It’s time for a new vacation!!
On this trip, my Momma and I are off to the Baltic for an exciting (and exhausting trip!).
I was so very excited that on our flight to Copenhagen, we were able to take advantage of a 23 hour connection in London!
Now, subtract immigration time, transit time, sleeping time, security time back at the airport, and the fact that it was a Monday so everything seemed to close by 5 pm, and you’re not left with a whole lot of time to do things, but we were able to sneak in a couple of things that I wanted to see/do in London that were missed on my last visit. (Really, there is so much to do in London that I think I could visit for a full month and not run out of things to do, but this trip had specific sites to see!)
Our flight left Ottawa nearly one hour late (which seems to be the norm leaving Ottawa now) … I wanted to sleep, but even at 11:00 pm, they serve dinner on the flight over. Why on earth they don’t just serve a snack and then give a proper breakfast a couple of hours before we land is beyond me. Instead we get a crappy late-night supper, and a slice of cold, sad banana bread in the morning.
Once we landed and picked up our luggage (because even though we were on one ticket for our two flights, the time between the two was just long enough that they were considering them two separate flights and we had to pick up our suitcases, and then the next morning re-check everything in), we followed the signs to the Central Bus Terminal where we were looking for Bus 285, which is conveniently free until Hatton Cross Tube Station, where we needed to get off!!! (Side Note … We had thought about taking the tube to Hatton Cross, but there is no elevator/escalator at that station, and we couldn’t stand the idea of hauling our suitcases up several flights of stairs!) The bus came after about 10 minutes of waiting and was fairly quick. From Hatton Cross, it was about a 10 minute walk to the hotel (less once we got rid of our suitcases!).
Even though it was fairly early … about 1:00 pm, we were able to check-in, go to our room, and have a short rest before heading out for some sightseeing.
The room was a typical Hilton Garden Inn – clean and comfortable, with great front staff and nice sitting areas in the public rooms. I must say, I loved that you have to insert your key card in order to get to a floor in the hotel. It always makes me feel a tad safer in a hotel.
After freshening up, we headed back to Hatton Cross Station to load up my Oyster Card, and buy one for my mom … it was fairly straightforward, but a lovely employee came over to make sure we knew what we were doing, and she gave us nice little card holders.
We were on the Piccadilly Line which brought us right to where we wanted to be … Holborn Station, which was a fairly close walk to the British Museum. I’d wanted to visit here for quite some time, but on my last visit, I was so sick, we ended up skipping it. So even though I knew we wouldn’t have a lot of time here, I still wanted to see the museum itself.
Security here was fairly quick – I think it helped that we arrived so late in the day – so we were inside within minutes. There is no charge to visit this museum, although they have plenty of donation boxes scattered throughout the museum encouraging donations of £5.00 per person.
It was rushed … I had no time to enjoy anything – although I did try to stop and enjoy fully several exhibits … it was crowded – I can only imagine what it is like in high season … and you know what? I loved it. This was a stunning museum filled with so much history (and yes, how it was acquired is often controversial) and I can’t wait to return.
Here are a few of my favourite artifacts from the afternoon …
After leaving the museum, we set out on a stroll for King’s Cross Station. We were pooped – utterly exhausted. We happened to stop to get our bearings at a bus stop and when we looked up, lo and behold there was a bus heading for King’s Cross Station! It was a sign! We hopped on and enjoyed the ride!
Once there, I was on a mission .. I had a renewed energy as I hunted down Platform 9 3/4 (don’t worry if you can’t find it … muggles have trouble with it!). I had been warned that the queue for having your picture taken could be quite long, so I was ecstatic when we arrived and only waited 20 minutes!! It was the thrill of the day!!
After a quick stop at Little Waitrose in King’s Cross Station to get some provisions for both dinner and breakfast, it was back off to the tube to head to the hotel. We accidentally got on the line that split to the direction we didn’t want to go, but luckily, the announcements are frequent and we knew to get off and switch.
Back at the hotel, it wasn’t long before sleep called … what a fantastic day and a great start to our Baltic Cruise Vacation!!