Monday, 14 August 2017

Was up early this morning. Probably too early, but was hungry so went down for a good breakfast. And again, when I returned to my room I slept for another hour- then started to pack. Last night I secured a reserved seat on the train to London and will pick up the ticket when I arrive at the station. Being a popular time to travel, I didn’t want to walk on the train looking for a seat.

I took a couple of pictures of my suitcase after I packed. One side (that has a cover that can be zipped to hold the clothes) contains warmer clothes or those that I don’t expect to wear for the next few weeks. The other side I’ll unpack when I reach London. My bag contains my laptop, iPad, notebook, and anything I’d like access to on the train.

After checkout, the hotel called a taxi for me and I was at the train station in plenty of time to board the train. While waiting to see which track I’ll board from, I picked up some water and orange juice for the two hour ride to London’s Euston Station.

I was right about securing a reserved seat. The train was very full and helped people around me find a place for their luggage (including mine). Each car has a stand for the larger bags but it was full and several people had bags that wouldn’t fit in the overheads. It took some negotiation with a few of the other passengers to move their luggage. It all worked out.

I was seated at a table with a couple across from me and we were joined by a woman who had the window seat next to me. I started talking to the couple then the woman next to me joined the conversation. Think she was checking us out before saying anything. After we talked for a few minutes, she seemed to have much in common with the couple. At one point she asked how they voted on Brexit which is the equivalent of an American asking another who they voted for in November. We talked non-stop for the next two hours. I was keeping mental notes on the subjects we discussed. ¬†Liverpool, where to stay in London, Isle of Man, my travel blog, train travel, Brexit, Trump, the couple’s children – their daughter is expecting a baby and their son and his family are visiting from New Jersey where he has worked for 10 years, living in Kent, value of the pound to the Euro, inflation of food prices, places they have traveled, regional accents, Big Ben’s repairs, etc. Next time I’ll jot down notes.

We said our good-byes when we reached Euston Station and went out separate ways. I needed to find a restroom before boarding the underground which would get me close to where I’m staying in Chelsea. I’m getting good a rolling around my large suitcase and hauling it up and down escalators and stairs. Quite a workout lifting it up a couple of flights. I took the Victoria line to Victoria Station then transferred to the another train to Sloan Square then a taxi for the short ride to the Airbnb flat.

I was promised by the Airbnb host that they would send me the codes to get into the flat. I started sending texts to them from the taxi with no response. I let them know last night that I wasn’t comfortable waiting until the last minute to get the codes and that no one would be there to show me around. Well, I was right. No response and there I was standing outside. As I was pondering what to do next, a couple walked up and they had booked a flat also in the same building and let me in the main door. I knew my flat was on the top floor, so I took the elevator up and there were two flats, #9 and #10. The door to #10 was locked but the door to #9 as open slightly so I knocked and opened the door and asked if anyone was there. It looked like the pictures I had seen so guessed I was in the right flat. I was able to call the hosts, which turned out to be more like a small business and the person I spoke with gave me the code to the flat’s door – so if I left I could get back in. Still no codes from the host and it had been over an hours.

Now that could get in and out of the building and the flat I headed for the grocery to pick up a few things. I was very hungry now and needed something to eat. I texted Prean and Viktor who said they would come by in an hour. They are within walking distance. I found a good grocery nearby and picked up food for breakfast and some bottled water. When I got back to the flat I got a text from the host who gave me a different number for the building door and to the flat. I said I was already in and that I was disappointed that getting access to the flat was not as easy as he lead me believe last night. No response. But important for me to let him know because I’ll include this in my review when I leave and didn’t want him to be surprised when I mention that access to the flat was difficult. ¬†For those of us who use Airbnb, reading reviews is extremely important before we decide to book.

Prean and Viktor showed up and we got caught up. Since Prean was in Rwandan when I was here last, we had quite a bit to talk about. At the store I bought some green tea, grapes and strawberries to eat while we talked. We made plans to have dinner at their place tomorrow and plan a trip to Darwin’s home for another day.

After they left, and only had some toast before they arrived, I was hungry. I knew a McDonald’s was somewhat close and walked down Kings Road and enjoyed the evening walk. The street is a popular shopping destination and there are a number of excellent restaurants. Great place to walk during the day and in the evening. The McDonald’s was where I remembered it and enjoyed my two cheeseburgers.

As I was writing this post, I let Paula know I was back in London and we’ve made plans to meet tomorrow at 3:00 for tea. She had a suggestion to visit Rye in East Sussex in the next day or so. I’m happy to have some day trips planned.

Tomorrow I’m running a few errands before meeting Paula, then will go to Prean and Viktor’s place at 7:00 p.m.

 

 

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