July 7th, 2005

ian

Munich

Yes, a quiet day in Munich. We arrived a bit late, cleared immigration and customs easily (when in Europe, Europeans have the edge) and bought some stuff from a supermarket before getting a taxi into town.
Then it was a bath and shower and a change of clothes: after a day in NY and an overnight flight, we all needed it. Then some wandering around Munich. Marienplatz, the river, a ride on a bicycle powered tourist vehicle. Poor driver, taking all four of us round central Munich. Refreshment in the form of ice cream and a McD served with beer. See http://www.netfunny.com/rhf/jokes/92q4/mcdonalds.html for the old joke about this. Then we wandered round town some more, found we had ended up at Hilton's other hotel in Munich and came back to the right one for a veryv early night so we would be fresh as a daisy. Seems to have worked. It's a quarter to five and we're all wide awake. Yippee.
ian

Islington

We set off from Munich after breakfast at around 9am local and arrived at Heathrow at about 10am local. We didn't know anything had happened until we arrived at the underground station at Heathrow where announcements said that there were no services in London as a result of a power failure. It soon became apparent that it was not just a power failure.
We queued for about 20 minutes for a taxi which took a while to take us through to Islington. Most of the way along a congested road from Heathrow to Victoria region we were passed every few minutes by a police or other emergency vehicle. Buckingham Palace, among others, has been cordoned off, there are police everywhere, supported by army.
Security at the Islington Hilton is such that there is no access to the hotel for taxis, even ones that have just cost 80 pounds, or even for guests unless they have photo ID with them.
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ian

Thursday evening

We didn't go to The London Eye today, and we probably won't be going to Madame Tussaud's tomorrow. In fact, the only thing we did today once we had arrived at the hotel was send messages to say we were fine and to watch the BBC news.
Just after 6, mike2sheds met up with us for a couple of beers and a chat. It's 22 years since I saw him, when we were students. We walked round close to the hotel, hoping to find somewhere to go, but it was hopeless. Everywhere was either overcrowded or closed. So we came back to the hotel and talked there.
It's been a day that we won't forget, but I suppose it makes our day of return one that nobody will forget.