gordon.dewis.ca - Random musings from Gordon


Archive for June 2003

UK Trip Day 3: June 29, 2003

June 30, 2003 @ 14:33 By: gordon Category: Travelling, UK Trip 2003

On Sunday, Rob and I headed off on our own as we tired Yuki out with all the walking on Saturday. We headed downtown with what could be described as a vague plan at best.

Hopping on the train at Wandsworth Common, we headed to Victoria station and from there we caught a bus. Wandering down Whitehall, we visited the Royal Mews, home to the horses and carriages used by the Royal Family. Most impressive was the Gold State Coach, first used by George III in 1762. It weighs four tons and takes eight horses to pull it. Check my gallery for some pictures of it.

Of course, I bought some souvenirs at the gift shop at the Royal Mews.

From the Mews we looked in the gift shop of the Queen’s art gallery and then continued along Whitehall.

We passed in front of Buckingham Palace where we watched some of the red-coated guards doing their thing.

By this point it was lunch time so we headed over to the hotdog vendor behind Canada Gate and had hotdogs at the gates of Buckingham Palace.

Once we had consumed our lunch, we headed off to Trafalgar Square. There was a protest gathering of some sort around the base of Nelson’s Column, so we moved on to Covent Garden.

At Covent Garden we went to the Cafe in the Crypt underneath St Martin-in-the-Fields.

After some shopping in the gift shop, we proceeded on to the London Transport Museum, where we joined a tour being given to a couple of other visitors. We saw the various buses and trains on display from their collection, and even got to go inside some of the vehicles not normally open to the public. Very impressive! If you’re ever in London, take a couple of hours to visit the LTM.

From the LTM, we made our way back to Rob and Yuki’s, stopping to pick up chicken and chips from a local fish & chips takeaway.

Click here to view the pictures from Day 3.

UK Trip Day 2: June 28, 2003

June 29, 2003 @ 17:57 By: gordon Category: Travelling, UK Trip 2003

Saturday morning started at 2pm. Except for Rob when the first postman arrived at 8:30am and the second one arrived at 9am.

We headed into downtown London via the train from Wandsworth Common to Victoria. From there, we headed to Hyde Park. Hyde Park is the largest park in London. Here is a link about it.

From Hyde Park, we walked around the Albert Memorial, across the street from Royal Albert Hall. We caught a bus which took us past the offices of the Royal Geographical Society.

From there we headed to Piccadilly Circus where we grabbed a bite to eat at that fine English eatery Pizza Hut.

We visited a store called The Gadget Shop where we played with a variety of toys, including an electronic roulette game that shocks the finger of one of the players. First person to flinch loses. Made me think of the game from Never Say Never Again.

From there we went to Westminster by tube and saw Big Ben, Whitehall, Downing Street and had a drink at a pub not too far from Trafalgar Square.

We returned home from there, taking a bus that gave us a splendid view of MI-5′s new headquarters building.

Click here for pictures from Day 2.

UK Trip Day 1: June 27, 2003

June 29, 2003 @ 14:07 By: gordon Category: Travelling, UK Trip 2003

My day started at around four o’clock in the morning. That is not a civilized time for anyone to be going anywhere. My dad drove me to the airport for 0500 and I made my way through customs. We boarded and taxied to position for takeoff on Runway 25. We started rolling, however we didn’t take off. Instead we turned off at the first taxiway and came to a stop.


After about a minute, the captain came on the intercom and informed us that they hadn’t gotten the numbers for their weight & balance calculations. After a couple more minutes, we started to taxi again, took position and this time we started rolling down the runway at a speed much more suitable for taking off.

The flight to Washington/Dulles was relatively uneventful.

The flight from Washington to London took off on-time. The food was quite good. We were served breakfast and dinner. The view wasn’t the greatest as most of the time the world was covered by clouds. Nova Scotia was relatively cloud-free, though.

Out over the North Atlantic, more clouds, except for the occasional hole through which the cold dark waters could be seen. At one point, it looked like there were icebergs in the water.

We passed another airplane going in the other direction about 1000′ below us and 2 miles away from us. Before I could grab my camera, it was gone. Our closing speed must have been the better part of Mach 2.

A few hours later, we passed over the coast of Ireland and then headed towards the English Channel. It was starting to get darker the farther east we flew because we were flying into the terminator.

As we were approaching London, we were put into a holding pattern to the southeast of the airport. After about five minutes, we were cleared for landing. On the approach, I saw London Bridge and Parliament from the air.

Clearing customs took about half an hour, mostly because of the line. I collected my luggage and met up with Rob and Yuki. We took a mini-cab from Heathrow to their place.

Click here for pictures from Day 1.