I know this is a couple days late, but let’s be real, my days blurred together for a bit during that time travel and flying to London.
I still can’t believe I am in London or that it is April now. My birthday is in 6 days and I will be in France then. My Europe plan is London – Paris – South France – Barcelona – Dublin and home. Yep I am finally heading home soon and back on the job hunt. I definitely think I am ready for more of a routine again and to hit up the gym consistently and gain some muscles back.
For now, I have been enjoying London even though the jet lag has made sleeping rough. It was sure a long day of travel to get here.
I left Cairns, Australia at 11:10pm Thursday March 30th. I arrived in London at 9:30pm (local time) Friday March 31st. This means it was really 6:30am on April 1st in Australia by the time I landed!! I had nearly a 10 hour layover in the Philippines which was definitely a LONG day. We had landed early in the Philippines and I was in one of the first rows of the plane so I was like the third one off the plane. I don’t know why I rushed so much just to sit for 10 hours in the airport, but I did. I started in the transit lounge while waiting for a breakfast voucher. That took a few hours and while I tried to curl up in one of the chairs to sleep more, it wasn’t too comfortable and I was pretty awake after sleeping for most of the 6 hour flight. At least I had wifi in the airport.
Once I got my breakfast voucher, I had no idea where to go, so I followed 2 other girls that got their vouchers and were also heading to London. The voucher was good for 300 pesos (equivalent $6 USD) in Philippine’s currency. I wasn’t much of a fan of the food choices, but I was hungry and settled on a chocolate croissant and tea. Not that the chocolate or the carb loaded croissant would keep me full, but it was better than nothing and my snack stash was getting low. A little later I purchased a can of Pringles from one of the stands in the airport. Thankfully they were ok with taking USD. No shame, I totally ate the entire can which stated it was 4.5 servings, but that was pretty much all I ate during the 10 hours sitting around the airport. Thankfully the Philippines airport has great water bottle machines for cold water as I drank tons of water since I usually get dehydrated while traveling and drinking tons of water during the 10 hour period made me at least have an excuse to get up to pee.
I wish I could offer advice on what to do during a 10 hour layover, but I was pretty bored myself. It was nice that I met two other girls on my flight so we chatted in between doing our own thing. I finished up Good Witch on Netflix and chatted with a few people online. Then came the time where I was going nuts because I had sat for so long, so I just stood up for a while and started to listen to podcasts on my phone.
Finally at noon (my flight was at 1), we lined up to get our boarding passes checked. Then we were roped in, back where we had sat all day anyway except we lost our seats so I stuck to standing for a while. One o’clock came around and they were just getting ready to start boarding. By the time we took off it was about 2pm. It was just the beginning of the 14 hour flight to London.
Normally I sleep most of the flight when I have long flights but it was daytime and I just wasn’t tired when we boarded. It took a while to board and get moving so I brought out my kindle and started reading. I was actually so into my book that I forgot I was on a plane for a moment.
I had a window seat which was nice. What I didn’t like was that the Philippines airlines crew enforced closing the window shades after take off and making it dark I guess so people could sleep despite the fact that it was an afternoon flight.
I passed the time between watching movies, sleeping and listening to podcasts. As we came into London at 9pm local time, I could make out the London Eye from above which was cool.
When we touched down, in my head I was just thinking, FINALLY. Finally this traveling is over. Though I still needed to figure out how to get in touch with my Airbnb host and the airport things. I made it through customs and then headed to baggage claim.
I ran into the two girls on my flight whom I met in the Philippines. Since they were both from the UK, I was able to use one of their phones to inform my Airbnb when I would arrive. I got my bag and headed to the Heathrow Express train. It was really easy to figure that out and I got 50% off my ticket by booking online 2 weeks ahead of time. The train expressed to Paddington Station and while I could have gone searching for another train to switch to, it was easier for me to grab a taxi since it was nearly 11pm. It was about a 20 minute taxi ride to my address and the taxi driver was very friendly. I was telling him about my time in Australia and how I am planning a few weeks in Europe.
Now once the taxi dropped me off, I was standing at the door, but no one was there. I couldn’t call because my phone doesn’t work in the UK. I had told them I would arrive at 11:30 and it was only 11:10 so I was just waiting. Then a guy parked his car on the street and walked by asking if I was OK. I explained I needed to call a number for my room but my phone doesn’t work here. He let me borrow his phone and a few minutes later, the person came down to let me in. Thankfully I had nice people who let me borrow their phones.
Once I got into my room and all checked in, I immediately looked for some clean clothes, took a shower and hopped into bed. The only issue was that I wasn’t tired, at all. Also I didn’t have the UK adaptor so my batteries were running low on my phone and computer.
So I got out my kindle and continued reading for a while. I decided to just finish the book and then try to sleep. It was sometime after 2am that I finally went to sleep. I woke up at 5 and then tossed and turned for a bit until 5:30 when I finally decided I was so hungry and ready for breakfast. Luckily my Airbnb included breakfast which was good for my first morning. I had some cereal and then got dressed for yoga.
The hour and 15 minute class flew by and the chaturangas just flowed. I actually felt strong, which surprised me after all the sitting and 30+ hours of travel. I felt strong, but it was still challenging and offered so many great stretches after being confined to airplane chairs for so long.
This was a great start to my first day in London even if the days all blurred together with the travel. I was happy to be back on solid ground and spent 4 hours seeing different sites around London in the afternoon.
Since this post is already super long I will save that for the next post. Also I went on the Harry Potter tour yesterday and it was AMAZING so that will be a post of itself.
How do you handle long layovers?
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