The Contiki European Encounter
Day 1 & Day 2
26 & 27 july
We arrived at JFK airport ready for our overnight flight to London. Dave's parents got him to the airport 4 hours prior to departure to make sure he got there in time. Check-in went smoothly after I admitted I was "just kidding" when I told them that a Muslim guy hanging around the airport asked me to check some baggage for him.
We boarded and settled into our seats behind the wing of the Boeing 747-700. The plane pulled away from JFK's Terminal One and we were only 6 hours away from London.
Virgin lived up to all our expectations, with a 4" TV screen, choice of 12 movies, choice of 3 meals, Nintendo games, unlimited alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and a snack before landing, and an ice-cream snack. The plane also had a cool sky-map that let you see your progress and how much time was left.
Day 2 begins...We landed at 7:30 am the next day London time, with no sleep, and set off to explore London. We took the bus from the airport to the hotel, it took just over an hour and then it was time to explore.
On her Majesty's Secret Service
We walked through a good deal of the city, seeing the Rosetta stone and various mummies and artifacts at the British Museum. We saw the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, and the Victorian gardens as we walked along the River Thames. We entered Westminster Abbey and looked at the tombs and art. Dave got an audio tour so he was able to explain a lot to me. We walked back toward the hotel, passing Buckingham Palace and walking down Pall Mall toward Trafalgar Square. After we settled into the room (a room with a pants press no less!) we headed toward Club Contiki in the Royal National Hotel a block away to meet our tour group. We met Deb the Tour Manager and Howie the Driver for the first time and met people from our group. After the brief meeting, Dave and I had penne al'arriabiata at an Italian restaurant near the hotel. Post-dinner (about 8 pm) we went to the Contiki offices to do a little emailing and then it was back to the hotel to catch up on sleep, ready for a big day of taking the bus to Amsterdam.
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