[an error occurred while processing this directive]
England - London
18.12.97 - Arrive in LondonBrad and I caught the high-speed Eurostar train through the channel tunnel (3 hours at 300km/h). We went to Earls Court in London to stay the first night. We were looking for a hostel, but we ended up staying in a seedy hotel room with a weird French guy for the first night. I contacted one of my friends from Sydney (Tim) and arranged to meet him the next day. We didn't muck around the next day leaving early the next morning.
19.12.97 - First day in LondonWe spent the first day walking all around London, from SOHO, past Buckingham Palace, past the Natural History and Science Museums. We checked out Harrods and parks and cathedrals and generally did the whole tourist scene in London in one day.
As it was getting dark we ended up back in the SOHO area which was starting to get lively at that time of night. We found an Internet Café and sent some email -- yipee! We met up with Tim at 9pm and went with him (backpacks and all) to an Aussie pub called the Walkabout. Very amusing -- it was more Australian than Australia. Everyone was extremely rowdy and drunk and generally having a good time -- had Brad and myself been without our packs we would have been able to join in a little more enthusiastically. In the end we got back to Tim's place late-ish to crash for the night.
20.12.97 - Sick and TiredDidn't get much sleep last night because me and Brad ended up having to sleep in the same bed (double at least) and he kept smacking me in the face in his sleep.
Me and Tim headed off to Camden Markets after Brad headed off to track down his family friends in England. I had lived in England for a year when I was 4 years old, and we lived right near Camden so a lot of things (such as the canals) brought back a few memories for me.
With all the lack of sleep, jetlag and having the flu I wasn't in much of a condition for clubbing, but I had called another friend from England (Chris) and organised to meet her that night to go clubbing in the city. I tried to get a couple of hours sleep before heading up to meet her at the station. Unfortunately I didn't know there was two exits from Elephant and Castle station (London Underground stations have stupid names) so I couldn't find her for quite some time.
Unfortunately, for most of my time in London I was too sick and tired to get motivated to go out and party hard - what a waste. That night we all headed into the SOHO and had some quite nice pizza in a restaurant. We wandered around for a bit before heading home again to crash out.
21.12.97 - Bond, James Bond.Today we headed into the city and wandered around for a bit and ended up watching James Bond at the movies - great flick! That's about it...
22.12.97 - PaulI had been trying to contact another of my Sydney friends (Paul) for the last couple of days in London with no success. I was about to leave Tim's place late in the morning after doing a load of washing when the phone rang -- it was Paul (an Australian friend working in London). He was leaving to go to Sweden that afternoon so we decided to meet in the city for a couple of hours before he headed off.
I had planned on travelling to Primrose Hill to visit the area I had grown up in, but meeting Paul threw my plans out a bit. I DID make it to Camden Markets again where I bought a Christmas present for Tim, Michelle (Tim's girlfriend) and Helen (their flatmate) to thank them for having me stay with them.
I then caught the train out to Surry to meet up with Chris, I would be spending the next few days, including Christmas, with her and her family.
23/24/25.12.97 - Christmas DayHad an excellent couple of days of Christmas at Chris' house. Chris' mother is German so we had Christmas a day early which was weird. The result, however, was that we had two days of Christmas dinners -- excellent. I really enjoyed the bits of German food I ate, which surprised me considering the poor reputation German food has.
26.12.97 - Depart LondonChris drove me in to London today since the train from Surry was not running (being Boxing Day and all) and we wandered around the city doing some last minute sightseeing. I finally saw London Bridge. I almost missed the Eurostar train out of London because Chris temporarily lost her handbag on the Underground -- I'm still somewhat amazed it turned up again.
Met up with Joe and Brad at the train station and I slept the whole way to Paris on the train.