I'd forgotten what a long trip it is from Australia to England.
I don't reckon Captain Cook took as long as we did.
The journey started at 9:30am on Wednesday with a taxi ride to the airport. As we got into the car, Susan said to the driver - "Virgin please" I told her "he's a taxi driver, not a pimp" However the taxi driver took it in his stride and enquired how I knew he wasn't a pimp. I apologised for underestimating him.
We flew from Adelaide to Sydney, then had about a 5 hour wait for the flight to Bangkok - don't even get me started about security at Bangkok!!
From there to Dubai, which by the way was totally manic - never seen so many people in one place!
Then on to Heathrow. We queued for about an hour to get through immigration. At last we made it to the desk. The immigration officer looked at my passport and says " oh you were born here! I know someone with the same name as you." I asked if she was as attractive as me, to which he laughed and asked not to incriminate himself, however a woman officer sitting at the adjoining booth decided to put her tuppence worth in with "well she's does have big tits too." Charming, I thought, welcome home!!
After leaving Heathrow, we took the tube to Tower Hill. Now normally this would be fine, however Tower Hill underground station has no lift or escalator. Let me tell you walking up two flights of stairs with a 30kg suitcase and 10kg carry on bag is not so much fun (knew I shouldn't have packed the extra underwear). To our relief and much gratitude, two young guys took pity on us and carried our suitcases up the stairs for us. Who said chivalry was dead?
We eventually made it to our apartment at 4:30pm, so around 1am Friday morning Adelaide time. We were totally knackered.
Must say that Emirates were great, would highly recommend the airline.
We dumped our bags down, had showers and went out for a walk to explore our local area. Let me just say a few words about our apartment. It is in fact very nice, however it's perhaps not the biggest apartment I've stayed in. I think "compact and bijou" is the term that springs to mind. I wouldn't say the shower is small, but when I bent over to pick up the shower gel (I swear I dropped it accidentally!!) my bum opened the door!
Anyway,we are staying in Wapping, just the other side of St Katherine's Dock and about a 10 min walk from Tower Bridge and the Tower of London.
The area has been subject to some serious "urban rejuvenation" All the old wharfs have been turned into apartments and every second block has a park. There is a canal that runs through the centre that has walkways along it leading to the river and Tower Bridge.
About a 2 min walk from where we are is our nearest pub. Now as some background info, for those who don't already know, I am rather partial to a 18/19th century English artist - JMW Turner. I wouldn't say I'm obsessed but our cat - Turner - is named after him. Anyway, our nearest pub is called, Turners Old Star and there is a plaque on the wall explaining that Turner had spent a lot of time in the Dockland back in the 1800's and after inheriting two cottages, he turned them into a tavern, named it The Old Star and established his mistress, Sophie Booth, as the proprietor. Now Turner was quite a secretive guy, so to keep his anonymity he adopted her surname. Turner was only about 5ft tall and a touch on the ummm "portly" side so was given the nickname, and was known as "Puggy Booth" The pub was renamed in his honour.
As we continued walking we were discussing how weird it was that I liked Turner so much and we were staying so close to this pub and that we had a cat named after him, when out of nowhere comes a cat, who looks just like our cat Turner, only fatter. He comes up to us and starts purring and rubbing up against us, jumps up onto the wall and demands our attention. We have named him FT (Fat Turner)
We continued our walk along to the river and ended up in a small pub we found in a courtyard, off a lane way. To anyone who knows London, you will know this is one of the real wonderful things about this city. It's full of hidden alleys and lanes that lead to lovely courtyards, like hidden oasis's. We didn't realise it but the pub backs directly onto the river. It has a large bay window that overhangs he water. We decided to have dinner there and Reno if you read this, I had bangers and mash in Yorkshire pudding!! The pub is called The Captain Kidd. Named after the pirate who was one of the last to be executed at the nearby Execution Dock. Prisoners were taken to another pub close by - The Town of Ramesgate (which is still a pub and we will visit) and given a last drink. They would then be taken at low tide to the river and hanged. The bodies weren't taken down but left for the tide to wash over them 3 times. Particularly notorious pirates were then gibbeted as a warning to others. Captain Kidds body was left gibbeted in an iron cage by the Thames for over 20 years. Can't think why the practice was discontinued??
Anyway, by the time dinner was finished we were ready to crash, so it was back home to bedddddddddddddddddddddddddddd