Day 119 Beijing to London

Finally the day had arrived when we would say goodbye to Asia and hello Europe.  This was going to be the very first time that any of us had set foot in Europe and we were most excited; although not looking forward to the 11 hour flight.

Another early start for us all to get to the airport so we could beat the Beijing road and rail traffic.  Our flight wasn’t until 11.15 am but we knew that by 7.30 am the roads would be congested and the trains would be starting to get crowded with people. To avoid this, we thought it was much better to start out early. We checked out of the lovely Heyuan Hotel and easily got a taxi to the nearest train station for 10 yuan. Saved us a short but heavy walk with backpacks.  We got the train to Dongzimen station and then the airport express line to the international terminal.  Once we made it through all the check-in etc we could sit and relax and wait … and wait because again our plane was late; this time 1/2 hour.

Finally we boarded our British Airways flight. We were lucky that the plane was 1/2 empty. With my booking skills we ended up with two window seats  and we ended up with 6 seats between the four of us so we could spread out.  The kids enjoyed their kid meals and the hostess gave them a Paddington Bear activity pack each that Patrick enjoyed; she gave one to Harris although she acknowledged he might not really like it given he was older.  I decided he should send it to his small cousin Erin.  Look out for that in the mail one day soon.

No sooner were we in the air, Patrick fell asleep.  Wish we all could have had a nap that early. When we touched down in London many hours later we were all exhausted, fracitious and totally clueless on how we would get to East Croydon where our apartment was located. How did we get there?  4 trains.

Yep, you read correctly. 4 trains. Somehow we managed to work out the London underground and train system, because they are different.  No thanks can be given to the staff who were totally unenthused and somewhat rude.  To the train employee wally that stated, “You should be there. That is the symbol of the National Rail and has been for the last 30 years” … &#^@*!  That is what I think after I have been awake for 20 hours and in England for less than 2 hours.

When we arrived at East Croydon train station we decided in our tired state to get a taxi to our apartment complex, Latitude 25 Apartments.  In a less tired state we later learnt that it is walking distance; but not after 20 wakeful hours.  The apartment was a godsend – 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, kitchen, washer and dryer.  We fell into bed easily that night. What a day!



  • reasha ba June 16, 2011

    enjoy the UK, and love your blog :)

  • Baigrie Family June 16, 2011

    Thanks! Keep reading because we have some adventures and misadventures ahead of us for sure as we drive to Sweden!

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