Monday, 30 April 2018

London, England (Dawson House, Battersea Power Station)

I was wide awake at 2:00 a.m., which was two and a half hours before the reserved taxi was scheduled to arrive. I now have plenty of time to drink a cup of coffee, clean the flat, and get ready. I’ll even have time to shave! (Shaving is definitely optional as I travel.)

I was outside waiting for the taxi at 4:20 a.m. Around 4:35 a.m. I started to try to get in touch with the taxi company to ask for a status of my taxi. It took awhile to reach someone, but by this time it was 4:45 a.m. Apparently, because I’m staying in a new development, the post code and address are not fully baked in their system and my driver was waiting for me about a quarter of a mile away. Rather than give directions to the original driver, they sent a new driver. By this time he arrived it was after 5:00 a.m. and I decided that we had better go directly to the airport rather than try the underground.

As it turned out, the underground station I was going to had a direct “express” train to the airport, but not an underground train. But after waiting outside in the cold for 40 minutes, it probably affected my decision-making ability. In any case, I got to the airport by 6:00 a.m. for my 7:30 a.m. flight, which was 30 minutes later than I wanted. Then had to deal with the taxi driver’s inability to accept a credit card. I was shocked! First taxi driver in London who couldn’t take a card payment. Would have been good to know when I got into the taxi. He suggested that I go inside to use an ATM, which is when I then asked to speak to his supervisor who eventually was able to take my card payment.

Getting through check-in and security in less than 15 minutes immediately put me to ease. It could have taken 90 minutes in some airports.

I noticed that my ticket said I was going to be in seat 4A, which on most airlines this would have been first class. As it turned out, it was indeed a first class seat. I had used my British Air miles to book the flight, so the flight was free except for applicable taxes, but didn’t see that I had booked a first class flight. After my taxi ride, I guess this was excellent compensation.

The flight took off on time and was served a terrific breakfast before we landed in Warsaw two and a half hours later. Beautiful weather in Warsaw, which was a vastly different than London. My coat and sweater was not needed since it was nearly 80 degrees outside.

The taxi fare to the hotel was only $12 and the driver got me there in about 20 minutes. From the airport to the hotel I saw that Warsaw was a modern and very clean city with tree-lined streets. Think I’ll like it here.

Check in was easy and was given a 14th floor room. I immediately wanted to take a nap and thought having a glass of wine would be a great way to encourage a good rest. Then I heard a knock at the door and was presented with a small bottle of wine by one of the hotel staff. I guess they were reading my mind. Yes, I will definitely like it here.

After a very restful nap, I put a few things away before going out for some food. As always, I found the nearest McDonald’s for my two cheeseburgers. The nearest McDonald’s was at the nearby train station, so I now know where that is.

Before I went to bed, I noticed that the toilet’s water kept running after I flushed. It was after 10:00 and didn’t feel like calling maintenance to fix it. I was able to muffle the sound of running water by closing the lid, putting two towels over the lid and shutting the bathroom door. I knew that the sound of running water all night would be distracting and probably “inspire” more trips to the bathroom throughout the night.

Tomorrow I’ll walk around some, but probably only for 1 – 2 hours. I’ll wait until Wednesday to formally start my tour of Warsaw.

To see pictures: CLICK HERE

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