Londontown

Trip Start Apr 05, 2006
1
14
23
Trip End Ongoing


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Flag of United Kingdom  ,
Thursday, May 11, 2006

Now, if Singapore felt like "coming home", London feels that way even more so. I had a pleasant flight on British Airways from Singapore to London, and arrived to Heathrow at 5:15am. I passed through customs and immigration smoothly and hopped on the first Heathrow Express to Paddington station. My uncle rang me at 6am to see how I was going and I said that I'd be there shortly. After arriving at Paddington, I hopped into a black cab--oh, how I miss the London cabbies who always know exactly where you are going without any need to arguement or direction. They live in Holland Park, which is a great central location in the West (near Kensington High Street).

My uncle Dick greeted me, made me a coffee and got me sorted. Mind you, this was all before the hour of 7am. The weather was wonderfully cool at 55F. We had a chat and then Dick headed off to work. I puttered around their house, read a few Time Out guides, had cereal, talked briefly with my cousin Allison before she went to work, and did some emails. My aunt Anne and uncle Dick came back in the late morning. We caught up a bit more and then I crashed out for a 90 minute nap. I woke up to a glorious 75F sunny afternoon! Anne and I had lunch on the balcony and then I decided to go out and get some exercise and enjoy the fresh sunshine!

I walked through Holland Park to the High Street and then made my way to Kensington Gardens. I ran for about 30 minutes all the way to the end of Hyde Park. It was faboulous to be out and about and actually enjoying being outside. London definitely knows how to do parks! And being the first proper spring day, many Londoners were out in full force to enjoy the weather. The biggest challenge was not getting run over by all the kids on scooters--but after my moto expereinces in Vietnam, I was a pro! :)

Walking past Kensington Palace brought back flashed of memories of being in London when Diana died nearly 9 years ago. I had just moved to London and went down to see the piles of flowers outside the palace and to watch the funeral procession by Hyde Park. Always a bit surreal to have old memories superimposed on new images. It's been 8 years since I left London, and nearly 5 years since my last visit. It feels so familiar, which is nice.

After getting back from my run, I had dinner with my family and watched tele for a few hours (love the BBC with no adverts).

It has been great to have some downtime for 24 hours. And I'm loving the weather. I am looking forward to being back here for a full three days and show Erin around town. It is nearly 10:30am and I want to go out for another run soon before I need to come back and head off for *another* fllight. I've been inside all morning dealing with "business" issues on the internet that I've neglected for the past month.

Off to Greece tonight for the last adventure of this trip. I can't wait to see Erin and it will be so much fun to be in Greece. Another day, another country...At least that's what it feels like lately!
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