The pretty town of Schöningen, Germany .
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Schöningen, Germany.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? North to Hamburg!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Arrived safely in London!

We are in London, England! Almost feels a little surreal, because the whole travel experience seems to have gone by extremely quickly, even though we didn't get much sleep on our overnight flight. We landed at Gatwick Airport 15 minutes ahead of schedule, and then had to collect our bags.

So there we were trying to get off the plane quickly because we had booked a bus into London, and if we missed that bus there was the possibility that it would cost us more money. We were seated in the 3rd row, right near the exit so we could make a fast getaway! Wrong! The passenger loading bridge that they attach to the plane was hooked up to a door further to the much for that.

However, we had no luggage at all so even though quite a few people got off before us, we were able to pass most of them on the way to clear U.K. customs. we only had a 5 minute wait to get through customs, and had no problem at all. The customs gal was cheery and welcomed us to England with a big smile. We've done a lot of traveling, and in comparison, the Americans customs people could learn something from that. The lesson is, you can still do your job efficiently, and be happy and pleasant about it in the process!

Then it was off to the luggage carousel. We were the first ones there! We even beat the luggage, but it wasn't long before it started coming out from whatever goes on in that luggage neverland behind the flaps!

What we were trying to avoid!

My bag came through fairly quickly. And then we waited. And we waited. And we waited some more. How could my bag come out so quickly, and then no sign of Ruth's? Finally, Ruth suggested I go for a walk around the carousel. Sure enough, there by the start of the carousel was Ruth's bag sitting on the floor! Some moron took it off the carousel, figured out it wasn't their's, and just left it there. Who does that??!!

Anyhow, everything as it should be, and we were off to find our bus. We had booked ahead of time with easybus for only £2.00 ($3.20) per person for the one hour bus ride to the Earl's Court tube (subway) station. And we made it to the bus stop with 15 minutes to spare! But if we hadn't landed 15 minutes ahead of schedule, it would have been very tight timing!

Waiting for the bus to London. What is that blue in the sky? Well, it's blue in the sky!

Wasn't easy to get any decent photos from the bus, and the window was kind of dirty anyhow. But you can sure see how green things are!

Green countryside, and blue sky! Considering England has had a lot of cold and rain lately, we were very happy with this kind of weather welcome!

One of the first things we saw on the highway was this nice little motorhome!

And of course the famous London double decker buses.

The bus took us to only one drop off spot, at Earl's Court. We actually went to the West Brompton line, and bought our Oyster travel card. The card itself cost £5, but it's only a deposit and we get that back when we turn the card in at the end of our time in London. Then, we put £15 of credit on each card and we'll see how long that lasts. If there is less than £5 of credit on the card when we are done with it, we get that refunded as well. So we'll have to be careful not to put more on than we'll be able to use.

Then, it was one subway ride, switch to another line for a second subway ride, switch to an overland train for a few stops, and then a 15 minute walk to Ruth's aunt and uncle's place where we're staying until the 21st.

Having a snack in the atrium in Nice and Philip's backyard.

Nice (pronounced as in "Bernice") and Phillip have a wonderful old townhome in the Hackney district of London. And with a small, but beautiful backyard.

Hopefully we will get more nice days where we can sit outside in the garden!

Nice and Phillip made us a snack and we had a hot drink and then went off to bed for a two hour nap! The five hour time change will take a bit of getting used to, but we don't normally have much of a problem with jet lag.

And that's been our trip so far. Tomorrow, we'll do a full report on our Sunwing flight!

Oh, one more thing. We got a statement from the Australia contest organizers (no, they did not announce the nine finalists)...

Contest update: Thank you for your patience while we worked out the voting issue. The top entries for the 9 destinations have been sent to the judges. The winning entrant will be contacted early next week. Once all legal paperwork has been signed we'll be able to officially announce the winner. Thanks for your patience and stay tuned!


  1. That yard is delicious! What a nice place to relax.

  2. Glad you made it safely and all is well with the luggage.
    The atrium and backyard are lovely. Enjoy your day! or is it night now?

  3. Ok the idea of travelling light is that you don't check in any bags - saves any chance of them going astray and waiting time at the baggage carousel.

    Secondly that is not a nice little motorhome - you are in England now and that is at least a mid size if not a big one!

    Time for an English lesson - it is not a subway it is an underground.

    Good luck with the Australia contest.

    Anyway glad you have made it safely and look forward to seeing you next week. x

    1. We understand that Glen and have packed accordingly. Our problem was with Sunwing's regulations, we have met Ryan's regulations of 10kg carry on but Sunwing has a strict one of only 5kgs which we couldn't meet so in this case had to check our luggage.

  4. Best to go for a brief nap right away I find. Still takes me a couple days to come around after getting to Europe. Going home I can't stay up past 9 or 10 for just about the first whole week.
    You hit the weather window pretty good. It was quite nasty in most of the UK just a few days ago. Our landing in Birmingham on Friday night was definitely a "cross wind landing"!
    I like the luggage carousels where you can see pretty much the whole thing at once, either that or I try to stay close to the start of where the bags come out.
    Have a nice sleep!

  5. Well done....arrived safe and sound....once up from you wee nap you shall be heading out pronto!! Moron indeed!

    Did you notice, the door to the RV and the awning are wrong side around.

    1. To the British this is the correct side for the door and awning. Remember the British drive on the other side of the road therefore the driver is in the right hand side of the vehicle and just like us the door and awning would then be on the passenger side of the vehicle.

  6. Glad to see that you had a safe trip and the weather was a pleasant welcome for you. You sure can make a lot of connections in a very short amount of time! A sure sign of "seasoned travelers", I think. Hope you had a nice nap, and enjoy the next travel.

  7. Hope you get a good rest and are ready to go. :)

  8. glad you landed safely!..enjoy your stay!

  9. So glad you got your fancy luggage packs and that one didn't disappear! ...

    Excited to see what you are going to do next.

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House… BIG Backyard

  10. Oh wow, it looks so lovely over there. How frustrating with your luggage!

  11. Enjoy your time in London. It is a crazy place. I struck good weather too while there.


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