London 2005 (John's Birthday Weekend)
The Magical Mystery Tour
The Great London Self Portrait page
We decided to get away for a quick weekend in London for John's Birthday. It was definitely a quick weekend. We flew over on a Friday evening flight. It was our first international flight on United, and our first time in United's first class. It was nice, but it was difficult to sleep in the 747 because of the noise and light coming from the 1st class galley behind us. It was a really rough flight due to the very strong tailwinds, but we did manage to get a little bit of shut eye in the 1st class suites. We got to London almost an hour early. The arrivals lounge was not open yet, so we had to wait about 15 minutes. The arrivals lounge was fine. The shower rooms were nice with good amenities. The food and refreshments were quite lacking. On par with American Airline's arrival lounge, but no where close to British Airways.
We took a taxi to the Waldorf Hilton. We got upgraded to a nice room w/ a plasma TV and a small sitting area. The bed was "heavenly". We took a quick nap, then hit the town. The neighborhood was great. Covent Garden is full of great pubs and shopping. One of our first events was to catch a play. We saw Jerry Springer: The Opera. It was really funny.. vulgar.. but funny. After the show we had dinner at Incognico. Nice, simple menu. Good food with reasonable portions. Price was not bad for London.
Sunday we got up and did the Magical Mystery Beatles Walking Tour. It was fun. We walked by a lot of the cool Beatle sites including the studio on Saville Row where the rooftop Let It Be concert took place. The tour ended at the Abbey Road studio and the famous crosswalk. Sunday evening we did the Jack the Ripper Walk. It was great. The crowd was huge. They had to split into 3 walking groups to handle the crowd. For more info see www.walks.com
Monday morning we slept in a bit, then headed into Covent Garden for one last Pub Lunch. After lunch we heading to the airport for our flight home. At Heathrow, we first checked out the SAS London Lounge. It was nice; like being at an Ikea with a bar! We then headed over the United 1st class lounge. Kind of drab. The wine selection was OK, but the food was well picked over. The flight back was much nicer than the flight over. The staff was good. We were on a 777 this time. The 1st suites are quite comfortable. I like the American Flagship suites a little more, but it's hard to complain about a seat that turns into a bed. It beats the heck out of sitting in the back!! The flight back took about an extra hour due to the strong headwinds. IAD immigration/customs was a breeze.
Quick trip report for a quick trip.