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Wednesday, November 23, 2005

London - Part 4

Saturday; time to do the tourist stuff and meet another Geek, aka Oli Restorick aka Oli.
Met up with Oli around lunch, realized that we need food and wine so we went into the first bar we saw. The waiter spilled wine all over me, and don’t start – it wasn’t my fault this time!
I “casually” told him to bring another bottle (not glass) for free – he looked stumped… but actually brought us another bottle! :)
Hailed a cab and “became” tourists for a couple of hours, it was really fun and Mark had some interesting facts to share about the London Bridge. All and all, we had a good day.

Time to get back to the hotel and freshen up for the night; the plan was to have a nice dinner. An old friend of mine called and we decided to meet up at the hotel. They came pretty late and we started to chat… After some wine/beer we realized it was too late to get a decent table at any restaurant we decided to have pizza at the hotel. Pizza was good and we had a great relaxing time.

Sunday – Time to get up early to say goodbye to Mark that needed to get back home. Oli gave us a lift to Thomas Lee’s (aka Bubba) place in Cookham for a late lunch which included fantastic wines and wonderful food. I must say that I’m impressed by his wine cellar!
Comment of the day was said by Carola after she saw Bubba’s office; - “You’re not a geek!”
Obviously Bubba had more geeky things than I :)
After a couple of hours of wine and good food, we needed to get back to London – by train. But we actually did it with getting lost! Took a long walk in the London night and finished the day early if memory serves…

Monday, last day – Me and Carola is trying to get to Picadilly to meet Jesika for lunch.
Of course we took the wrong train, ended up God knows where…. Found a local pub – really small and everybody knew everybody in there. So Carola decided to have Fish & Chips, of course that would be the place to have it – far away from the tourist places.
Since we weren’t sure in which part of London (if it was London) the pub was, we decided to take a cab instead of the tube. Met up with Jesika, had a nice lunch and then it was time for shopping!
Ok, we shopped for less than an hour…..

Just before midnight we got back to Uppsala, Sweden – Repacked for Helsinki and got 4 hours sleep until I was back at Arlanda airport again…..

Thursday, November 17, 2005

London - Part 3

Waiting for the two lost souls:
So there we are, sitting and drinking at the bar and finally they showed up. I don’t recall how long we sat and waited, but I do remember the wine… :( Well, to be honest, I know what I like and don’t like, this was in between….

Now when the gang is gathered, bear in mind that we haven’t seen each other in a couple of weeks <g> so we had to start with the usual greeting habits… Since this can be viewed by non-adults, I can’t tell you how it goes… Just have a vivid imagination and you’ll figure it out.
After a couple of drinks we headed up to the Exec Lounge for some more drinks and snacks. If I where a manager of the Exec Lounge in Britain – I wouldn’t serve “Swedish meatballs” to Swedes. That’s all I’m going to say and that should cover it.
Usually when we all meet, there is good food involved – this time not so much… Instead we ate the snacks, had more beer and (I think) Nick came up with the brilliant (and I’m not sarcastic here) idea to head for Soho and a Champagne bar!!!!! The best idea so far!!

After the usual “I’m a cabbie, you are foreigners…” situation, if you don’t know what that means, you need to travel more, we arrived :)
And to be honest, Nick is a good lad since he knows where to find a Champagne bar. Fozzie bought two bottles and we just hung out having a nice time.
After we all had enough, we decided to call it a night. Mark, Carola and I hailed a cab and went back to the hotel with a cunning plan – let’s have another bottle of champagne!

We got the champagne; me and Mark tested it and decided that it was BAD. Got the waiters attention, go figure – this bloke (is that the correct “queens English” spelling?) knew jack about Champagne.
Since both Mark and I are such nice blokes, we called for the manager. He wasn’t convinced that we where right. So, we did what every Champagne loving man would do, offer him a choice:
Bring in another bottle, if it tastes the same we buy both. If not, we only pay for the second one. To me, that’s fair but not to this *?!=#*
Since they “knew” it was ok (without testing it) they wouldn’t bring us another bottle unless we agreed to pay for it, no matter if it’s gone bad or not…. Well, let’s cut our losses and buy regular wine instead we thought.

We had a good time and it’s always good to see Fozzie and Nick. Too bad they couldn’t be there for the second night…

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Weekend in London, part 2

Arrived at Heathrow:
Ok, I know most people don’t believe me but we actually took the underground all the way to Kensington from Heathrow… Mark couldn’t believe it…
Came to Hilton Kensington to check in, I’d requested for 10am check-in which of course wouldn’t happen but she checked us in at the Executive floor, (Mark, the real exec floor, not the one you where in :)) told us that we could use the Executive Lounge (which sounds much better than it is) to have drinks and food while we wait an hour until we get access to the room.
Got into the lounge, realized it had NO food, NO drinks (but coffee for order) ONLY water! Well to be honest they actually had it chilled and sparkling… Ok, the moral so far; don’t book Hilton Kensington if you are used to a proper lounge….

In the room we unpacked, thinking of heading out when we realized that Mark (known as Shrek) will check-in in an hour or two… Instead we took a catnap.
Mark text me saying he’s arrived, we didn’t care because we were asleep……

Woke up and called up Mark and went down to meet him at the bar and had some wine (or was it beer?). Now we only waited for Nick and Steve to join us….

Weekend in London, part 1

My dear but crazy friends blogged about my trip to London last weekend, so I thought I should give my version... In multiple posts…

On the way to the airport:
Woke up in time for the cab for once, me and Carola arrived at the airport with plenty of time to kill before boarding. Since we didn’t have breakfast, we headed to the lounge for some coffee and sandwiches (yes, we tried the beer as well). After a while we got bored and headed for the gate, still with plenty of time.
Arrived at pier F (far walk and I couldn’t hail a cab) and realized that boarding has not started yet. Walk past the pier (50m) to the bar, bought some drinks and relaxed.

Ok, recap – we’re sitting 50m from the gate, have plenty of time before boarding.

Took a look at the watch and realized that we should move towards the gate, arrived at the gate – we are the only ones there!! Walk up and the girl was just about to get on the PA… Yeah, I was late again and almost missed the plane…
After the usual “angry faces” from the other passengers already sitting and waiting for us we where ready for take-off!