Travel Journal
Santorini & London -- April 1-16, 2004
Day 5 & 6

Day 5 -- Tuesday, April 5

After a fitful night of little rest, we got our stuff and drove off in a taxi to the airport. At one point down the highway, the driver was going 108 kph! Granted, there was really no-one else on the road at that time, but it still seemed excessive. (turns out it's only 70-ish mph. Felt faster anyways.) Got on that plane without a hitch, and this time it was much more full. We got a chocolate-filled croissant and drink for our breakfast snack. Very nice! Once we landed, grabbed our bags as fast as they came out of the wall and high-tailed it upstairs to negotiate with someone at the British Airways counter. The man was a miracle worker and was able to get us out on the next flight with only a modest charge and without messing up the second flight. It was a possibility they might have had to make us just go straight home. The relief we felt after we got the reprinted tickets and (shortly after) the boarding passes was just immeasurable. It was like a crushing weight had been lifted from our backs.

We didn't have to wait long for the next flight at all, which was great. No entertainment this time, but the onboard meal was fantastic. Beef stew, roll, tomato-cheese salad (I gave Paul mine and he gave me his roll), and a VERY WONDERFUL (and pretty big) cheesecake with raspberry sauce & 3 cherries on top. Wow! Landed, changed our money, went through passport control, then got our bags and again no customs to deal with. Very very strange indeed. Made some phone calls and sent a couple emails from the machine in the airport, then got on the Heathrow express to Paddington Station. From there it was a couple of Underground trains to London Bridge station, then on a National Rail train to Hither Green. Sandra met us there and we walked back to her little house a couple of small blocks away from the station. We settled in a little bit, then she went and got us some Chinese for dinner, which was very good. Her place is a tiny little Victorian-era place with 2 bedrooms, a front sitting room, kitchen, and toilet & bath area in the back behind that. We shouldn't have stayed up so late talking, but we did and eventually got to bed.

Day 6 -- Wednesday, April 6

Sandra let us sleep in, which we really needed. We all had breakfast and then walked the several blocks to the bus stop. Naughty people that we were, we took the bus down to Bromley to surprise Sandra's sister Ann, who was at work (1/2-day) in her petshop, Waggles. We sent Paul in first, as he was her favorite when they both visited a couple of years ago. Peeking through the window, we could see her totally freak out. It was priceless. We hung around a bit, her son Gary (and friend) stopped by and we met them. Then we drove off to a local mall (The Glades) and had lunch in a lovely little place, got me a plug adapter at a drugstore called Boots (more on that much later) and some magazines at another shop. Got stuff for dinner at Marks & Spencers (or as Ann puts it, 'Marks & Sparks'). Then we went to Ann's to see the kitties (Zen & Baxter) and beautiful gray parrot, Charlie. Zen is so sweet. He only has 3 legs due to an accident, but he gets around pretty good. Baxter decided to play shy and wouldn't come anywhere near. After a while it started to rain, but it was kind of neat sitting in the attached greenhouse-style shed petting cats while the rain pattered overhead. When it let up a bit, Ann took us back home, with a stop to visit their brother Michael and his girlfriend Jan in Petts Wood. They were very sweet. Also on the way back, Ann paused to feed some cats for people she knew that were away. Once home, Sandra made us a lovely dinner from the things she'd bought at M&S -- chicken and sage/onion stuffing with a variety of veggies as well. Talked some more (but not too late) and then went to sleep.

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