Thursday, May 25, 2023

2023 England and Scotland - Day #2 - London

Using the Polaris lay flat seats, my Oura ring showed that I was able to sleep a little more than three hours. We were on the ground at London Heathrow airport about twenty minutes behind schedule at 10 am.

Like when we flew into London in '19, we literally walked a mile from the plane to the passport control. We picked up our luggage and grabbed a taxi into London. We are spending two nights at the Xenia Hotel.

We got to the hotel about noon. Initially, they said that the room wasn't ready, but about ten minutes later gave us a room. Dropping our bags in the room and getting changed, we met Sharon's brother Tom and his friend Ann Marie in front of the hotel. We will be spending the next four weeks with them. They are just finishing up a ten day tour with the Jesuits.

The four of us took an Uber to the Temple Church. This church is featured in Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code.

From there, we walked to St Paul's Catherdal. Sharon, Jack and I toured the catherdal in '19.

Heading back the other way, we walked along the river and through the Victoria Embarkment Gardens to the Gordon Wine Bar. This is billed as London's oldest wine bar. We split a Meat Sharing Board [Pork Pie, Parma Ham, Pork & Duck Pâté, Roast Beef & Hungarian Pork Sausage] and a three cheeses board [Trio di bruschette integrali ‘whole wheat’ with stracchino cheese, fresh tomatoes and olives tapenade].
After a couple of glasses of wine, we walked to the underground and headed to the Altgate East station. Sharon and Tom had signed us up for a Jack the Ripper walking tour in Whitechapel. I was surprised at the size of the group; there must have been 25 people in the tour. Additionally, we past several other tour groups. I enjoyed the tour more than expected; it was cool to be in neighborhood that we hadn't explore before.

After the tour, we caught an Uber back to the hotel. I fell asleep in the Uber. We crashed hard about 10:30 pm.

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