Tuesday, May 15, 2012

SFO to LHR- on the road to London

The Gherkin up the Thames from the Isle of Dogs
We were lucky enough to be invited to Chandigarh, India for a Punjabi friend’s Sikh wedding. We traveled through London and New Delhi to arrive in Chandigarh, north of Delhi.

We left SFO in Virgin business class at 16:30 for our trip across the pole to London. After a comfortable and somewhat luxurious flight –Clubhouse with limo service, seats that folded into flat beds, GOOD airline food, etcetera, etcetera- we arrived in London at 10:30 the next morning rested with zero jet lag. Nice way to travel.

Virgin Clubhouse
We had a couple of days layover in London and thought we’d do something a little different. Instead of staying in central London, we stayed out on Canary Wharf in the old East-End. You know, the East-End, where everyone speaks cockney and ‘enery ‘iggins lives down the street. At least they used too. After being bombed out in WW II, the old dock areas have been renovated into modern hotels, restaurants, and flats used by the new London geeks that are running the city’s computers. They don’t speak cockney. But there were a few older folks around who still speak a bit of the old dialect and they told us stories about the Three Penny Opera types that used live on the Isle of Dogs. 

India Quay
Took the tube across the Thames to see the Greenwich Royal Observatory. Made sure I reset my watch to Greenwich Mean Time standing on the Prime Meridian. Time has been measured from there since 1884.
The flight to New Delhi was at 22:00 and it took two hours to get to Heathrow. We took surface streets past the Tower of London, Big Ben, Buckingham palace, all the London Greats. Rush hour traffic was brutal on M4 as we got near LHR.  Once there, the driver drove through the dedicated Virgin Check-in and within five minutes we were having martinis in the Clubhouse. Cool… even made the comp haircut appointments at Virgin’s Bumble and Bumble. Another Martini and New Delhi here we come.

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