Day 0
Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5
Day 6
Day 7
Day 8
Day 9

Day 1

Saturday, June 19, 2004


We arrived at about 10am, cleared immigration and collected our luggage. We then sought out a money machine and went and hired a cab. The drive from Gatwick is long and slow, taking an hour and a half. Our driver was friendly and informative which quickened the ride.


Arriving at the London Marriott around 12:30, we checked in and got up to our room, number 237. A little dated, and a smaller than the rooms at the Marble Arch Marriott, it was still not bad. We ordered some coffee, finished dressing, and decided to go to Notting Hill. The last time in London we briefly visited this area but our visit was cut short by a trip to the London Eye. 


We headed to the Bond Street Tube Station, bought our day tickets and got on the Central Line to Notting Hill Gate stop. Familiar with the way, we quickly got to Portobello Road and the market. It was quite busy with lots of little shops and stands. Most of what is sold there are antiques. Much of that is junk. At first the sun was shining and it was warm, but quickly a front move in and cooled, though at least it did not rain. We had our first beer at the Portobello Star pub. I had a Flowers Bitters because it was off the pull. Karen had a Stella.


Stores began closing around 4, so finished our tour of the market before 5pm. We tubed back to the hotel and rested up a bit. Surprisingly we both felt pretty good with the time change. Taking the sleeping pills was a good move and I think from now on we will always do the same.


Karen had spied a department store near us on Oxford Street, Selfridges, so we headed there next, on our way to dinner. To me it looked like every other department store, so Karen liked it. 


For dinner we had decided to go to the Gloucester Road area in Kensington, location of our first and third visits to London. We were going to go to the Stanhope pub, where I had had my first beer in England 8 years ago, but they were packed with people watching some Euro Cup Soccer match (not involving England). We ended up at the Hereford, another place we had visited in the past. I had a Courage Bitter (on cask) and Karen had a Kronenberg lager. We both had Bangers and Mash for dinner. Delicious! Afterwards we headed over to what was once the Forum Hotel, the first place we had stayed in London. It is now a Holiday Inn, but it still contains the pub we really liked. I had a 1774 Worthington and Karen had Sambuca.

  We got back to the hotel around half past 9pm. The U.S. Open was on and we watched until falling asleep.  

Day 2