The thing about Europe, for an Australian at least, is that its so far away that once you decide to make the trip, the lure of being on the doorstep of so many countries is overwhelmingly exciting. In Australia, you can’t even travel from one capital city to another in under an hour, so for me, it means that I never learn my lesson about pacing myself with a three night minimum stay in any one place, and I keep greedily adding more and more stops on my trips, like a greedy kid in a lolly shop.
Despite all my best efforts, I’ve once gain put together a month long, lighting-speed trip that will no doubt leave me exhausted at the end, and I don’t even have a stop in Singapore on the way home to ease the landing!
I need a breather – a couple of nights to get it together after my long haul flight from Melbourne. So that’s why I’m back in London. I doubt I’ll see much of it – I mean, what can you even do in what will effectively boil down to one full day?
But I’m getting ahead of myself. I’ve just arrived at Heathrow and am quite nervous because last time I was here, I was given a grilling by the immigration officer for not having a fully itemized itinerary of what I intended to do in London. He was really quite awful and told me he shouldn’t probably even let me in! Wonder how backpackers get around that one?
So, fully itemized itinerary of my whole trip in hand, I approach the counter and hope for the best…..all fine. I take it the last guy was just having a crap day and took it out on me.
Usually when I arrive in a city after a long flight, I take the nice easy option of a pre-arranged transfer. But I’m stepping outside my well insulated comfort zone and taking the Heathrow Express to Paddington Station, near my hotel. I had already booked my ticket on line, so all I have to do is follow the signs and jump on board. Fifteen minutes later, I find myself on the platform of Paddington Station ready to find my way to my hotel nearby. It’s all very easy. Though I have done a load of travelling since the last time I was in London, so perhaps I’m just way more confident and aware of what to expect.
My hotel for the next couple of nights is the The Caesar Hotel in Hyde Park – about a five minute walk from Paddington, which is why I chose it because I need to leave from here in a few days time. It’s in a beautiful white building common of the leafy area, newly renovated and modern.
I have no grand illusions of trying to get out and about tonight – I’m tired and the flight was pretty crappy, so I flop down on my nice comfy bed and its not very long until I fall asleep. Ready to go tomorrow.