Prep Days: London

China Eastern Airlines flight to London was not near as bad as the reviews had led us to believe.  Ok, yes, the food was not good, even by economy class airline standards, but we had been told there would be limited English movies available.  Not so. There were plenty. And the wine?  I was going to give it a miss as I assumed it would be some local Great Wall wine I could hardly stomach.  Instead, the provided a nice Jacob’s Creek  red to which I will say I had …more than one glass.  Thats my story and I’m sticking to it. Overall, very worth the price paid.

London:  We had all of a day and a half in London and we planned to make the most of it.  First stop, Gabriel being a Beatles fan was Abbey Road.  We got a pic of Gabriel making a walk across the iconic crossway made famous by the Fab 4 on their Abbey Road album.  From there we headed over to Westminster to see the Abbey, Big Ben, Houses of Parliment, and Downing St before joining a London Walk tour through Victorian England.  Amazingly our tor guide named Richard was the same tour guide we had 15 years ago when we had done another Londn Walk back in the 1990’s.

Well, I was amazed, I think the years made him immune to such coincidences.  Oh well!

Later in the evening we went to Covent Garden and met up with an old Hong Kong friend.  While in the area I saw the Les Miserables was playing in a couple hours time.  Only 2 things were working against us:

1) I hadn’t budgeted for another bank breaking West End performance (We had tickets for Jersey Boys but that had been figured in a couple months back)

2) They were sold out!

But the guy at the ticket booth said when they sold out, they offered 10 “standing room” tickets for £10.  £10 to see Les Miz in London?…Sold!!

The next day we had anothe London Walk this one being a Beatles tour. Gabriel got to see where the guys had lived in London, where they filmed A Hard Day’s Night, where they got married (at least the first times) etc.

We then quickly rushed to Victoria bus station for a 3 hour ride to the Welsh border to spend a couple days with dear old friends from Hong Kong.  We then got to spend a day in Bath with them having a Bar-B-Q with still more friends from our early days in the former colony.  Time has been good to everyone thankfully.

As I write this our we are preparing to leave now for a 5 hour drive north to St. Bees…and the start of our Coast to Coast Walk!


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About Steve Hackman

This is a blog of my son Gabriel and I's travels across England on the Wainwright Coast to Coast walk. I'm a 45 year old American living in Hong Kong and Gabriel is a 14 year old high school student. This is a father - son adventure I'd been planning since before Gabriel was born.