Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Ode to Heathrow - Terminal 4

"Here we sit all broken hearted . . ."

No wait! That's not the one.

Well, we managed to get to Heathrow in good form, now we're just waiting to see if the airplane will come here as well.

We received a very early "wake-up" call from son, Justin, who doesn't have a world clock (we'll get him one next time).


We then went back to sleep and, fortunately, Karen heard the hotel wake-up call. My ears, which occasionally plug up to the point where I can't hear have been going downhill the past few days (Karen is to the point where she repeats things now even before I say "what"?) and I slept through my mobile phone alarm.

Well, we had arranged for a back-up wake up call (which worked), finished up packing. There was a taxi waiting for us (pre-arranged, it wasn't magic), who whisked us off to Gard de Nord. Well, he whisked us off, got lost, and whisked us around a bit before finding Gard de Nord, which was there, just where they had built it originally. Fortunately, he kept the meter running, so he wasn't out any cash.

At Gard de Nord, we started looking for the famed "Eurostar" to London. You'd of thought they would have HUGE SIGNS showing where this famed "Chunnel" thing was. Well, they had a bunch of little signs, some of which pointed upstairs and an equal amount of which pointed down. We felt like Dorothy asking the Scarecrow for directions.

Eventually, we discovered the answer to this particular mystery. You had to go upstairs, check-in, go through customs and security, and then go downstairs two flights.

The train arrived, and we had some further confusion over their car numbering (6 before 7, except after 17), but eventually settled down. The ride was FAST, very smooth and comfortable. They even included a full hot breakfast - no complaints. Made it through the Chunnel fine (Karen hates tunnels, she didn't know that before Europe, I hate high bridges - I've always known that).

Made it to London - Waterloo Station - and had a marvelous taxi ride to Heathrow. It's expensive, but when you have a ton of luggage, it's a bit muggy, and you're tired after a lot of traveling, it was worth it. The taxi driver was a hoot, his son was getting married down in the Cotswolds (through which we traveled, oh, so long ago) this weekend. He got us here in fine style.

We checked in (well, of course, we were a bit early for British Airways and advised "We can't quite take your baggage right away, why don't you pop around the corner for a spot of tea and come back?"). After check-in, we actually had a very nice lunch here.

More later, have to head to the gate.

Gary & Karen

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