My flights went well, the first flight was a short hop from Austin (AUS) to Houston (IAH). The Great Bargin that I had found was on British Airways – leaving from one of their departure cities, and Houston was the closest. Originally I thought I could just drive, but after a few quick checks, I found a 90$ roundtrip on Continental. This seemed like a better deal. If I had tried to book it all through BA, the flights from AUS->IAH would have been a couple hundred bucks… In this case it was much better for me to book separately, especially since I didn’t plan to check any baggage.
One thing I always marvel at is International Travel, I love walking thru the International departures and seeing all the people waiting for flights, it is usually one of the best people watching spots on the Planet. On this particular night, the Houston International Concourse was deserted. Except for one flight departing to Dubai, or Saudi Arabia – which was boarding when I walked by, there were no other Foreign carriers and no one waiting around. I think all the US based carriers just depart out of what ever gate they end up at. I still had about two hours for my BA flight and the plane had not arrived yet, so seeing nothing going on, I headed over to the Continental concourse, and grabbed a bite to eat.
Sleeping on a plane is always impossible for me, but I managed about 30 minutes here and there. The flight was practically empty, which was nice. When food was served it didn’t take long, I sampled it, but since it was mostly un-edible I also quickly gave it back… I tend to catch up on my Movies during flights.
Arriving at Heathrow, I breezed thru immigration – and into the main Terminal, the place was buzzing, I found the tube ticket counter and confirmed the best option for me was a 7 day travel card plus about 10lbs credit, all on an Oystercard. After getting some cash, I was off on the TUBE… it didn’t take long to fill up, it was about 12 noon, and everyone seemed to be headed into London. The ride actually takes a while, initially I had chosen a seat, there ended up being so many folks packed onto the carriage, that I didn’t bother to get off at my intended stop, instead I waited till it cleared out a little, and doubled back. Lesson learned… if carrying the pack, don’t sit down where you can’t get off.
Gloucester Road was my goal, and coming out of the Tube Station, I had lost all bearing on North/South, East/West even though I had studied maps and google earth before the trip. It’s hard to miss the Holiday Inn Kensington, as it seems to be one of the tallest buildings in West London. After checking into my Free Room, I quickly reduced to my carry along backpack and set off to explore. Look out London, here I come.