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Chris Sayer’s Travel Diary

Saturday, 25 Aug 2007

Location: London, UK

MapAfter just 5 hours in London, the icons just kept on coming.
To start with, we arrived on the classic QF9 – the famous Qantas 747 flight that has been bringing Aussies to London for years, and it arrives at 5 in the morning. After catching the Heathrow Express train into Paddington and checking into our Sussex Gardens hotel (consisting of a very small, basic but comfortable room - pity about having to drag the two heavy suitcases up the 3 flights of narrow stairs), we headed out into the fresh London morning. It was 7.30am. Through Bayswater, past Marble Arch and Hyde Park, through Mayfair and Park Lane (looking forward to collecting two hundred dollars as we pass “Go”) and into Green Park. Wandering rather aimlessly through this lovely park and marveling at the squirrels (the locals probably wonder why tourists think these varmits are cute), we literally stumble onto Buckingham Palace as it emerged through the trees, taking us completely by surprise. Standing on the Queen Victoria monument at the front gates to the Palace, we look the opposite way, down the Mall to see the giant ferriswheel of the London Eye and Big Ben in the distance. Yesterday we were in little old Lonnie, half a world away. Yep – we’re definitely in London. And that was only in the first hour’s walk from the hotel. Londoners were still making their way to work on a normal Friday morning.
On the way back to the hotel, we walked up to Piccadilly Circus, turned down Regent Street, into Oxford Street, and we imagine that we’re walking a giant Monopoly board.
We also walked to Knightsbridge to see HARRODS, bought pastries and yoghurt drinks and ate lunch in Hyde Park on the way back to Sussex Gardens. Sore feet, rather exhausted with little sleep the night before, but ... wow ...