Tuesday, 17 July 2018

London, England (Hampton by Hilton, London Dockland)

After I woke I had plenty of time to eat breakfast, shower and pack for my trip to Copenhagen. My flight doesn’t leave until after 2:00 p.m. I even had time to write a blog post before I leaving for the airport. I had to pack carefully since my suitcase couldn’t weigh more than 20kg rather than the usual 23kg or I could be charged 40 – 60 pounds for the extra weight.

After dropping off my room’s key cards and settling my bill at the hotel’s front desk I was wheeling my suitcase down to the nearby DLR station. From where the DLR train line ends near Tower Hill, I walked to the Tower Hill underground station to catch a train that would take me to the Liverpool train station. I had some difficulties at the Tower Hill station since I had to be let through the back door to get to the District Line on platform 3. Thankfully I could take a lift or escalator to the platform and not have to use the stairs.

As I was waiting for the District line train to arrive on the platform I started talking with a guy who was waiting for the same train. We talked for a bit before the train arrived and continued talking after the train left the station. He was a barber from Manchester and on his way home. For whatever reason we introduced ourselves just as the train came to my station. I said my name was Philip – and wish I could have taken a picture of his face. He said his name was Philip too. I asked if he spelled it with one or two “L” and he said one, just like mine. We shook hands and I was out the door.

I wasn’t so lucky at Liverpool station in regards to stairs. No escalators or lifts (elevators) to be found. I lugged my suitcase up one flight and down another. But this is where you catch the train to Stansted Airport where my flight was leaving from. I bought my train tickets and took the next train to Stansted leaving the station. I found a good seat on the train and relaxed. The trip to the airport took almost an hour.

When I arrived at the airport I immediately went to the check-in since I was interested to learn if my suitcase met the airlines weight restrictions. I put my suitcase on the scale and was amazed that it was 20kg exactly. I even took a picture of the weight.

Since my flight was not for another hour and a half I had time for a small lunch at Starbucks. At 2:00 I saw that the departure gate was listed and I walked to the gate. This airport certainly made good use of space when designing for their duty free shopping. The path to the gate wound its way by shop after shop before I reached the gate.

I had a priority boarding pass and tried to find the right line to stand in before boarding. The airline clerk who was working the desk must have been new. We kept being moving from one line to another. And then we realized as we were standing there for over 15 minutes that our flight was slightly delayed. It wasn’t until we boarded the flight when the pilot apologized for the wait and gave us the reason. Simply, the plane was delayed at another airport. In any case, I was on the flight and on my way to Copenhagen. The substantial delay on my Malta flight to London was still on my mind.

It was fairly easy getting through the airport and was soon standing in front of an ATM to get a supply of local “krone” for my stay in Copenhagen. I decided to not use the Metro to get to the Airbnb flat and caught a taxi. It was after we started for the Airbnb flat that I saw on the taxi’s meter how much the trip would cost. Though it was only a 15 minute ride but it would cost nearly $60. Yikes! Think it will be more expensive here in Denmark than in countries that I’ve previously visited.

The taxi driver had problems finding the building. I showed where it was on the map on my phone. Not sure what the problem was, but we soon found the right building and now I had to find my way up to the flat.

The Airbnb hosts left somewhat vague instructions on where to find the key, but because the building was very large and the layout was confusing, I asked a couple of local residents to help me out. They were very helpful and soon I was in the flat and could finally take my shoes off.

The flat was a little cluttered, but was large and the kitchen looked like it has everything I would need to prepare meals. I walked to a nearby grocery (nearby was a 20 minute walk) and picked up milk, cereal, ground beef and sugar.  After having a bowl of cereal and a hamburger patty I watched a bit of television before going to sleep.

Since taking a taxi will be expensive, I had better learn more about the Metro. Tomorrow I’ll go into the center of the city to practice riding the Metro and look around and then more food shopping.

To see pictures: 

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