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London Day1

We left the hotel for Gare du Nord at 10:15 , having ordered minivan - to our disdain found out that they are priced differently than normal taxis - so it was 35 euros instead of about 15! To his credit the driver was quite apologetic about the charge but that didn't lessen the pain. We arrived to find heaps of people milling around outside the station because of a bomb scare (a wayward bag). That was cleared quite quickly though. We were glad we had left ourselves plenty of time because there were two passport checks (police & customs) and a bag security check. To be frank we were glad because we were just discussing how easy it would be to put a bag onto a European train and just bugger off - a major security weakness in our view. The train left on time at 11:15 and we soon found out that the 1.5 hour trip was actually 2.5 hours because we gained an hour! The train was not as smooth as the ones we experienced in Italy and France but the service was impeccable - attendants at all doors as we boarded and a really nice lunch served (with wine if desired) followed by tea and coffee. We arrived on time at St Pancras Station and got an Uber (driven by Faisal, a nice Pakistani from Dubai) to our hotel in Tower Hill. Our rooms are basic but comfortable enough - no fridge is a pain though. We also found that the Poms don't seem to readily accept euros - bloody typical! We found a Travelex and changed the euros we had but were left with about 15 euros in useless change... We decided to look at the local attractions but bypassed the Tower itself - 28 pounds seemed a total rip-off and visited the Tower Bridge. We all enjoyed this, it was informative and well-interesting and a journey through relatively-recent history. Patrick was still being troubled by his tum so we went to Boots the Chemist and spoke to a pharmacist who gave him some tablets and some advice about his diet over the next day or two. We wandered around the neighborhood a bit more and it has a nice vibe - heaps of eateries and a pub and just about every corner - all being well patronised by local office workers after work. We had a freshen up and had a meal at a restaurant across the road and the two dicky tums had soup and John a steak and ale pie. :-)

Posted by 3kiwisabroad 13:55

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