Followers of this blog (all 3 of them), may have read that I was weighing anchor and heading off to London at the end of February. At the time of writing I have now been here for two days, and my legs are sore from my touristy jaunt I did today, I want to make this blog some sort of recordal of my “adventures” in the United Kingdom, so I may start enthusing a lot.
My trip started early on the 28th of February when I caught the Gautrain for the last time en route for the airport. I had booked with Emirates because I had flown with them before and service on the Johannesburg to Dubai leg is wonderful, however I am not a fan of Dubai airport, but more about that later. Unusually the flight was a partial day flight, departing at 13H50. The first leg was on board a Boeing 777-300, one of my favourite commercial airliners, and IMHO one of the most comfortable. On board entertainment was wonderful, and the food and service was top class. I spent most of the flight catching up on movies that I had seen before.
Our arrival at Dubai was after an eight hour flight, which put me at GMT+4. And as usual I looked for those out of the window shots that I so love. I was fortunate that I got day
It was while we were preparing to land that I realised that my bugbear was about to provide a way to a spend the 3 hour layover at Dubai airport. I even did a blogpost about this bugbear of mine. Yep, I had a time zone problem, and even now, two days later I still have not managed to correct the date on my landmine watch. Did I mention it is going to get dumped? Oh, the alarm now goes off at 21H15, and the date is Sunday 14TH.
Dubai airport, is crowded, large and impersonal, full of golf carts arrogantly shoving people aside and incomprehensible announcements. Part two of my flight was on one of those new fangled Airbus jobbies, They even have a dedicated terminal, and you get there by train! My other bugbear with Dubai airport is that you cannot see the aircraft from inside it. So the only pic I have of that particular aircraft is this one… Yes, there is a thumping great Airbus behind the lace curtains.
Boarding took ages, after all there were a lot of people to squeeze into it, and I must admit it was very similar inside to the 777, I do suspect the people on the top deck probably had gold plated taps in the bathroom, but there were none in economy.
The flight was uneventful, although we were now heading back to GMT. (I won’t even comment on trying to get my watch to understand that)
Then we dropped out of the sky into a damp and chilly London Heathrow. It was time to put my new visa to the test, and surprisingly enough passing through immigration was easy. Now I had to find my way to Kennington in South London which was where I was staying until 8 Feb. There were 3 options: Heathrow Express, Tube, or Coach. I suspect I am sucker for a train so chose the Tube. I had to change trains at 3 different places but surprisingly that in itself was a breeze. I do remember sitting on that tube from Heathrow with my luggage and heavy eyes from the lack of sleep; with people all around tied up in their own world of cell phones, headsets or books. They were on their way to work, I was on my way to a new life.
I emerged from the station after my long flights and dragged my luggage to where I was staying. Fortunately I had emerged at Oval instead of Kennington, and strangely enough never photographed Oval station. However, part 2 of day 1 will come later, because today I spent in London sightseeing and my muscles are screaming in pain. I am not as young as I used to be. Realistically though, there is a lot to do between today and the end of the week. For starters I need a NINO, sim card for my phone, accommodation from next week onwards, open a bank account, and of course find a job.
DRW © 2013-2020. Images recreated 26/03/2016