We landed in Gatwick just around 11:30 am. Bowe already arrived, but in Heathrow. He made his way towards the AirBnb office only to find out that he did not neet go to there as there is a lockbox by the apartment! (oops!). As he was waiting for the check-in time to arrive (2:00 pm) we found our way out of the airport and onto the Gatwick Express. At one point, when we were crossing picturesque green pastures, Naomi dreamingly looked out the window and sighed “we made it to London!”
Soon enough we did make it to London. Once we got off at the Victoria station, we took Bowe’s advice and purchased rechargeable “Oyster” cards that would help us navigated the public transport in the city. All of this, of course, after a series of puns and jokes involving shellfish and baked clams.
We were originally going to take the underground, but Naomi researched bus routes and figured we could take the red “148” double-decker right to our AirBnb – they did take our “Oyster” cards, too! Soon enough, we were reunited with Bowe!
Our AirBnb was a nice and cozy 3-bedroom with 2 full baths and a kitchen. Bowe managed to trap ALL of the flies in the living room, which made it easy for Keane to fight them off as everyone else was settling into their rooms. First showers in two days felt absolutely glorious! After we cleaned up, Karol was keen on checking out the neighborhood Indian restaurant “A Taste of India”, where we enjoyed a family-style late lunch around 4:00 pm. After a pint of Cobra beer and with our tummies full, the struggle was real and we almost lost Lena to her bed.
Ultimately, we decided to stay up for a little bit longer and went for a walk in Hyde Park, where Naomi decided to take a nap. We kept walking for a while and passed the Albert Memorial, the Wellington Arch, stopped by Buckingham Palace, saw some royal Pelicans in St. James’s Park, and on our way to Westminster Abbey we even saw a few red phone booths. Unfortunately, Big Ben called in sick and was surrounded by scaffolding. Get better soon, Ben!
At that point we got pretty hungry but before diving down to the underground we also saw the Palace of Westminster. Although everyone took their turn falling asleep on the train, as soon as we got to the local market we were awakened by the delicious possibilities presenting themselves on the shelves!
We could not believe how cheap everything was compared to Hawai’i! Brie cheese – £1.50, tomatoes – £1/lb, prosciutto £2 – for a pack that would be $8 in Hawai’i! We walked out with a few bottles of wine and full bags of groceries without breaking the bank – it felt great and refreshing. We are definitely incorporating making a lot of our own meals for the rest of this trip! :)