We had a reasonable day time flight from AKL to KL on a Malaysian Airways 737, staying overnight in the Tune Hotel at KLIA Terminal 2. Our bags had been forwarded to the UK therefore there was nothing to collect. On arrival at KL1, we located the train to take us to KL2 which is the new terminal a few kilometres from KL1. The cost of the train was 2 Ringit, therefore we had to locate an exchange to convert $NZ5 into 13 ringgit. After a little wandering around we found the train a level 1 which took us to KL2. A quick walk through the sparkling new shopping mall and we were at the Tune hotel. It is a clean, tidy, basic hotel with all furnishing in red and black for $NZ70 app per night.
The following morning we discovered that there was a shuttle bus to connect the KL1 terminal. Not only was it free but it was closer to the arrivals and departure lounges. There was no tea/coffee facilities in the Tune hotel therefore grabbed a hot drink in the small supermarket and later in KL1 went to food court on Level 2 for roti and curry sauce. Then on to catch an A380 for the flight to London. We left at 10.15am and after 12 hours arrived at Heathrow at 5.00pm. Because it was a daytime flight we both stayed awake all the way, either reading or watching movies. Air Malaysia only has about 3 of the recent movie releases.
It was very handy that we had purchased a London transports Oyster card and could use the underground without the hassle of purchasing a train ticket. The oyster card cannot be used on the Fast train to London. We caught the underground tube direct to Covent Garden where coming out of the station the narrow cobblestone streets were crowded with people either walking, talking, shopping, looking at street shows etc. It was a warm early evening. A five minute walk took us to Josh and Will’s apartment..
Josh was there to welcome us and including a lovely welcome bath. We now know why Marie was so impressed, It is a lovely airy, light, spacious, corner, top floor 2 bed roomed apartment overlooking the street. The stairs up to the 3rd floor were step and the treads narrow
We went around the corner for dinner at a Thai restaurant with Josh and Will. Then went to bed to try to recover from the trip.
The next day we had a quiet day and went for a walk through Covent Garden, Soho, and Piccadilly Circus to Leicester Square. We had a pub lunch and the came back to the apartment for a quick rest but didn’t go out again as we fell asleep. Josh cooked dinner and as per usually it was great. We were in bed by 10.30
We were woken early in the morning to the sounds of clanging and it was the weekly delivery of kegs to the pub outside the window. We are not use to the noises of an inner city.
The apartment is surrounded by sound for most hours of the day: shoppers spending their money, pub patrons drinking their beers in their roped off area in the small square, horse and cart clanging by, ice cream van vendor who is parked every day on the edge of the square, drunken street artist who is there sometimes [so we were told], ……
This morning we started out at 8.30 with Josh, catching the tube to Monument Station, walking Josh to his offices and then we were off to the Tower of London. There were not many people when we arrived so we had a good look at the Crown Jewels and spent almost 4 hours looking at the various buildings in the Tower complex. It was well worth the effort to go early to the Tower as by the time we came out the Crown Jewels building the grounds were getting quite crowd..
We walked up to Josh’s office and had a beer with him in the Leadenhall Markets which are an old market area which has been done up and has lots of eating places. Crowded with people – drinking and eating.
After Josh had left to go back to work we purchased two filled rolls and sat in the sun to eat them. We then walked to St Paul’s cathedral and spent the rest of the afternoon in there, including climbing up to the Whispering Gallery and then right to the top at the outside of the dome for great views of London. I cannot remember how many steps there were to the top but there were a hell of a lot.
We caught the tube home and waited for J & W to come home then a taxi to KnightsBridge to see stage show – Wicked. We had good seats considering we had booked so late.
Caught the tube and a walk to the Barbacian Museum to see the Digital exhibition which was of computers, games and fun programs since computers were invented. Simple games to complex displays. Very interesting.
That night Josh cooked a lamb roast. Again a lovely meal.
A walk to the National Portrait Gallery and a look at some of the paintings. It would of good to have a better understanding of British Royal history.
It was again a hot day and the streets were full of tourists. The numerous pubs and restaurants were full by midday
A quick trip back to the apartment to watch Tour de France prior to collecting our gear for our weekend away in Wessex with Pam and Allan – hash house friends who we have met numerous times in different places around the world. The Tour broadcast by British EuroSport Live is not as half as interesting as the one that is available to Australia and NZ. They do not talk about the regions and the history. Do bit seen it know anything much about where they are. Whenever the broadcaster ran out of words to do with the race, they reverted to previously recorded interviews with the competitors.