London - Bombs And All.

Trip Start Feb 01, 2005
Trip End Dec 31, 2020

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Flag of United Kingdom  ,
Friday, July 8, 2005

How at home we felt, all of a sudden, flying British Airways! From check in when we were advised in a most apologetic manner that the flight would be delayed by two and a half hours (we were given $8 each food vouchers and an offer made to call someone, to advise we would be late) through to the entire flight the experience was great. We made the mistake (again!) of leaving our "kitchen bag" which contains knives in our hand luggage and instead of making us go back and queue again to put it through as checked luggage British Airways assisted immediately and provided a box to put the bag in so it would not get lost.

On arrival in London we were met by friends, Graham and Rachel, who we had first met up in Cape York, Australia last year and who had offered for us to stay with them for our London visit. We launched straight into the sight seeing and learning how to use London transport. Then when Daniel (Heather's son) knocked off work we met him at an English pub for a long awaited reunion. (for those of you who know Daniel, he is looking extremely well and fit and enjoying his life in London). The following day we were fortunate to have both Daniel and Graham as tour guides and had a fabulous day out.

A separate entry documents our exciting day, for the 2012 games announcement, in Trafalgar Square and then disaster befell London......

How life changes in an instance. We went to bed after a wonderful celebratory day and evening. All of London it seemed was in a buoyant mood at the games announcement. People travelled to work on the tube as they do everyday and became victims of terrorists. 3 million people use the underground rail system every day. Now some 50 of those are dead and 700 injured.

We would have been going into the City by tube that day, on one of the lines that was bombed, but later. When the news flash came we were immediately concerned for our hosts Graham and Rachel who had gone to work on the tube and for Daniel. We tried to ring but the phone lines were jammed. Eventually both Graham and Rachel got through to us to say they just arrived at work before it happened (they actually changed lines due to delays) and Daniel got through to say he was near one of the bomb sites but OK and stuck in traffic (driving his work van). We then tried to get through to family, but all phone lines out were either shutdown or jammed. It was very frustrating as we knew it was evening news time in Australia and people would be worried!

Londoners are resilient people, "the stiff upper lip" prevails and life will move on. Meanwhile we are going up to Lincoln today (which means taking the Piccadily/District Tube lines and then a bus out of London). This was booked before and it seems our bus will be running and then it is on to Ireland.

Footnote: Tower Of London is UNESCO World Heritage listed.
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