the Golden being some 600 steps, and 360 feet high. Wonderful views of the city, including the Old Globe Theatre, and the St. Paul Clock Towers.
We stopped in the crypt for some shopping (yes, the gift shop is in the crypt), then headed to Blackfriars to catch the 'tube' to Leicester Square, to trade our vouchers for theatre tickets for the night.
11:30 Aborted a lunch attempt at St. Martin in the Fields, across from Trafalgar Square, and instead walked to Embankment to catch the District Line to Tower Hill.
We caught the DLR (Dockland's Light Rail) system to the Cutty Sark stop in Greenwich.
12:15 From hear we walked to the Maritime Museum, and ate egg sandwiches at the Regatta Cafe.
We then walked up to the Royal Observatory, stood in two different hemispheres, checked our watches for correct time, looked at old watches and telescopes, and took in the view down to the Maritime Museum, the Queen's house, and Canary Wharf in the distance. We then visited the Queen's House on our way back.
15:00 Back to Tower Hill via the DLR, then to the hotel on the District line.
16:00 Took the District line to Embankment, walked past Cleopatra's Needle to Convent Garden.
18:30 Pizza at Primo's
19:30 Walked to the Vaudeville Theatre
20:00 Saw Stomp! Great Show! Dancing, rhythm, percussion, and humor.
21:30 Back to the Hotel for cookies
Thursday, March 16
08:30 Standard Breakfast
09:15 District Line to Piccadilly line to Knightsbridge in Kensington.
10:00 Walked to Harrods for a lot of window shopping in the food courts, riding the egyptian escalators, wandering the toy floor, and clothing.
11:00 Back to the tube station, then ride the Piccadilly line to Piccadilly Circus. From here, we walked to Carnaby street for more shopping. Took the Piccadilly line to Leicester Square, then walked to Trafalgar Square 13:00 Head to St. Martin in the Fields to try lunch again, in the crypt. (Yes, the cafe is in the crypt.)
14:00 Walk to Embankment, ride to East Aldgate, and freshen up at the hotel. We walked to Spitalfield's Market, explored, and then back to the hotel.
16:45 Boarded a Hammersmith train, then changed to a Piccadilly train to get to Covent Garden, but there was a security issue, and we had to catch a Northern train, then another Northern train to get to Leicester Square, then we walked to Covent Garden. Gracie helped an escape artist before walking to PJ's for Chicken, Steak, and Thai fish for dinner.
18:55 Headed to the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane to see the Producers.
22:20 Great Show. Hysterical! Walked to Embankment, caught the District line back to the hotel. After snacks, basic packing to get ready for our return.
Friday, March 17
07:00 Standard breakfast, slip Diane a birthday card, then final packing
10:00 Totally Airport.com driver (same one) picks us up to head to Gatewick.
11:10 Arrive Gatewick. Scramble to get driver back, to reclaim Susann's purse. Check in, then do lots of last minute shopping, and grab some snacks for the trip. Head to Gate 63.
13:15 Board the 767 for the trip back. No seatback screens on this flight, common screen to watch Mighty Wind or Walk the Line. Chicken for lunch, and snacks just before landing.
06:20 pm Land in Dallas; clear customs, and call for Air Park Express Bus.
09:10 pm Arrive Home...