Sunday, August 30, 2009

When the flight is too short

What kind of silly complaint is that?

It's actually more of an observation. Yesterday we first flew SEA (Seattle) to ORD (Chicago O'Hare) where we had a leisurely layover.

We then boarded a UA 767 for the flight to LHR (London Heathrow), leaving at 6:00 p.m. or so Central time (4:00 p.m. PDT). What with a strong tailwind, we landed only a little over seven hours later, around 7:30 a.m. local time. That left us with only a couple of hours to catch a nap after dinner. We've arrived in Australia feeling more rested after a much longer flight. Still, it was a pleasant flight, with the largely British cabin crew as pleasant and hospitable as we'd heard they were.

We were among the very first in the Immigration line for non-EU passport-holders. That was a lucky break, since around 8:00 a.m. local time there was only one officer on duty - amazing!

After waiting in a queue to buy an Oyster card for the underground, we hopped on a tube and arrived in Canary Wharf about an hour later after one transfer.

We're staying at the Hilton Canary Wharf and it's a lovely hotel in a revitalized area that could be Melbourne or Minneapolis or any one of a number of other places. It was the scene of the London docks where a lot of shipments came in. The rise of container cargo made it obsolescent. The hotel staff have been very accommodating, to coin a phrase, and fixed us up with a room as soon as they could. We broke one of our rules and took a short nap - the trick is not to sleep too long or you'll never get asleep that night - and awoke feeling revitalized.

We strolled around the area and found a Marks & Spenser store in a complex across the footbridge where we could buy some water with minimal sodium content. What's with this mineral water everybody wants to drink?

Now we're mooching off the free computers in the Executive Lounge and it's time to give others a turn.

It's great to be back in London only a couple of months after our last visit and we're looking forward to seeing more of it tomorrow.

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