Thursday, September 3, 2009

Day 1

Super smooth airflight to both Singapore, where we stopped over for 5 hours. Only so much you can do in an airport but Changi is so huge that at least we got to look around. There are 3 big terminals all connected by an automated skytrain that runs between them all. We walked through the butterfly garden, the koi fishfond and of course had some more food to eat as we were only fed every 10 minutes on the plane. Grace booked into the transit hotel for a shower and the rest of the time we just lazed about.

Flight from Singapore to London was in the new airbus plane but unfortunately we were only on the main deck to to us it didn’t really feel any different. 13 hour flight I wouldn’t recommend to anyone, especially when there is a full flight and no spare seats to spread out on. Grace didn’t fare that well and was a bit dilerious before finally getting a few hours sleep on Monny and my lap. Larissa finally grabbed a few minutes sleep while Monny and I only managed a few minutes. Lucky the Singapore airlines have on demand movies, TV, games to keep you entertained. Murph..had a tiger beer just to relive our overseas trip 25 years ago.

Finally arrived at Heathrow at around 6am, which was a relief. The customs and immigration wasn’t as bad as I envisaged and it only took around 45 minutes for us to get through and our driver from JustAirports was waiting for us. He was great making it easy to get out of there and on our way to London. I picked his brain along the way since I would be driving myself in the next couple of weeks.
Arrived at the Grand Plaza apartments around 8:45am. Lucky for us that although check-in wasn’t until 2pm that the room was not being used so they let us use it. The hotel itself could be used for a tourist attraction as a man-made maze..this is our route to our room – from the reception, through a door to a 20 m coridor, veer right down some steps around a corner to a lift. This was so small that only 2 people at a time could use it. Out the lift at the first floor, veer right through a door, 2 m through another door, 10m veer left up small stairs, through another door, over a corridor through another door 10m, veer right 20m to out room…which by the way was a similar configuration waling up and down stairs. While the rooms are small it is quite cosy.

After unloading our gear we decided to pop out and grab our first taste of the UK and walked down to the Queensway which is around 50m from our apartment. Had a bit of breakfast and then decided that we weren’t going to make it through the day as we were all looking like zombies. An executive decision was made and after brekkie we went back to the apartment and decided just to grab a few hours sleep…any more and our body clocks would be out of whack. Got up around 2pm and decided to have a bit of a walk. Back to the Queensway and took the other direction down to Hyde Park…unbelievable amount and variation of eating places…we must be in heaven.
Did a lot of walking around Hyde Park…what a fantastic place to unwind. Grace especially loved the Princess Diana Memorial Playground which was pretty packed for a school day. It sprayed with rain a few times but not enough to deter us. Kept walking down to the Serpentine that runs through the middle of the park. Various things to see along the way…Italian fountains, Princess Diana water feature. Made our way back all very tired but it was a nice way to finish off a hectic and long period.

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