Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Day One in London--10/1/11

This is going to be several days of recapping--so here it goes! 

Last Friday, we took a red-eye to London, left Newark at about 9:30 PM and arrived at about 9:30 AM (local time) in London.  It was good in that we didn't waste a whole day traveling, but it was also challenging because since we arrived so early, I wanted to try to stay awake the whole day to adjust to the time faster.  I did sleep a little bit on the plane, so that was helpful.

We got to our hotel, the Ramada Encore, at about 11 AM.  Normally check-in time isn't until about 3 PM, but luckily they had a room available and let us check in early.  Thank goodness!  We were so grateful to be able to put our stuff in our room and unpack and rest a little before going out.  I don't know what we would have done if we couldn't check in.  We also got a free upgrade to their "executive suite."  Score!
Our room

View from our hotel room

We loved our hotel...the staff were very friendly and helpful, the hotel was very modern and comfortable.  We have absolutely no complaints about it!  It was about a 20 minute tube ride to the city center of London, and the tube stop was about 2 blocks away.
Ramada Encore Hotel

We had bought tickets in advance to a play (The Globe Mysteries) at the Shakespeare Globe Theater.  When we bought the tickets, we knew there was a chance we might not be able to go if our flight got delayed or if we were just too tired.  Mark was actually exhausted when we got to the hotel and fell asleep for a little over an hour.  I had trouble waking him up, but he said he still wanted to go to the show.  We found our way to the theater, which was built to represent the way the theater looked in the time of Shakespeare.  It was really cool.  One drawback was that London was having an unusual heat wave for the first few days we were there...so it was actually quite warm and stagnant in the theater, which is outdoors.
On Millennium Bridge on our way to the Globe Theater

In the Shakespeare Globe Theater

Outside the Theater

The show finished at about 4 PM and we had dinner at an Italian restaurant called Zizzi, which was by the Globe Theater and also along the river Thames.
View of the river Thames from the restaurant

On our way back to the tube, we stopped by St. Paul's Cathedral.
St. Paul's Cathedral--a bride was about to walk down the aisle

St. Paul's Cathedral

I was pretty exhausted by the early evening.  We went back to our hotel and I had some fish and chips at the hotel restaurant later in the evening before calling it a night.  Overall, a good first day!

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