We stopped through London two times. On the
first pass we stopped over for only 7 hours, between
Sao Paulo and Cairo to Kenya. Since London is our only stop in
Europe on this trip, we figured we needed to see some sights and get
some pictures just to say we were in Europe. We had both been to
London separately, but this was our first time together.
On our second pass through London, between Egypt
and India, we decided to spend the night, mostly so that we could buy a
special zoom lens for the digital camera. We had been frustrated
by the marginal zoom capabilities of our digital camera, especially on the
safaris, but we could not find a zoom lens made for our
camera. In Cape Town we found a shop that had a magazine
specifically about digital cameras. In it we found a mail order
company in London that makes a special lens for our camera.
Unfortunately, they would not ship to a hotel, so we made plans via email
to meet one of their sales people while in London. We arrived in
London on a Sunday afternoon and thought that we had the full day in
London the next day to get the lens. Not until the night we
arrived in London did we realize that our flight to India on Monday left
at 11AM. With London traffic and the distance between the hotel
and the distributor, there was no way we could meet with them before our
flight. There is only one flight a day to India and we did not
want to reschedule the train trip in India, so we had to painfully pass
on the zoom lens. The sales guy let us know that if we had known
earlier he would have met us on Sunday night!
Our 11 hour overnight flight from Sao Paulo to
London was long but pretty easy since it was in first class. It
was the first time they gave us full sleeping clothing to use (instead
of sleeping in what we brought on the plane). We landed at London
Gatwick airport, then took the SpeedLink bus to Heathrow, stored our
bags, then went into the city via the Underground. We flew from London to Cairo
from Cairo to London on British Airways in first class so the flight was very
comfortable. We were quite surprised that they were showing
first-run movies in the first class movie rotation. On the second
rotation we watched Traffic. Unfortunately, because of the timing
of movies the flight ended during the movie so we could only watch the first hour of the
movie! Fortunately, we finagled finishing it on the next flight to
India (see India-Getting There).
The night before our flight to London we made
reservations in the Heathrow Hilton since we were only staying one
night, and we already had seen the immediate tourist places in London.
Being able to walk from the baggage claim to the hotel without leaving
the airport was very convenient.
Kristen in front of Buckingham Palace -- we arrived at
the perfect time to see the changing of the guard...on any other day.