Sunday, June 26, 2022

Day 1-2 - London A ducky day!

I am finally getting back to catching up.  Thankfully,  I had a mild case, but the numbers are going up again, so please be vigilant.  

My trip began on May 30th with a night flight to London.  As you can see I had help packing the suitcase.   The British Airways left about 40 minutes late as several drunk passengers were not permitted to board the flight.  The delay was primarily due to removing their bags from the flight.    I had an entire row to myself.  I opened all four blankets and got as comfortable as I could.  Tylenol PM helped and I slept for nearly the whole flight, sleeping through dinner (after midnight) and waking up in time for breakfast. Yes,  I would like a cup of coffee.

It did not take long to get through passport control, but for most people, passports are no longer stamped.  As this was my 50th visit, I wanted my passport stamped.  That would be a no.  My suitcase arrived quickly, and I headed out to the main area of the airport.   I stopped at Costa Coffee for a vanilla latte -- and oh, a Jubilee muffin.

Jam inside.  Yummy

In February I purchased a 90-day advance ticket for the Heathrow Express to Paddington, which cost £11.00 roundtrip.  It is a 15-minute ride to Paddington Station, from where I would catch a cab to take me to my Air BnB on Coppermill Lane in Walthamstow, east London.  The house is across the street from the Walthamstow Wetlands, which surround reservoirs that provide water to London.   The three houses across from the wetlands were once owned by Thames Water.  The house I stayed in was once the home of the Chief Engineer.   The filtration center was next door.  One morning two swans flew by my bathroom window.

The reservoir across the street

the garden and the filtration system for Thames Water

This was a fabulous Air BnB, with great and wonderful hosts and an adorable dog.  But there would be a slight mishap before I got the cab.

When I got on the train, I put the carry bag and the wheels that I use when the big case was handed over to the airline, on top of the suitcase.  A nice man helped me get the bags off the train, but ... the wheels slipped off and fell to the track.  

I was mortified, to say the least, but a Paddington Station official got a picker and rescued my wheels.

A lovely woman who works in that part of the station unlocked the luggage carrier so I could put my stuff on it to go upstairs to get a cab.   My adventure had begun.  

It took nearly an hour to get to Walthamstow.   I selected this area because of the wetlands and a chance to see London's wildlife.   Walthamstow is on the Victoria Line (zone 3), about 20 minutes from Central London.  There are also several Overground stops, including St. James's, that end at Liverpool Street.

The walk to Blackhorse Lane took about 12 minutes.

Once settled into my room, I changed my clothes and shoes, accepted a cup of tea, and then headed into Green Park as I was meeting up with an American friend, Mark, who was heading home to the USA, the following day.  

It was crazy at Green Park as the world's media were set up there.  The exit to Canada Gate was closed and there was also no access to Buckingham Palace due to the construction and rehearsals for the concert on Saturday night.

I met up with Mark and walked toward the Mall and get across to St. James's Park.  Huge crowds, but no way to get to the front of the Palace.

Our first choice for dinner did not have any seats so they recommended the Shakespeare Pub on Buckingham Palace Road, a few minutes away.  So that's where we had dinner.  A good time to catch up as we had not seen each other since before the pandemic.    Mark was heading back to his hotel to check out and move to a hotel near Heathrow.   We said goodbye at the Holborn stop.  I told Mark to text me when he got to his new hotel.

Thanks, to the good sleep I had on the plane,  I did not suffer jet lag. I headed back to Walthamstow, and stopped in at the Coppermill Lane pub for a beer,

Many homes were decorated for the Jubilee - and bunting everywhere

I headed back to the house but captured this sunset.

Day 2.   I had bought cereal, milk, and fruit the day before as I had my own shelf in the fridge and in a cupboard.  I also had a coffee machine in my room.   It was a lovely day.  (The only rain I had was in the evening of my first night).   I grabbed my camera to visit the wetlands, a good walk.

I was quite surprised to see Canada geese.  Just as nasty as they are in North America

A part of the London skyline from my bedroom window - you can see the Shard and the Gherkin

a magpie

Before heading back to the house I stopped at the  Larder Cafe at the Engine House where  I succumbed to a Jubilee creation.

Back at the house, I switched lenses (I use a 150-600mm for wildlife) and headed to Blackhorse Lane and into Central London as I wanted to go to St Paul's  (the Actors Church) in Covent Garden as I wanted to see the plaque honoring Dame Diana Rigg.

 In the afternoon, I was meeting a Canadian Twitter friend,  Ed, for tea at the Rosebery at the  Mandarin Oriental hotel in Knightsbridge.  We did the Queen's Platinum Jubilee Tea.  I did not need to have dinner!

People already camping out in the Mall.


this is to hang the scones

After tea, headed back to Green Park to stake out for the Trooping .. and I run into Joe Little, editor of Majesty magazine, and got to see Prince William drive from the Palace to Clarence House ...

An early night, because I am getting up at 4:45 a.m. to meet Ed on the Mall to get a good place for the Trooping the Colour.

The Platinum Jubilee Celebrations are about to begin!!!!


Andrew said...

The benches by the garden at the entrance to St Paul's Covent Garden are a great place to spot actors when there's a memorial service on, which happens quite often.

Christina O. said...

We are lucky duckies to get your post! I've been waiting for it! The roses are beautiful!

Barbara said...

Thank you so much for sharing your journey with us. Love your photos!