Monday, June 29, 2015

London - Day 1

We left Boise on May 30, and flew from Boise to Seattle, Seattle to Calgary, and then Calgary to London. We arrived at London Heathrow in the afternoon on May 31st. 

The flight from Boise to Seattle was so beautiful! It was clear out and we saw Mt. Adams, Mt. Hood, Mount St. Helens, AND Mt. Rainier! 
Yeah, I know, Mt. Hood looks pretty incredible in this picture. Haha, it was easier to see in person. Dirty airplane windows certainly don't help! And I apparently deleted the picture I had of Mount St. Helens.
Mt. Rainier certainly looked stunning though! I never tire of seeing Mt. Rainier. 
Flying into Seattle. Sorry, I won't bore you with airplane pictures for too much longer!

We had a three hour layover in Seattle before heading on to Calgary, Canada. 
During the flight we flew by Mt. Baker. It was so cool to see! I grew up near Baker, and had spent a lot of time there camping, hiking, and sledding in the winter.
(From L to R - myself, my mom, my sister Hannah, and my dad)
Our last picture before heading to London! 

We left Calgary at about 10:30pm on the 30th, which I think worked out perfectly because we were able to sleep a little on the plane, spend a few hours sightseeing when we arrived, and then be able to go to sleep that night. 

Fortunately for us, none of us got jet-lagged! A lot of people made a big deal about jet lag and we were a little worried about how we would handle it, but it really didn't affect any of us. I think it might have been worse had we arrived in London in the morning GMT.

So the flight was okay. It kind of was annoying being on the plane for 8ish hours! But it wasn't as bad as I thought. (It's typically a 9 hour flight, but we were in the jet stream and made good time.) 

We were fed two meals on the plane (one at midnight, dinner, and breakfast an hour before we landed.) I slept a little bit. Not as well as I would have liked, but not too bad. 

Anyways, we landed at about 3:30 GMT, got through customs and immigration without any trouble, and exited the terminal where we met up with my brother who was waiting for us. He had flown in a few hours prior from France. We were all excited to see him since we hadn't seen him since Christmas.

We had ordered Oyster cards (London tube passes) before our trip, and we took the tube to the apartment we were going to be staying at in Northeastern London. It took us about an hour to get there from the airport and we were surprised at how cold and windy it was outside! Now, we are no strangers to the cold and wind considering we are from Western Washington, and I had always read that London and Seattle have pretty similar weather, so I guess I was kind of thinking that it would be more spring-like weather wise.

So we were supposed to meet the lady we were renting the apartment from at 5:30, and since we were an hour early, we gave her a call to let her know. She didn't answer or respond. So we waited in the cold for an hour. 5:30 comes and goes and no word from the lady we were renting from. At this point we were all a little tired and getting irritated because this lady had not been very good about getting back with us; and we were wasting valuable sightseeing time! Sometime after 5:30 we finally get ahold of the lady, and she is shocked that we were there. (Um, hadn't we agreed to meet at 5:30? And we had left several messages with her.) 

So we wait around some more and she doesn't show, so my dad finally goes up to the apartment and to see if the lady was there (she had said she would be right down, so we weren't sure if she was in the apartment and wouldn't let us in, or it was taking her a while to get there.) Turns out the cleaning lady had arrived right before we did and was just getting started cleaning the room. 

Finally, our host shows up and takes us to the room. We took a quick look around, a little unsure about the place since it didn't look very much like the pictures we had seen online. But we just left our stuff and headed back to the tube station to go sightseeing!
The apartment did have a pretty nice view!

We took the tube to Tower Hill and made our way across the road to the Tower of London.
We walked around for a bit, stopped and had dinner at Pret (which was quite good!) and when walked across the Tower Bridge.
The Tower Bridge seen from The Tower of London.
        Me | My brother
After it started getting dark, we headed back out to our apartment to sleep and then get ready for the next day of more exploring! 

Check back on Wednesday for day 2 of our trip!

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