28 March: (bus) National Express 412, departs Cheltenham at 1430
28-30 March: Jurys Kensington Hotel, Queensgate, South Kensington,
phone: 011 44 2075 896300
30 March: National Express 412, departs Victoria Coach Station at 1200.
We have tickets for 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' for Friday evening. I'm not
sure what we are doing Sat. maybe the Cabinet War Rooms, maybe the Natural
History Museum. Depends on the weather (which has be fabulous for two solid
riday, 28 March: The day started with me being quite chuffed that we had
chosen the bus over the train for transport that day. There was a bit of a
train strike on and most of the trains from Cheltenham weren't running.
Dave picked up Matthew from school at 1330 (just after lunch) and we took a
taxi to the bus station at 1400. There were two coaches for the 1430 run to
London. Unfortunately the non-standard National Express coach took all the
people for Victoria Coach station. The bus driver decided to take the A40
to the M40 (vs. A419 to M4) and on one of the Oxford roundabouts a truck hit
him and took out one of his mirrors. Not to be outdone, the bus driver took
out after the truck and made him pull over (several miles into Oxford) to
get his name and phone number. The truck driver had the nerve to say that
the bus hit him. Tough to do, since the bus was standing still, IMHO. So,
we were on our way again, in stand still Friday afternoon traffic.
Somewhere along the line the bus driver opted for the M4 since the M40 was
not moving and we were nearly back on schedule for a 1730 arrival.
Unfortunately, the bus driver could not find Victoria Coach station (sound
familiar, Jim?). He drove around it three times, insisting on turning right
everywhere he could (not many places will allow right turns in London) to do
this. So, we arrived at the coach station a mere hour late at 1830 (the
show started at 1930). We took a taxi to our hotel, checked in, changed,
and took a taxi to the show with time to spare (but not enough time to eat
dinner). The show was great, we had great seats, and I'm still humming the
songs. After we ate dinner at Mc D's, took the tube back to the hotel, and
Saturday, 29 March: We walked to the Natural History Museum and saw the
mammal exhibit and a couple of the Earth exhibits. Dave was interested in
the volcano exhibit because they featured the Philippine volcano eruption in
1991 (while he was in Okinawa). They had a simulated earthquake (Toyko
1995) which Matthew thought was good. Then we went to Harrods for lunch.
We made the mistake of going up to see the toys. We didn't leave empty
handed. Dropped our stuff off at the hotel and went down to see the Cabinet
War Rooms. That was really interesting (tho' we've both been working in
WWII era buildings for the last three years, so some of it looked terribly
familiar). Did you know that Winston Churchill didn't like staples? He
insisted on the use of Treasury tags (I'll bring a couple home so you can
see them - metal bits with a short length of yarn that fits through a hole
in bunch of papers to hold them together). They still have those nasty
things, IMHO. Then we went to church at Westminster cathedral. Ate dinner
at the Hard Rock Cafe (yeah, I know, don't say it).
Sunday, 30 March: Our clocks went forward an hour. We ate breakfast and
took the tube to Victoria Coach station. Had a cup of coffee while waiting
for our coach. Had an uneventful ride back to Cheltenham. Probably should
have scheduled a later coach home, oh well.