Dec 2, 2010 NOT in Barcelona

Dec 2 2010 Day two of our adventure : NOT in Barcelona

My first trip to London England. Although scheduled to be at Heathrow for a brief few hours while we changed planes, many hours have passed and we are still in this location. Due to weather, I assume – very cold temperatures and snow, our flight to Barcelona was not only delayed but eventually canceled.

After standing in every line up we were sent to …. we finally went back through security and out into the dark of evening and ended up in a line that lead us to a real person who, it said on his name tag, worked for British Airways, had a computer terminal and was able and willing to find flight arrangements for 5 Canadian travelers. He booked us on flights (yet to be confirmed) for Dec 3 (we think) for Barcelona. He graciously provided us with what we asked for (flight info and hotel and meal coupons, transportation passes and some relief for our struggles and hours of line standing). He was personable and even threw in some life saving packages with toothbrush, toothpaste, white t-shirts (to sleep in, says he), comb and shampoo.

While grateful for the assistance, the free hotel room, free meals and transport to and from the hotel ….. sometimes you get what you pay for! This is one of those times. This is such a bare bones hotel. The phone is ridiculous and we tried every imaginable way to communicate to Steve’s daughter and son-in-law who are waiting for us, we assume in Barcelona. We also could not reach our hotel in Barcelona where we have 3 lovely rooms waiting for us 5 guests, booked through Expedia many months ago.

Premier Inn Hotel staff were very hard to talk to, not quite rude but certainly not helpful. Do they get a cut in wages to help people who are stranded ?? Totally different answers to simple questions like “how do I get a wake up call?” and “what time is it?”. Where do we catch the shuttle in the morning back to the airport? Is there a mug here at all that I can have hot water in? When I say basic, I am not exaggerating. This hotel is providing a room with a door and a bed inside. Two small instant coffee packets and two tea bags. “England must always have its tea” in the room. That is all.

Still trying to reach Sarah and hopefully they are well and assured of our safety as the flights were canceled. Hopefully she is snuggled in our unused hotel room anticipating our arrival at just after noon, Barcelona time on 3 December. It may in fact be the 3rd now??? I purposely left behind a watch. I have my phone set to airplane mode so as to not incur any roaming charges. Steve did not change his watch and there is no evidence this hotel has any idea what time it is. Not a clock on a wall or in any of the guest rooms. How do people show up on time in London? Is it an issue?

I had fleeting thoughts last evening of taking a small tour of London to satisfy my curiosity about the famed Tower of London, Buckingham Palace and London Bridge. I was assured by the un-helpful hotel guest clerks that in fact there is no such tour available in London … EVER! Really? Looks like a future flight and trip to London are required to see these places. Perhaps with Luke, for one of the books in the series I am writing, “Luke’s Travels”.

It will be wonderful to see him here, to enjoy the newness of this city to my eyes and his wonder. I anticipate great traveling moments with my grandson. Hopefully his mother will be with us and we will have a unique life journey together as we travel the world.

I have realized I don’t have a “universal” adapter plug in for my computer so must write more another time. Sending love to family and friends and gratitude I don’t live in London, England. I am prepared and committed to enjoy London on some other adventure. It is not the top of my bucket list, however.

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