Sunday, December 30, 2007

London (are we there yet?)

Jube and I are still in France, but I finally have time to start writing about our trip! It has been full of activities, so that Sunday morning is the only time I have had to sit down in front of the computer to catch up.

On Saturday evening we caught our flight to Marseille. As I'm sure you remember, we had a long layover in London which required us to switch airports and amuse ourselves for 8 hours or so. To pass the time, we decided to spend the day at the Tower of London.

As you can see, the London fog really gave us the impression that we had gone back in time. It was impossible to see any modern buildings while touring the Tower of London. While the weather wasn't the best for my recovering cold or photos of the city, we had a good time taking the tube and touring a bit of the city.

The fog didn't lift all day; the closest we came to seeing the sun was when we emerged from the left luggage counter at King's Cross Station. We did not capture photographic evidence of this amazing moment.

Funnily enough, it seemed to us that most of the tourists we encountered were French. They must have taken advantage of the beginning of the school holiday to spend a long weekend in London. Every time we heard another French-speaking group of vacationers we were reminded of our final destination.

After all of that, it was time for us to take the train to Gatwick. British Air has a new option of printing out your boarding pass in advance; all you have to do is drop off your checked luggage and you can go on in. We used this option in Washington, which was great! We used the "preferred passenger" check-in line and were out in at least half the time of the normal people. However, we ran into two problems at Gatwick: everyone there seemed to have printed out their tickets in advance; and I threw away our boarding passes before getting to the check-in station.

Luckily I knew which trash can they were in, so I ran downstairs and pulled them out (in front of a couple of disgusted passengers). The line for the checked baggage was a quite a bit longer than in Washington, but we made it through. At least half of the flights leaving from Gatwick that day had been cancelled due to the fog. Luckily our plane was only delayed by an hour, which we used to try to stay awake.

We finally arrived in Marseille at midnight. My left ear was completely clogged and I was ready for bed, so when we walked out of customs to find le Parisien and Jube's Marseillais cousin with cameras flashing in our faces, I was less than thrilled. Jube was very happy to see everyone, and was in a much better mood. We finally fell asleep at around 2am French time, with Jube assuring everyone that he would be up and about by 9am. We woke around noon the next day...


Helene said...

OMG...lucky the boarding passes were still there...almost reminds me of our dinner experience in Norfolk!!
I'm looking forward to chapter II. How was your lunch in Montpelier?

joy suzanne said...

Happy New Year!