Over two years since I last visited London, I boarded two trains with minutes to spare each time (after trying to get onto the wrong platform at Waverley) and arrived mid afternoon. I'm staying with a couple of friends who have space for me to sleep on a very large bean bag.
Recently in Edinburgh Category
I had a long wait before my flight to Edinburgh so I changed my remaining USD back into GBP and read my book for a few hours. The flight was then delayed another 45 minutes while they removed the luggage of someone who had failed to show up for their connecting flight. By this time it really felt like 4am and I was struggling to stay awake.
With my overfilled suitcase ready, I woke up too early just after 6am and left to get the bus, arriving just in time to see the next bus leave without me at 8am. I got to EDI at 9am and waited for my flight with my $600 in monopoly money (it's just identically sized bits of paper with ink on it).
Arriving at LHR at noon I had some over-priced fish and chips for lunch then
tried to miss caught my flight to SFO with plenty of time to spare (it doesn't help that they tell you there's a lack of toilets far far away from the gate). There was less leg room in Economy on this United flight than the BMI flight from Edinburgh. They make you walk from the front of the plane through First Class so you can see what you're missing. Annoyingly we flew over Edinburgh on the way there... Two snack meals later and I'm in San Francisco just before 5pm.
After getting through Homeland Security and collecting my suitcase (which made it all the way here intact), I found my way outside to be greeted by clear skies and the sun directly facing me. The shuttle driver managed to avoid crashing into the highway barrier and then another car in the opposite lane long enough to get me to my hotel. There are far too many streets at 45 degree angles here...
I checked into my room at 7pm, Thomas and Jon appeared two minutes later. We went to Lefty O'Doul's just around the block from the hotel. About an hour later Jeff and his friend Koen arrived, then Colin and Alex later. We stayed until closing time (2am) and I tried to sleep through the heat, jet lag and the continuous noise of the air conditioning from the building opposite.
I got up at 7:30am and managed to repack my suitcase and check out in time to reach Earl's Court for 9am. The King's Cross St. Pancras tube station was announced as closed due to overcrowing - fortunately it opened up again quickly and I managed to get on the third Piccadilly line train (the first two were too crowded and I couldn't get on while holding a suitcase). I reached the train to Waverley 15 minutes before it was due to leave and finished reading the book I brought and read on the way down.
Eventually it arrived at Edinburgh early in plenty of time to catch the train to Dalgety Bay where I arrived just after 3pm. Unfortunately it was pouring with rain and there was no 1524 bus on the route I needed, so I had to wait at the stop for 45 minutes or get myself and the suitcase soaking wet trying to walk home. I got back just after 4pm and started waiting for ASDA to deliver food.
After squashing everything into my suitcase last night, I left just after 9am for the train to Edinburgh, which was about 5 minutes late... arriving at Waverley on time I was soon on the four-and-a-half-hour journey to King's Cross - arriving just before 3pm where I then got on the Piccadilly line tube (full but not too busy) and walked to the hotel.
Once I had checked in, I met up with Peter, Thomas, Gavin, Jeff, Joe and Colin at The Courtfield around 4:30pm where they had been since late morning. After a shift change and early in the evening the bar manager came over and actually complained that we weren't buying enough drinks! Dinner at ASK was booked for 8:30pm but we got fed up waiting and went there early just before 7pm. They were able to seat us fairly quickly and Pierre arrived after 8pm.
After the meal (Gamberi al Forno (marinated prawns), Lasagne Verdi, and Honeycomb Cheesecake), we all went home around 9pm because several of our group hadn't slept for quite a long time. The hotel's wireless internet access isn't free - something which is not mentioned on their website. It also appears to be 802.11g only, so my old 802.11b adapter was useless. I could have borrowed an adapter but they had none left. The walls don't block out much of the sound from people moving around and talking in the hotel so I got off to sleep around 1am.