We arrived at Heathrow Airport, apparently Europe’s busiest airport but you could not tell. Firstly we had to go through immigration so we need to get rid of all the snacks we had hoarded in our bags on the plane. We got through immigration with a bit of British banter and I got the first stamp on my passport. Customs was really just a pick of two doors, we chose the “nothing to declare” door and to our surprise we were led outside the airport with no appearance on Border Security for us. The time had come for us to finally get into some proper clothes and feel like humans again. I’m pleased to say the bathrooms were amazingly clean in Heathrow or maybe it just seemed like that after disgusting plane bathroom.
We had to catch the tube to our hotel so we bought an Oyster card and boarded a train with unfortunately the filthiest seats I have ever seen on a train. It was exciting though to see England by train, though it is true that all the houses look the same. We arrived at Piccadilly Cirus station and then proceeded to get lost for 10 minutes before finding our hotel.
Arriving at our hotel, we were presently surprised that we were lucky enough to get upgraded to a bigger room. The room is very nice, small but is clean and efficient. It has everything we need except for a fridge or any cooking facilities. After a quick nap we went out to explore this city to look for some proper dinner. The first place we stumbled upon was a three story M&M store. No, we did not eat there, but the temptation was real. London has many of the same stores as we have, but many times larger.
Another shocking difference is how busy it is. We have recently discovered that a typical Friday night in Melbourne is the same as New Years Day in Brisbane. But this ordinary Sunday night makes Melbourne look like a backwards country town. There was so many people walking around, shopping, eating, exploring, meeting friends, watching shows and much more. We instantly realised that we had made a great choice with the hotel location, with so much activity and excitement at our fingertips.
The food options were outstanding, having stumbled across the edge of China Town, we had many Asian places to choose from. There were several Italian places, English pubs, steak houses and many more. We had so many options, and desperate for a proper meal after the re-heated food from the plane, the steaks were high (pun intended). We wanted to try pub food, and found a great place called ‘Moon under water’, but it was so busy we couldn’t find a seat and decided to come back tomorrow. We then decided to go for our first good contender, Beijing Dumpling. Not a traditional English meal by any stretch of the imagination, but we hoped a solid choice. It was. The Sichuan chicken was good, the satay beef was different but great and the dumplings were fresh and scrumptious.
Retreating back to the hotel, we decided to call it a night with plans to return the next night, little did we know it was not going to happen.